St. Patrick's Day is coming up!
It is celebrated every year on March 17th.
If you were to ask your students what this festive day is all about, I bet they would answer with things like:
*wearing green (or else you get pinched!),
*hunting for lucky shamrocks,
*funny little leprechauns searching for gold at the end of rainbows, etc.
While we can have fun with all of these things, none of those are the reason that St. Patrick's Day became a celebrated day.
The holiday was created to honor Saint Patrick, a priest who lived in the 4th century and had a heart for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
This year, in addition to (or instead of!) focusing on shamrocks, leprechauns, and gold coins, teach your students about the TRUE hero of the story: Saint Patrick.
To simplify your lesson planning I've compiled a list of resources for you:
Here are a couple of videos that summarize the details of Saint Patrick's life and ministry.
This first one is more "kid-friendly" and, although slightly silly, it gives a great depiction of the main plot events in St. Patrick's life. It's produced by the creators of Veggie Tales.
This second one is better suited for older kiddos (upper elementary and above) and does a great job of giving an overview of Saint Patrick's life. It's 2 minutes long - and the perfect overview if you want a short, succinct summary.
Here are some book suggestions that explain the life of Saint Patrick for kids:Click on the links to see these books on Amazon* - or head to your local library to see if you can check these out for your students.
*I am a part of the Amazon Affiliates program, so if you purchase these books through Amazon, I receive a small commission (at absolutely no cost to you.) This commission helps pay for postage and giveaways.
To supplement your study of this noteworthy God-fearing man, I have created a packet of fun and engaging, print-and-go resources for you!
The packet includes a 2-page biography of St. Patrick and a 10-question reading comprehension quiz. The text is written on a 4th or 5th grade level, but younger students could definitely do the activities with the support of an adult.
I always have my students highlight the answers in the passage - it trains them to take their time, look back at the passage, and read both the questions and the answers carefully.
Also included are three interactive notebook foldables to engage your students and help them with fact recall. Complete student directions and suggested answer keys are included.
This is probably my favorite activity included in this packet - the students are given pictures from the story and they must write captions to describe what it being illustrated. This helps with story detail recall, sequencing, summarizing, and writing.
There is also a Fact-Opinion activity based on their reading:
Lastly, there are two Bible activities:
The first one uses St. Patrick's comparison of a three-leaf clover and the Trinity. Students draw symbols (or write words) to represent the three members of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Then they write a letter to a friend, explaining St. Patrick's metaphor.
Saint Patrick faced many difficult situations in life that might have caused him to fear or want to give up - but he turned to God for strength, courage, and comfort. "Do Not Be Afraid" sends students digging in their Bibles, hunting for verses where God commands his followers not to fear.
You can purchase this 20-page packet for only $3:
Here is a couple of FREE craft ideas for you (click on each picture to be taken to the original source)
Shamrock Trinity Craft from biblestoryprintables.com
The Prayer of Saint Patrick coloring page from Herald Entertainment
St. Patrick Paper Bag craft from CatholicIcing
I hope you found some helpful resources in this (by no means exhaustive) list. If you have any ideas or activities that would help students learn about Saint Patrick, please leave a comment! I'm always on the lookout for new treasures :)
Happy St. Patrick's Day!