Teaching Irish-American History in Daycare through St. Patrick’s Day

by admin on May 31, 2009

Every March daycare teachers and day-care providers have a chance to teach the children in their class a little bit about the culture and history of Ireland and the United States, by celebrating Irish-American History Month. Perhaps the most effective way to do this is by exposing the children to a simple and well-known aspect of Irish-American History; and what better topic to discuss than St. Patrick’s Day.

Teaching daycare concerning Ireland as well as St. Patrick’s Day

Begin your lesson plan with a short setting about Ireland. The simplest way to start is by getting a map of the world or a model of the earth like globe or world map, and showing the children where Ireland is located. Afterwards show them the national flag of Ireland and tell them what the colors on their flag stand for.
Once you’ve given the children the basic facts about Ireland, you may now introduce St. Patrick and why St. Patrick’s Day is being celebrated. Tell them a bit about the popular symbols of St. Patrick’s Day including: the four leaf clover, plus the leprechauns, and blarney stone, or the rainbows, along with the pot of gold. You can also give them a background about the national symbol of Ireland which is no other than the shamrock.

Then, give some details on why the shade of green is so prominent on St. Patrick’s Day. For instance, tell the children that green represents nature and hope. You can also ask them to give examples of green things that can be found in nature.

The following are daycare books about St. Patrick’s Day. Be sure to check them out, as you can use these books as guides or sources of useful information.

• St. Patrick’s Day Countdown written by Salina Yoon. This powerful, multi-coloured board book aids tally the days pending St. Patrick’s Day with the jungle friends.
• Let’s Celebrate St Patrick’s Day written by Peter Roop. This delightful image book discovers the history, or customs, plus the folklore of St. Patrick’s Day along with a craft plus a recipe.
• Jack and the Leprechaun written by Ivan Robertson and Katy Bratun. Jack the mouse spends the daytime trying to grasp a leprechaun even as he visits his cousin in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day.

There are also a wide variety of simple St. Patrick’s Day activates that you can do with the children in your class. We have outlined some examples below.

Shamrock ice-cream Sandwiches

Pre-mix some honey cookie dough and place it in a Ziploc bag. Then add some lime food colouring and have the children in your class squish the container until the green food coloring is all over the dough. Take out the dough and flatten it with a rolling pin. Cut the dough by means of a shamrock cookie reaper (you can let the children help with this). Bake the shamrock-shaped dough and allow them to cool. Put some frosting or soft ice cream amid the cookies and dish up.

See: How to start a daycare center

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