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ESL Lesson Plan for St. Patrick's Day
Everyone's Irish on St. Patricks Day

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ESL Activities for St. Patricks Day - ESL Lesson Plan
Everyone's Irish on St. Patricks Day

St. Patrick’s Day

Pre-Reading Task

Have you heard of St. Patrick’s Day? With a partner make a list of all the things you know about St. Patrick’s Day, making guesses is ok. DO NOT READ THE TEXT YET!

Vocabulary

Look at the words taken from the text below. There are two definitions for each word. Draw a line from the word to the correct definition.

Descent

Commemorate

Coincide

Kidnap

Wealthy

Priest

Concept

Spread

Appeal

Culminate

 

Happen at the same time

Take someone away against their will

A Christian holy man

Idea

Move down generations

End result

Move across but leave part behind

Be attractive to someone

Remember

Have a lot of money

Now read the text and check whether any of your ideas from the pre-reading task were correct.

St. Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the most celebrated religious holidays in the world celebrated mainly by those of Irish descent and has later become a festive tradition even by non-Irish. Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated every March 17 th but may be moved if it coincides with other holidays like Palm Sunday and Holy Week. It commemorates the death of Saint Patrick of Ireland.

Saint Patrick was once the son of a wealthy Roman-British family kidnapped by Irish raiders. He was helped by God to escape the raiders and went on to become a priest. He went back to Ireland to convert the Irish to Christianity and with the use of the three-leafed shamrock, he was said to have explained the concept of the Holy Trinity. The three-leafed shamrock is now the symbol of the festival and the general symbol for the Irish. It was celebrated as a Catholic feast day as early as the ninth century and finally became a public holiday in Ireland in 1903. Its colorful festivities and traditions spread to other countries because of vast Irish migrations and have appealed to non-Irish folk.

Saint Patrick’s Day is an official non-working holiday in Ireland and is celebrated by wearing green apparel decorated with shamrocks. It is also celebrated with large consumption of alcohol in bars and pubs and culminates in a festive parade. It is widely celebrated in the United States, Great Britain and Canada and as far as Argentina.

Comprehension Check Questions

Are the following statements true or false?

  • St. Patrick’s day is a holiday in Ireland, USA and Canada
  • St. Patrick used a 3 leafed Shamrock to teach Christianity
  • St. Patrick was Irish
  • People often celebrate by wearing green clothes
  • St. Patrick’s day always happens on March 17 th

Past Simple Passive

Look at these sentences from the text.

St. Patrick was helped by God to escape the raiders and went on to become a priest.

  • Circle the verb to be in the sentence
  • What tense is it in?
  • Who is more important St. Patrick or God?
  • How did you decide who was more important in the sentence?

St. Patrick was said to have explained the concept of the Holy Trinity using a shamrock.

  • Circle the verb to be in the sentence
  • What tense is it in?
  • Who said St. Patrick explained the Holy Trinity using a shamrock?

Read the sentences below, tick the ones that are a good use of the Past Simple Passive.

  • The story was written a hundred years ago.
  • Many Christian festivals were celebrated as pagan ones by people hundreds of years ago.
  • John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1965.

Complete the description on how to write the Past Simple Passive below:

The verb to _____ in the past simple + the verb –ed (regular verbs) or past _____ (irregular verbs)

Research and Writing Practice

Research into another famous saint day, when it is, how it is celebrated and how the person came to be a saint. Write about the saint and saint day following the paragraph outlines below:

Paragraph 1 – The name of the day, when it is and where it is celebrated

Paragraph 2 – History of the day

Paragraph 3 – More detail about the festivities.

Error Correction/Proofreading

Swap your writing with a partner and check it for spelling, punctuation and correct use of grammar. Also check that they followed the above paragraph guidelines.

Formal Speaking Practice

Make a 3 minute presentation about the saint day you researched, DO NOT read from your writing activity.