March 17, 2004

St Patrick's Day activities

We have had a good day today. We have listened to Irish music all day - jigs, reels, contemporary and traditional. Rhiannon has performed her Irish dance several times today and enjoyed teaching me how to do it as well. We have talked about Ireland and looked at the map. We frosted shamrock cookies with bright green frosting and little shamrock sprinkles. During snack time we had a lesson about St. Patrick's Day and some of the things associated with this day. We talked about who St. Patrick really was and what he did. We talked about what it means to be a Christian missionary and that the legend about St Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland is not true. We discussed shamrocks and how Patrick used them to explain the meaning of the Holy Trinity. We talked about leprechauns and pots of gold and rainbows.

We looked at harps, shellelighs, and the flag of Ireland. We talked about the symbolism of the Irish flag and what each color means: (old Ireland (green), new Ireland (orange) and the peace that exists between them (white). We read several books about the Irish and Ireland. We looked at our family crest and discussed what it means. We talked about where we are from on the map of Ireland (or where our descendents are from). We looked at a beautiful picture book of Ireland. The kids all wore green and Irish themed clothing. Rhiannon wearing an Irish dancer shirt and Ciaran wearing a shirt with shamrocks, Sirah wearing a beautiful green dress and myself wearing our Family Reunion shirt with our coat of arms. Even Serona wore a shamrock on his lapel to work.

No parades or ceili's this year however, perhaps next year. Some great resources we utilized for out St Patrick's Day lesson Plan this year are Enchanted Learning (I really liked their tabbed book - it had lots of easy to digest facts), National Geographic online, Ed Helper, The History Channel and How Stuff Works. There are also great sites for Irish Proverbs, Quotations and Sayings - one can be found at Irish Quotations.

The kids also spent alot of time outdoors today in our Minnesota heatwave - it was nearly 40 degrees. It is nice to have them outside again.

Hope you and your clan have a great day.


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