6 St. Patrick’s Day Lesson Plan Ideas


Luck is believing you’re lucky.”

~Tennessee Williams

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by exploring Ireland through art, music, and engineering. Here are some of our favorite activities to make this celebration a meaningful learning experience. We have added links to most of the resources you need, so prep will be a breeze.

Music & Dance

It is fun just to hop around and enjoy Irish music.

If you would like to take this lesson a little deeper, dancing the jig is great exercise and very easy to learn.


This is one of our (Almost) No Prep Art Lessons. You probably have all the materials you need in you classroom. Students draw the shamrock and create the lines with a ruler. You can learn more about this lesson right here.

St Patrick's Day Shamrock


Taste the Rainbow


We use every opportunity to promote healthy eating. Most kids will at least try a food offered in the classroom. We assemble a fruit rainbow in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. The cut fruit and berries are offered buffet style. The kids help themselves to the different fruits. They later chart their fruit platter in their journals. We have more healthy party snack ideas right here.


The day before St. Patrick’s Day out students design and create leprechaun traps in class. This is one of the our favorite activities of the whole year. Many teachers have kids create traps at home. They often look more polished than our crazy classroom creations.

Social Studies

If you or your students are interested in learning more about St. Patrick you can watch some of these videos.

5 Old-School Teaching Hacks That Really Work


As teachers we have a wealth of techniques and technology available to us.  Can you imagine teaching before the copy machine, projectors, and computers?  What in the world did educators do? They couldn’t just copy a worksheet or google the information they needed. However, some old-fashioned techniques are worth a second look.

Most schools will have almost all of the materials in this article. Sometimes you will be surprised what you might find in your school’s storage.  One of our contributing teachers even discovered a treasure trove of charted poems and nursery rhymes.  They are now getting a new life in her classroom.


1. Choral Reading Charts

Reading Chart Emmerson

There is plenty of data supporting choral reading for fluency achievement.  However, choral reading charts are so much more than that. Choral reading of speeches, poetry, and songs teaches much more than fluency.  Children memorize the passages, they are exposed to vocabulary and ideas that they would otherwise never internalize.  The best part? Have an old-fashioned poetry evening with cookies and lemonade!


2. Penmanship Practice


Penmanship is best practiced in isolation.  Simply copying words or choral reading charts and focusing on the letter formation will do wonders for your student’s penmanship.  It’s also a calming activity that everybody can be successful at.  Simply walk around and correct pencil grip and letter formation as you go.  For a truly old-fashioned experience try fountain pens.


3. Chalkboards


There might be a chalkboard hidden behind your fancy new whiteboard.  Chalkboards aren’t only amazingly fashionable, but there is something about the tactile experience of chalk that makes learning with a chalkboard a very rewarding experience.  Try mini chalkboards for your class or have students use your class board.

Teachers used to make up problems that would help their students on the fly and simply write them on the board.  Students would copy and solve the problems.  No prep necessary and problems can be adjusted to the level of understanding in your room.  It’s practically revolutionary.


4. Singing


Students used to sing all the time.  If the teacher couldn’t play piano they would sing a capella.  Remember those autoharps your teachers used? How in the world do those even work? Students would learn hundreds of songs and remember all the lyrics. Do you know the lyrics to the Star- Spangled Banner?


5. Journal Writing


Daily journaling is an amazing reflective writing practice. Students can journal at any time. Just taught a science lesson? Write in your journal. Went on a field trip? Write in your journal. You get the picture. Practice makes perfect and students get lots of writing practice with a journal. Student journals also make great keepsakes. What a wonderful way to look back at your childhood with a first grade journal.



5 Ways to Implement Finland’s Education Ideas

More breaks, more play, less testing, and no homework!


You have probably heard about Finland’s success in the PISA study.  The  Programme for International Student Assessment or PISA assesses and compares 15-year-old students all over the world.  So what can be learned from one of the most succesful educational system in the world? When looking at Finland’s success it seems almost too good to be true. Why not try some of their educational ideals?  Join in by implementing these simple ideas into your daily routine.

Take Breaks!

Break up your day with several short breaks. Finnish children have more recess time.  Usually they get a break every 45 minutes.  If you teach in the United States you have to teach Physical Education.  Many districts even require you to certify your PE minutes.  These PE minutes can be used to bring a little bit of Finnish glory to your classroom right now.  Every 45 minutes take a 10 minute PE break. This way you get in your PE time and optimize your learning environment.  There are many studies supporting frequent exercise breaks.  If your administrator is worried, let them know about the importance of brain-derived neurotropic factor. You are not taking things easy. You are on top of it with cutting edge teaching techniques!

No More Homework

Put the homework package down and slowly back away!  Imagine how freeing this would be.  No more grading, no more hunting after missed assignments, you can do it!  Seriously, at least cut it to your district guidelines.  You might be surprised how little homework your school district recommends. Most guidelines recommend 10 minutes for each grade level.  This adds up to only 10 minutes for a first grader!

Bring Back Imaginative Play!

Allow room for imaginative play in your classroom.  You could have a doll house or stuffed animals.  Bring back a play kitchen and dress up center. This can be part of your classroom reward system or your Friday activity.  If you are using Writers Workshop in your classroom you can include imaginative play in your prewrite activity.

Take Your Breaks

Take your breaks! You need them.  No more copying during lunch and recess.  You need your breaks just as much as the kids.  Finnish teachers get lots of breaks and planning time.  Use the little time you have wisely. Go for a walk, watch a TED talk, or read a good book.  Teachers in Finland do and they are much more respected than their American counterparts.

Less Testing

You probably are required to use some standardized test.  They are usually very comprehensive.  Do you really need any more than that? There are many alternative assessments available as well.

Can It Be This Easy?

Teach PE every day, forget about homework, include playtime, take your breaks, and test less. Sounds great, right? Even if you might not be able to try all of these ideas immediately, start with one or two and see the difference it will make for you and your students.