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Competency: Describe St. Patrick's Day

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Competency: Describe St. Patrick's Day

Lesson Overview: The purpose of this lesson is to teach students to describe Saint Patrick's Day and understand how we celebrate this holiday.
This lesson includes the following:

  1. St. Patrick’s Day Pictures

  2. St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary

  3. St. Patrick’s Day Story

  4. St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Matching

  5. St. Patrick’s Day Word search

  6. Conversation for St. Patrick’s Day

  7. St. Patrick’s Day Stationery (optional)

  8. St. Patrick’s Day Pictionary (optional)

  9. St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Flash Cards

Approximate Time: 2 hours

Prerequisite Skills: Students must be able to read and write simple sentences, be able to follow directions, have basic calendar skills, and be familiar with cardinal numbers.
Prerequisite Vocabulary:


March (month)


march (verb)






Saint Patrick's Day






St. (saint)









patron saint






Optional Vocabulary:



Materials Needed: Whiteboard or flip chart, erasable marker, St. Patrick’s Day vocabulary flash cards, handouts, pictures of symbols of Saint Patrick's Day, prizes (optional), and markers (optional).

Equipment Needed: Multimedia computer with Internet access (optional)


  1. Explain the purpose of the lesson. Briefly describe St. Patrick’s Day holiday to the students.

  1. Ask the students what they already know about Saint Patrick’s Day. Write their responses on the board or a flip chart. (This is a good informal way of assessing student knowledge.)

  1. Explain to the students that we celebrate Saint Patrick's Day each year on March 17th. If you have a monthly calendar in your classroom you can point out March 17th on the calendar or ask for a student volunteer to show you when Saint Patrick’s Day is on the calendar.

  1. Introduce new vocabulary.

  1. Give students Saint Patrick’s Day Vocabulary handout.

  1. Pronounce the new vocabulary words one at a time and have the students repeat the words in unison.

  1. Pronounce the new vocabulary words one at a time and ask individual students to repeat the word. Repeat until the students can pronounce the words well.

  1. Show students pictures of symbols associated with Saint Patrick's Day: shamrock/clover, pot of gold, rainbow, leprechaun, etc. (Saint Patrick's Day Pictures) Discuss these symbols and their meanings, both generic meanings and meanings specific to this holiday. You may want to do this at the time you are writing important words on the board or flip chart. This is a great activity to reinforce prerequisite vocabulary and current vocabulary.

  1. Give students Saint Patrick’s Day Story. Read about Saint Patrick’s Day to the students. Have students follow along.

    1. Have students take turns reading one paragraph of the story out loud. Repeat as necessary.

    1. Have students get in pairs and practice reading the story to one another.

  1. Discuss the story by asking questions such as:

  1. Who is Saint Patrick's Day named after?

  2. When do we celebrate Saint Patrick's Day?

  3. What is one Saint Patrick's Day tradition?

  4. What is one legend about Saint Patrick's Day?

  5. What is a leprechaun?

You can add details and additional information, as you think appropriate.

  1. Give the students St. Patrick’s Day Word Search. Explain how to do a word search. Students can do this activity alone or in small groups. This is done for vocabulary recognition. (This worksheet was made with Wordsheets 5.0 software available at There is a free demonstration version that allows 10 printings. After that, the software must be purchased.)

  1. Give the students Saint Patrick's Day Matching exercise. After the students have had a chance to complete this exercise, go over the correct answers and ask that the students correctly pronounce the words.

  1. Give students Conversation for Saint Patrick's Day. There are a number of ways to demonstrate how to use this handout. Choose the one you are most comfortable using. Examples: 1) you say Student 1 lines and have the class in unison read student 2 lines, 2) divide the class into two groups and have each group in unison say one of the student lines, 3) Ask for a student volunteer to read student 1 line and you read student 2 line. After you do at least one of the above 3 choices to demonstrate then have the students pick a partner or you can pick one for them, and have the pairs practice conversation.

Assessment/Evaluation of Learning:

  1. Teacher observation of students’ participation.

  1. Evaluation of student worksheets.

Optional/Follow-up Activities:

  1. Use the St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Flash Cards for further vocabulary development.

  1. Green Words Activity -- As a class, brainstorm a list of various "green" words or phrases, for example: green beans, green apple, greenhouse, green light, etc.

  1. The students and/or instructor can wear green on Saint Patrick's Day and have a Saint Patrick's Day party.

  1. The students can write sentences using the vocabulary words. You can use the St. Patrick's Day Stationery or regular paper. This stationery is available with free registration at:

  1. Have the students survey other students in the class about things that are green. Students can practice speaking, listening, and writing skills.

- Are you wearing green?

- Do you have green eyes?
- Have you seen green candy?
- Do you drive a green car?
- Do you like green food?
- Have you seen a four-leaf clover?

  1. Link St. Patrick's Day to other themes/ideas you are teaching in class. Example: Discuss height and appearance of leprechauns (include description of shoes, pipe, color of clothes, etc.). You can also do this for other St. Patrick's Day objects.

  1. Play a CD or tape with traditional Irish songs such as "The Wearin' of the Green" as the students come into the class. There are some great sites on the Internet that have music you can play for your class. These websites are just a few examples: (Just click play for each song) (Click on the keyboard icon in the middle of the screen) (This site has music as soon as you open it) (This has intro music and links to more) (This has links to music) (This site has music as soon as you open it and has pictures of people dressed for St. Patrick's Day. It even has a picture of someone from Hickory dancing to Irish music!) (This has links to music) (This site has music as soon as you open)

  1. Game: Saint Patrick's Day Pictionary

Supplies: Chalkboard or flip chart, chalk or markers, eraser, manila envelope, papers with Saint Patrick's Day objects written on them (you may want to use a combination of prerequisite vocabulary and new vocabulary), timer.

How to Play: Put papers with Saint Patrick's Day objects written on them into the manila envelope. Divide students into two (2) groups. Flip a coin or otherwise determine which team goes first. Invite a student from the playing team to approach the chalkboard or flip chart, draw a slip of paper, and read it to himself or herself.

When given the cue to “go”, the student has one (1) minute to draw the object in hopes that his/her team members will guess the object on their paper. If the team guesses correctly before time runs out, they score a point. If the playing team does not guess correctly, the other team has five (5) seconds to try to come up with the correct answer. If they guess correctly, they score a point and it is their turn to play.

The team with the most points after all of the words have been chosen, wins.

2002-2003 ESL Special Project

Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute

Basic Skills Department

Competency: Describe Saint Patrick’s Day Intermediate Level Page

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