St Patrick's Day Thematic Unit

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My mom told me that she wanted to name me Kathy, but she went with Kathleen because I was due on St. Patrick’s day. I also took a DNA test that told me I’m 4.9% Irish, so I guess there is nothing to do but embrace this lighthearted holiday, which is based on a patron Saint in Ireland that died in 461. Wow! That is a long time for a celebration to survive. The community where I currently live has a giant St. Patrick’s Day parade, started by a an Irish settler in the community four decades ago. His goal was to give opportunity for everyone to act like a kid again, which is something I do every day!

Gather The Books

What better way to celebrate the luck of the Irish than a great thematic study of the holiday! The best way to start any thematic unit is by finding great books! Here are some of my favorites.

Find The Music

There are so many great songs you can use to bring St Patrick’s Day to life in your classroom. One of my favorites to use is Michael Finnagen! This Singlish version is a lot of fun! Search Youtube and you will find many other great versions.

It is also a lot of fun to teach your students an Irish jig to an original tune. Students especially love keeping their arms straight throughout the dancing. Again, you can find many other jig examples on Youtube.

Plan The instruction

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Planning all of the thematic learning across the curriculum is not only fun to do, it makes sense for the students! There are so many things that you can do with the connection of luck, green, leprechauns, gold, money, rainbows, and even parades.

Of course, don’t forget Leprechaun traps! My favorite way of dealing with the construction is to have this a take-home-project if possible. I find that some great creativity ensues. For those who don’t bring a box from home, I simply let them construct something simple at the art table during centers or free choice — they are just as happy.

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And if you are lucky, you might just catch that leprechaun as it is trying to get out the window!

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