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Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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St. Patrick's Day is Coming: Ireland, An Interactive Notebook Activity

Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day

Did You Know? 

1. The National Leprechaun Museum in Dublin, Ireland, is dedicated to the folklore and mythology of Ireland. 

2. In Irish folklore, there are only male leprechauns. Leprechauns are cobblers(shoemakers) and they usually carry a tiny hammer wherever they go!

3. Ireland was the very first country in the world to tax plastic bags.(2002) 

4. Muckanaghederdauhaulia is the name for the longest place name in Ireland. 

5.  A burial tomb found near Dublin, Newgrange, may be older than the pyramids of Egypt,and was built about 4000 BC or BCE. 

6. The Irish monk, St. Brendan, may have reached North America before Columbus, in the 6th century. 

7.  Halloween has its origins in Ireland. It dates back to Samhain, an Irish festival. 

8. Famous people from Ireland include the lead singer for U2(Bono), Jonathan Swift(author of Gulliver’s Travels), writer C.S. Lewis(Chronicles of Narnia) and poet, William Butler Yeats 

9. Did you know that corned beef and cabbage, a favorite food on St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have any corn? The term refers to a large type of salt(called “corns”) used to marinate the beef.

10. Hurling is a very popular sport which originated in Ireland.

11. There are NO snakes in the country of Ireland. 

12. Since the Bronze Age, Ireland has had their own type of Olympics Games. They are called the Tailteann Games. 

13. Leprechaun Day is May 13th.(YES…there is such a day!)

14. The Flag of Ireland has the colors green, white and orange.

15. The harp is the musical symbol of Ireland.

16.  The language of Ireland is called Irish(Gaelic). There isn’t a word for “yes” or “no” in Irish.

17. People who visit Blarney Castle, in Ireland, often try to kiss the Blarney Stone. The legend says kissing the stone gives you the gift of being a great speaker. It’s a difficult thing to do as you have to hang upside down to reach the stone!

18. The first St. Patrick’s Day in the United States was celebrated in the city of Boston, 1737.

19. Ireland is called the Emerald Isle because Ireland has lots of green fertile land.

Your  Turn:

  1. Write down the 3 most interesting facts you learned.
  2. Create a postcard pretending you are visiting Ireland. Include 3 facts learned in the information you are writing to a friend or relative. Draw/ color a picture to go with your postcard.
  3. Would you wish to kiss the Blarney Stone? Why or why not? 
  4. Would you kiss the Blarney Stone? Why or why not?

Teacher’s Page:

1. Before giving the students the factoid handout, ask the students to share prior knowledge about the country of Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day.

2. Show the students a map of Ireland: Click here: Have students make 4 questions using the map to exchange with another group.

3. Have small groups of students review information on the country of Ireland and share 5 facts with the rest of the class. Click here:

4. Learn some Irish: 

A. Phrase: Thank you
Irish: Go raibh maith agat
Pronunciation: Guh row mah aguth (row as in cow)

B. Phrase: You're welcome
Irish: Tá fáilte romhat
Pronunciation: Thaw foil-cheh roath

C. Phrase: Hello
Irish: Dia dhuit
Pronunciation: Djee-ah gwitch

5. St. Patrick's Day is coming-a wonderful opportunity to introduce your students to the country of Ireland. Did you know that the Celtic knot is a very famous symbol of Ireland? Learn more about Ireland with my fun and informative web quest on Ireland includes 12 questions and lots of extension activities: Click here:

6. Another resource about Ireland to consider:This fun/informative play has Ms. Bie Ografee's guest being McSean, a leprechaun. McSean is asked questions by the studio audience about the country of Ireland and the long Irish folklore about leprechauns. Great for a unit on folk stories/folklore or as an activity around St. Patrick's Day. The play has 11 questioners, a Did You Know? section, comprehension questions, a teacher page with extension activities and links as well as the key:Click here:

Hope you find this of appreciated.


Photo of a peat bog from Gail Hennessey