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Why So Green!?
Who was St. Patrick?

In one day

Students analyze information surrounding the life of St. Patrick.

One packet per student that includes the Preview, Student Handouts, and Processing.
5 copies each of Placards A, B, and C (6 if your class size is over 30 students)

Preview The teacher projects a traditional Irish limerick by Edward Lear while the students analyze the structure and consider other items associated with St. Patricks Day. Activity In a Skill Builder, students study an image and visit a website where they learn about the life and times of St. Patrick. Students assemble their notes on a graphic organizer of the Irish flag. Processing Students demonstrate their knowledge of St. Patrick by creating their own limerick that includes something they learned.

Students will need a smart phone or iPod touch with a QR code scanner app and access to wikipedia and other websites.
If you do not have smart devices available, you can use the last page of the lesson guide where links are provided to the research websites.

In the course of this lesson and participating in the classroom activity, students will discover the events in the life of St. Patrick. analyze images and websites create a traditional Irish limerick.

Traditional Irish music to play while students are engaged in activity.

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Pr ocedur es

Suggested time: 5 minutes 1. Greet students at the door. Distribute packet including Preview, Student Handouts, and Processing to each student as they arrive.
2. Project image of Preview depicting one of Edward Lears traditional Irish limericks. Have students answer the questions on their preview. 3. Quickly debrief the Preview. After two minutes, ask the students: What type of poetry is this? How are these types of poems structured (lines per poem and syllables)? What holiday are these types of poems usually associated with? What other things are associated with this holiday? What do you know about the person for which this holiday is named?

Projected image of Preview

Skill Builder
Suggested time: 30 minutes 1. Place students into pairs. Group students heterogeneously into pairs. 2. Explain the purpose of the activity. Explain to students that they will study some of the events surrounding the life of St. Patrick. Pairs will receive a placard. They will analyze the image and scan the code to find a website containing information regarding St. Patrick. Then they will take notes on a graphic organizer and repeat the process two more times.

Teachers Curriculum Institute

Pr ocedur es

3. Explain how to scan QR codes. Have students flip to the first Student Handout in their packet that contains the directions for the activity. Model for the students the procedures for scanning QR codes being sure to: Show students where to find the QR code. Demonstrate how to scan the QR code using the smart devices camera and app. (If you do not have the capability to use QR codes, a list of websites associated with Placards A, B, and C are included at the end of this lesson guide. Use the hyperlinks with your students and skip this step.) 4. Pass out a placard to each pair. Give each pair one of the three placards. Have students follow the procedures on their Student Handout to study the image, scan the code, read/study the information on the website, and to record three details (two written, one sketch) in the appropriate location on their Student Handout Notes.

Student Handout Activity Directions

5. Allow students to begin. Tell students that when they complete the first placard, they should return it to you. Give the pairs a new placard to work on. Consider playing traditional Irish music in the background while students work.
6. Move to a debrief after 25 minutes. Regardless of whether students have completed a study of all three placards, move to a debrief after 25 minutes. Ask the students the following questions: What happened to St. Patrick as a teenager? Why did St. Patrick decide to become a priest? How did St. Patrick try to convert the Irish to Catholicism?


Student Handout Notes

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Pr ocedur es

To be completed outside class

1. Challenge students to create a limerick about the life of St. Patrick. Challenge the students to write their own limerick using the information they discovered today. They should include factual details surrounding St. Patrick and be prepared to share their limerick in class.


Challenged Writer Suggestion

Create a limerick framework that students can use to just fill in with key words from their study.

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Pr ocedur es

Websites for Placards A, B, and C

Placard A: Druids Watch

Placard B: Shamrock

Placard C: Stained Glass Depiction of St. Patrick

Professional Enrichment
Want to know how to use QR codes in class? Visit this blog post:

Want to know more about Skill Builders?

To learn more about this lesson strategy and how to get the most out of it, visit TeacherGenius and view submissions:

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Read the following poem written by Edward Lear:

There was an Old Man of Kilkenny, Who never had more than a penny; He spent all that money in onions and honey, That wayward Old Man of Kilkenny.
What type of poetry is this? How are these types of poems structured (lines/syllables)? What holiday are these poems associated with? What other things are associated with this holiday? What do you know about the person behind the name of the holiday? Be prepared to share your responses with the class.

Student Handout Activity Directions

1. You will receive a placard from your teacher. 2. Use your device to scan the QR Code to find the website associated with this image. 3. Study the website. 4. Find the appropriate place on your notes to write/draw details you learned by matching the QR codes. 5. Write at least two details and draw at least one simple image to show what you learned. Color appropriately when complete 6. Return placard to teacher and get another.

Student Handout Activity Notes

After writing notes, color this Green.

After writing notes, leave this white.

After writing notes, color this Orange.

For each section of the Irish flag, find the appropriate website and image to write two details and draw at least one visual of things you learn. Be sure to write dark enough that when you color over it, your writing will still be readable.


Directions: Using your notes from studying the life and times of St. Patrick, construct a limerick to show what you have learned. Remember that limericks have five lines. Lines 1,2, and 5 rhyme and usually have 7,8, or 9 syllables. Lines 3 & 4 rhyme and usually have 5 or 6 syllables.

Placard A

By DavidRphoto David Robertson This photo was taken on September 13, 2010 using a Canon EOS 7D.

Placard B

Permission is granted to copy , distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no FrontCover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled GNU Free Documentation License.

Placard C

Description Saint Patrick (window).jpg English: Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA. Date Taken on February 3, 2009 Source Flickr, Author Sicarr

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