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Lesson plans and teaching materials for the Trinity College London
GESE and ISE exams

St Patricks Day B1-B2 Lesson

Task 1: Quiz
Answer these questions about St Patricks Day to see who knows the most!

1. St Patrick is the patron saint of which country?

2. What date is St Patricks Day celebrated?

3. Where was St Patrick born?

4. What animal did St Patrick expel from Ireland?

5. What colour is associated with St Patricks Day?

6. What is a shamrock?

7. What is a leprechaun?

8. What does a leprechaun hide?

9. What does the Irish phrase La Fheile Padraig mean in English?

10. What happens to the river in Chicago on St Patricks Day?

Lesson plans and teaching materials for the Trinity College London
GESE and ISE exams

Task 2: Reading
Now read the text and find the answers to the questions. Next, answer the 15 questions
on the next page.

Paragraph 1

The national day of Ireland is the 17th March. This day is called St Patricks Day as it is the feast day of
the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. Every year on the 17th March, there is a national holiday in
Ireland and people have a day off work and go to parades and parties. However, St Patricks Day is not
just celebrated in Ireland, but in many other countries around the world including the UK, America,
Canada, Australia and others. This is because over the years, many Irish people have left Ireland to live
in other countries and they brought this celebration to their new homes.

Paragraph 2

Even though St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, he was actually born in Scotland. When he was 16
years old, he was captured by Irish marauders and sold as a slave. After six years he escaped, but during
his capture, he turned to God and became a Christian. After studying at a monastery, he found his
calling to convert the Irish people to Christianity. He travelled around Ireland, talking to people about
God. There is a legend that Saint Patrick also drove out all the snakes from Ireland, so now there are no
snakes in the country!

Paragraph 3

There are lots of different symbols associated with St Patricks Day, but the two most famous are the
shamrock and leprechauns. A shamrock is a clover, a small plant with three leaves. People say that if
you find a shamrock with four leaves you will have a lot of luck. A leprechaun is a small Irish fairy who
makes shoes. Legend says that leprechauns have pots of gold that they hide at the end of rainbows. If a
human catches a leprechaun, he will take the person to the place where the gold is hidden, but you
mustnt look away or he will disappear!

Paragraph 4

The biggest St Patricks Day celebrations are held in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, and in Downpatrick
where Saint Patrick was buried. But all around Ireland, there are parades, people listen to music and go
to festivals and there are fireworks and dancing. People eat traditional Irish food such as cabbage and
bacon on this day, as well as potato pancakes. In addition, many people put green food colouring into
the food as green is the colour associated with Ireland and Saint Patrick. People say La Fheile Padraig
or Happy St Patricks Day to each other.

Paragraph 5

St Patricks Day is celebrated in many different countries, not just in Ireland. In 2011 it was even
celebrated in outer space when the astronauts in the International Space Station played Irish music! In
New York, there is a big St Patricks Day parade held on 5th Avenue, and in Chicago, the River Chicago is
dyed green for the day. Cities also light up their famous monuments in green, for example Nelsons
Column in London and the Colosseum in Rome are turned green on 17th March.

Lesson plans and teaching materials for the Trinity College London
GESE and ISE exams

Questions 15

The text has five paragraphs (15). Choose the best title for each paragraph from AF below and
write the letter (AF) on the lines below. There is one title you dont need.

1. Paragraph 1 __________ A St Patricks Day around the world

2. Paragraph 2 __________ B Other Irish traditions

C Who was Saint Patrick?

3. Paragraph 3 __________
D St Patricks Day in Ireland
4. Paragraph 4 __________
E What is St Patricks Day
5. Paragraph 5 __________
F St Patricks Day symbols

Questions 610

Choose the five statements from AH below that are TRUE according to the information given in the
text. Write the letters of the TRUE statements on the lines below (in any order).

A St Patrick was born in Ireland

6. __________
B People in Ireland dont work on St Patricks Day.
7. __________
C A three-leaf clover is a symbol of good luck.

8. __________ D St Patricks Day is a popular holiday around the world.

9. __________ E You have to keep watching a leprechaun if you want his pot of gold.

F Saint Patrick killed all the snakes in Ireland.

10. __________
G The Chicago river changes colour every year on 17th March.

H People often eat green food on St Patricks Day.

Questions 1115

Complete sentences 1115 with an exact word, phrase or number from the text (maximum three
words). Write the exact word, phrase or number on the lines below.

11. St Patricks Day is popular around the world because many Irish people ____________________ to live in
different places.
12. Between the ages of sixteen and twenty-two, Patrick was a ____________________.
13. The two symbols associated most closely with St Patricks Day are the ____________________.
14. St Patricks grave can be found in ____________________.
15. St Patricks Day is not only celebrated on Earth, but also in ____________________.

Lesson plans and teaching materials for the Trinity College London
GESE and ISE exams

Task 4: Discussion
Discuss these questions with your classmates:

Have you ever celebrated St Patricks Day? What did you do?
Have you ever read about or seen any different ways people celebrate this
What is the national holiday of your country? When is it?
What are the origins of this holiday?
How do you celebrate this national holiday?
What other national holidays do you know about?
Which national holiday would you like to celebrate? Why?

Task 5: Writing

An online magazine wants to publish a series of articles about national celebrations.

Write an article (100-130 words) about your national holiday or another national
holiday you have celebrated. You should

Explain the origins of the holiday, and

describe how it is celebrated today.

Dont forget to plan your writing first and check it when you have finished!

Lesson plans and teaching materials for the Trinity College London
GESE and ISE exams

Answer Key

1. E
2. C
3. F
4. D
5. A

(6-10 in any order)

6. B
7. D
8. E
9. G
10. H

11. Left Ireland

12. slave
13. shamrock and leprechauns
14. Downpatrick
15. Outer space


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