If you’re for some of the best ESL Saint Patrick’s Day games and activities, then you’re certainly in the place. We have a myriad of them, along with worksheets and St. Patrick’s Day lesson plans to have a fun St. Patty’s Day with your students. Celebrate ESL St. Patrick’s Day in style with these interactive games!
ESL St. Patrick’s Day Activities and Games: Fun for All Ages
Let’s get into the best St. Patrick’s Day games and activities that are interactive, fun and student-centred.
#1: Saint Patrick’s Day ESL Speaking Lesson
If you’ve never designed your own speaking lesson plan from start to finish, not to worry. It’s easier than you might think to design an awesome ESL speaking lesson on Saint Patricks Day. There are just a few simple steps to follow. Have a look here:
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 111 Pages - 03/22/2021 (Publication Date)
#2: St. Patrick’s Day ESL Charades
I love to play charades in my classes to review new vocabulary words. There are potentially a lot of new vocab or phrases related to this holiday that students may not know. Here are just a few of the possibilities:
- Pot of gold.
- Searching for a four-leafed clover.
- Drinking beer.
- Going to the pub.
Find out more about this fun and interactive game to play in English classes:
#3: Word Association: ESL St. Patrick’s Day
Unless your students are absolute beginners, it’s likely they already know a good bit of vocabulary related to this popular holiday. That’s why I like to use an activity like this one to help them activate their prior knowledge before jumping into the lesson. Find out more here:
#4: How Many Candies in the Jar?
Something I like to do for many holidays, including Valentine’s Day or Halloween, is to put some candies in a jar. In this case, I choose something shaped like a shamrock or some green candies. The key is to count them as you fill-up the jar.
Once that’s done, seal up the jar tight and let each student that you teach have a guess as to how many there are. The student who is closest gets to take the candy jar home or share it with their friends if they’re generous. Try it out to create some fun and excitement in your TEFL classes during the holidays.
#5: Conversation Starters
Maybe you’ve had this experience in your classes too? I sometimes will tell my students to talk about something, Saint Patrick’s Day, Cinco De Mayo, or Memorial Day, for example, with their partner for a few minutes. But I’m met with near silence.
Of course, it’s not the student’s fault. It’s mine. I haven’t given them enough direction to know what exactly they should do.
The better way to do this is to have some conversation starters. The teacher can make a list, or the students can brainstorm a few conversation starters related to the topic which the teacher writes on the board. Find out more details here:
Try out this challenging listening activity with your higher-level students. Find, or write a passage about someone describing St. Patrick’s Day traditions or history.
Then, put students into pairs and read it out at a faster-than-normal pace for the level of the class. Depending on the students, it may be helpful to pre-teach some vocabulary first. Students can take notes and then compare them with their partners. The goal is to recreate what they just heard.
Repeat the process, and in the end, students can compare what they have with the original version. Want to give it a try? Learn more here:
#7: Dialogue Substitution
#8: Just One Question: ESL St. Patrick’s Day
This is a fun survey-style activity that’s ideal for getting students talking and thinking about this holiday. Each pair has to come up with an interesting question related to Saint Patrick’s Day. Here are just a few examples:
- How do you usually celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day?
- Do you know any Irish people?
- At the pub, what’s your usual drink?
- Do you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day? Why or why not?
Then, students have to survey their classmates and then compile the results. Finally, they can report their findings to the class. Have a look here:
#9: Guessing Game ESL Vocabulary Activity
Try out this simple vocabulary review game. Put a bunch of pictures on a PowerPoint slide that are related to this holiday.
Then, put students into pairs, and each person takes a turn describing one of the pictures to their partner, who has to guess what it is. Check it out:
#10: ESL St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Auction
This activity does require a bit of preparation time, but it’s totally worth it! Students love playing it.
Make up a bunch of sentences containing lots of the target vocabulary. In this case, things like:
- There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
- I have the luck of the Irish.
- Are you wearing green tomorrow?
- Let’s get some green beer at the pub.
Then, cut out each word and have an auction. Each group has to bid on the words that they want. After that, there’s a trading round where students trade words to try and make complete sentences. The winner is the team with the most sentences. Have a look here:
#11: Telephone ESL Speaking Game
I’m sure you played this game when you were a kid. You have to pass a message down the line secretly, and then the person at the end says out loud what they heard. It’s then compared with the original version. Try out this fun activity:
#12: Saint Patty’s Day Just a Minute
If you teach adults, consider using this simple speaking activity. Students can talk about their experiences with Saint Patty’s day:
#13: Task-Based Language Learning
One of my favourite things to do in class is to put students in groups and have them choose a holiday. Then, they can do some research about it, including the history and traditions, as well as how people celebrate it in modern times.
Then, each group can make a poster or PowerPoint slide and do a short presentation to the class. It’s a fun way to learn about various holidays, including St. Patricks Day. Here are even more ideas for this style of teaching:
#14: Chain Spelling Game
Try out this simple ESL spelling game to review new vocabulary words. All the students stand up, and the teacher says a word. The students take turns spelling it out, letter by letter. If someone misses a letter, they sit down and out of that round. The winner is the last person standing. Try it out:
#15: Surveys and Questionnaires
Just ask my students, and they’ll tell you that I love to use surveys in my classes. They’re a nice way to get students out of their seats and moving around the class, talking to their classmates.
It’s also possible to design one for just about any topic, including this popular holiday. Find out how I do it here:
#16: Running Dictation
This is one of my favourite ESL games because it’s challenging, covers a range of skills, and can also be adapted to just about any topic, including holiday lessons.
Find, or write a conversation between two people talking about their plans for Saint Patrick’s Day. Or, what they know about the tradition and history of this holiday.
Then, post the conversation at various points around the class, sentence by sentence. In pairs, students have to work together to dictate the sentence. Then, they have to put the conversation in the correct order. Check it out:
#17: Picture Prompt
It’s often the case that students already know a fair amount of vocabulary about a certain topic, even before you teach them. Picture prompt is a nice way to help students activate this prior knowledge and to also get a bit of familiarity with new words before formally teaching them. Find out all the details:
#18: St Patricks Day ESL Songs and Chants
If you teach kids, then you’ll certainly want to consider using some songs and chants in your classes. They’re an excellent way to teach and review new vocabulary words. I’ve even caught some of my students singing these classes in the halls between songs. That’s some ESL teaching gold right there! Have a look on YouTube for a ton of nice options.
#19: I’m an Alien
This is one of my favourite Saint Patrick’s Day interactive games for kids.
This is a sneaky way to find out how much students already know about this holiday. Pretend that you’re an alien and get students to tell you about St. Patty’s Day in detail. Of course, play it up and pretend that you literally know nothing! Find out more:
#20: Agony Aunt
This is a fun problem-advice activity that can be adapted to just about any topic. Think of a problem that someone might have related to St. Patrick’s Day. For example, their friends always pressure them to drink too much at the pub. Then, students have to work together in groups to give that person advice. Check it out:
#21: Flip Chart St. Patty’s Day Vocab Review Game
#22: Decorate some Shamrock Cookies
A fun activity to do for Saint Patty’s Day is to decorate some cookies. Find or buy some shamrock cookies and green icing. Ask students to bring in some sprinkles or candies to share for decorating them. Be sure to have some paper plates or napkins on hand to prevent super sticky desks.
#23: Write a Limerick Poem
A nice way to celebrate this holiday in an educational kind of way is to have students write a limerick. Of course, this will require some scaffolding and is for higher-level students.
#24: St. Patrick’s Day Puzzles
A fun way to review almost any new vocabulary is to make a puzzle for the students. Look up Discovery.com’s Puzzlemaker and get to work! Students, especially the more introverted ones love this activity. It’s also ideal for a homework assignment.
#25: Door Decorating
A fun activity for the whole school is to have a door decorating contest. Each class can decorate one of the doors and some of the staff from the school can act as judges. Of course, give a small prize to the winning class. Spread some green cheer around!
#26: Learn About the History of Saint Patty’s Day
A fun lesson is for students to learn about the history of this holiday. There are various ways to do it:
- Show a YouTube video discussing it (there are so many on YouTube, have a search).
- A reading lesson with a passage at the appropriate level.
- Have students do a presentation about one aspect of it.
- Students can make an infographic in groups, highlighting the key points and dates.
#27: A St. Patrick’s Day Listening Lesson Plan
It’s super easy to plan your own listening lesson for any age or level. In this case, find a passage (or write one yourself), talking about the history of this holiday or someone’s experience celebrating it. Then, design a lesson around that. Check this out for all the steps:
#28: Green Contest
Have some fun at school by hosting a contest to see who can be the “greenest” on March 17th! Encourage dressing up, of course but maybe some students will dye their hair or paint their faces. Have some great prizes to encourage creativity and make it over the top.
Saint Patrick’s Day Vocabulary
Here are some of the most common St. Patty’s day vocabulary words to consider teaching students in your St Patricks day lesson:
- four-leafed clover
- luck (good and bad)
- luck of the Irish
- pot of gold
St. Patrick’s Day Lesson Plans
One of the best ways to save a ton of time is to use Saint Patrick’s Day ESL lessons from other teachers. Here are some of our top recommendations for St. Patrick’s Day lesson plan:
Or, plan your own St. Patrick’s Day Lesson Plan:
Saint Patty’s Day Worksheets
If you’re a teacher, then you already know how much time it can save to use materials that other teachers have created. Here are some of the top picks for St. Patricks day worksheets and handouts:
FAQs About ESL St. Patrick’s Day Games and Activities
There are a number of common questions that people have about this popular holiday. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What is the Meaning of St. Patrick’s Day?
St. Patrick’s Day remembers the death of this saint, the patron saint of Ireland. In later years, it evolved into a full-scale celebration of Irish heritage and culture with parades, food, music, dancing, drinking, and wearing green.
Why do we Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day?
People wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day because it’s supposed to make them invisible to leprechauns. So, wear green or risk getting pinched by one.
Who is St. Patrick and Why is He Important?
Saint Patrick was a Christian missionary in the 5th century who is credited for bringing this religion to parts of Ireland. He’s credited for the Christianization of Picts and Anglo-Saxons and is now a patron saint of Ireland.
What is St Patrick’s Day ESL?
To explain St Patrick’s Day to ESL/EFL students, say the following: it’s a holiday that’s celebrated on March 17th to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland. It’s a national holiday in Ireland but people all over the world celebrate it by drinking green beer, wearing green and having some fun with all things Irish.
Did you like these St. Patrick’s Day ESL Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Smith, Jennifer Booker (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 133 Pages - 03/31/2016 (Publication Date)
Yes? Then you’re going to love this book you can find on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities for Kids. The key to better English classes with children is a wide variety of engaging, interactive and student-centred ESL games and activities. This book will help you get there in style!
You can find the book in both digital and print formats. Pick up a copy of the book to keep on the bookshelf in your office. Or, take the digital version with you to your favourite coffee shop for some serious lesson planning on the go.
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Have your Say about St. Patrick’s Day ESL
What’s your top pick for a Saint Patricks Day ESL game or activity? Is it one of them from this list, or do you have another one that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
Also, be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy English teachers like yourself find this helpful St. Patricks Day resource.
Need more ideas? Check this out: ESL holiday lessons.
Last update on 2022-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API