What better excuse than St. Patrick’s Day for each of us to embrace our inner Irish.
Wearing green and making shamrocks, though, are likely activities we’ve done time and time again. If you are looking for a fresh way to celebrate the Irish this year, try these unusual and perhaps unexpected activities with your classes this week.
How to Be (Slightly) Irish
St. Patrick’s Day Bread Extravaganza
Bread is one food that every nation seems to have, but it still emerges with a unique personality with each country you visit. If you don’t mind a little time in the kitchen, use St. Patrick’s Day as an excuse to travel around the entire world with your taste buds through a bread extravaganza. Irish soda bread is very easy to prepare and hard to get wrong. Use your own recipe or one of the many available online. You can also sample Indian naan, British scones, southern cornbread, a French baguette and Mexican tortillas, all readily available in larger supermarkets. This is also a great time to get mothers involved if you teach younger students. Picking up a loaf of bread from the store is something that almost anyone is willing to do. With your bread, your students can also sample some of the different bread accompaniments like hummus, jam, butter or cheese. Just keep in mind that some students may have allergies, and be sensitive to them when selecting the elements for your smorgasbord.
Let’s Get Superstitious!
What is it that makes the Irish so lucky? Well, maybe it’s because of their traditions. Offer your students some ideas of their own with the following good luck and bad luck superstitions from the United States. Don’t tell them which should bring bad and which good luck, but let them decide together in groups. Allow them to offer reasons behind their decisions and then share the correct answers.
- Walking under a ladder (bad)
- Opening an umbrella in the house (bad)
- Having a black cat cross your path (bad)
- Carrying a rabbit’s foot (good)
- Nailing a horseshoe above the doorway (good)
- Crossing your fingers (good)
- Finding a four leafed clover (good)
- Throwing salt over your left shoulder (good)
- Stepping on cracks (bad)
- Breaking a mirror (bad)
Play Some Traditional Irish Music!
St. Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to practice some listening and speaking with an Irish band. If you know anyone who plays Irish music, then you know that many Irish songs have simple refrains designed for audience member participation. Invite some live music to your class or use some of the Irish tunes readily available on the internet and allow your students to sing along with the refrains, green beer optional.
Popular Song Titles
We all know Irish eyes are smiling, but can your students fill in the blanks of these popular music titles as they review vocabulary for body parts? Try playing some or all of the songs and see if they can fill in the blanks.
- When Irish (eyes) Are Smiling – Bing Crosby
- (Eye) of the Tiger - Survivor
- Dancing (Cheek) to (Cheek) - Fred Astaire
- Put your (Arms) Around Me – Natasha Bedingfield
- Hold your (Head) Up – Argent
- Can’t (Smile) Without You – Barry Manilow
- Let Your (Hair) Down – The Temptations
Countries and Their Sports
Though not the nation’s official sport, boxing is one of the most favored past times in Ireland. Have your students match the official national sports with their corresponding country. After telling them the answers, why not get some fresh air and a little exercise with a bat and ball as you play America’s national pastime: Baseball.
- Table Tennis China
- Field Hockey India
- Cricket England
- Cross Country Skiing Norway
- Wrestling Turkey
- Golf Scotland
- Basketball Lithuania
- Baseball Dominican Republic
- Archery Bhutan
- Yacht Racing Anguilla
Finally, try any of these BusyTeacher’s free St. Patrick’s Day worksheets!
No matter what your ethnic origin is, St. Patrick’s Day is an occasion for celebrating and enjoying life.
Have fun with your students and allow them to share experiences from their own cultures whether through sports, food or music. Finally, remember, we can all be a little bit Irish on March 17!