5 ESL St Patrick’s Day Activities

    5 ESL St Patrick’s Day Activities

    ESL guaranteed Irish fun Activities for St Patricks day eslkidsgames.com
    This post looks at 5 ESL St. Patrick’s Day activities to add to your lesson plan for St Patrick’s Day. This post has activities for Young Learners, teens and adults.
    As I am Irish myself, St Patrick’s Day is one of my favourite holidays that I get to teach about. Due to this, I have put together a number of activities that are fun, engaging and there are lots of opportunities for students to practice key skills and use their creativity.
    As always, please leave your opinion, comments and suggestions below or email, tweet or Facebook me.
    Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit
    Happy St Patrick’s Day to you (In Irish)

    Story of St Patrick (Video)

    Activity Time:   10 – 15 minutes +
    Materials required: Copy of the Powerpoint
    Skills practiced: Writing, brainstorming, critical thinking, speaking, listening.
    Level: Teens and adults. Pre intermediate +


    1. Before you begin the slide show, ask the students what they know about St Patrick.
    2. Tell them they are going to hear about the story of St Patrick.

    Whiskey In The Jar

    “Whiskey in the Jar” is one of the most popular traditional Irish tunes. It features love, robbery, betrayal and a melody that has become known the world over.
    The story tells of an Irish highway man who travels the Cork and Kerry mountains and the song tells of how the bold highway man robs from an English soldier.
    Activity Time: 10 – 15 minutes +
    Materials required: Student handout , Music video below
    Skills practiced: Listening, vocabulary, speaking.
    Level: Teens and adults Pre-intermediate +
    Part One : Music story and look at vocabulary
    Key Vocabulary

    Project or give each student a list of the key vocabulary of the song. First, get the students to find the meaning of the words if they don’t know them.

    Then ask them in pairs to guess what the song might be about.

    Part Two: Listening 

    Give each student a copy of the handout. Give them some time to read and correct any errors they think they see, then let them listen and correct the errors.

    Stage 1  Listen and correct the errors

    The original lyrics
    Student’s version with errors
    Stage 2 Listen and put the sentences into the correct order (see printable)
    Stage 3 Listen and fill in the gaps (see printable)

    The Wild Rover – gap fill

    Activity Time:   10 – 15 minutes +
    Materials required: Student handout  (View), Music below
    Skills practiced: Listening, vocabulary, speaking.

    Level: Teens and adults beginners +

    1. Give students a copy of the handout. Tell them to look at the gaps. Each gap is missing a verb. Tell them to predict which word is missing.

    2. Students check their ideas in pairs.

    3. Students listen to the song and correct their answers.

    4. Now get them singing and clapping! My students always love singing this song.

    St Patrick’s Day Storyboard

    Activity Time:   10 – 15 minutes +
    Materials required: Copy of picture board 
    Skills practiced: Vocabulary and expressions
    Level: Young Learners +

    1. Print out a copy of the storyboards for each pair of students.

    2. Cut up the cards and mix them.

    3. Give a set of the cards to each pair of students. Tell them that they must look at the pictures and arrange them in the correct order. Then they must write a story using the cards. Tell them that they must write one sentence per picture (Young Learners, a paragraph for teens etc) Tell the students they have 10 minutes.
    Allow the students to use resources such as dictionaries etc to develop their stories.

    4. After students have written their stories, get them to share and present them to the class.

    ESL Story picture story prompts for ESL Young learners Story writing

    St Patrick’s Day Idioms

    St Patrick’s Day is a great opportunity to give students with a chance to learn idioms. Idioms are an important part of language learning. They are a common part of speech and an important part of fluency.
    Activity Time:   10 – 15 minutes +
    Materials required: Copy of idiom pictures below PDF
    Skills practiced: Vocabulary and expressions
    Level: Young Learners (one or two idioms),Teens and adults. Beginners +

    1. After you have introduced other vocabulary for St Patrick’s Day, you can introduce idioms. Show the students the idiom and then show them the picture.

    2. In pairs, students try to decide what the idiom means then they report back to the class. Give an example of the idiom in use and then get the students to write their own sentence.

    3. Revision is important with Idioms. As in the Powerpoint presentation, when revising idioms show the students the picture and ask them in pairs to write the idiom. After check if they have remembered correctly. Following this, concept check the meaning.

    Good Luck eslkidsgames.com St Patrick's Day
    Definition: A wish of good luck to someone. 
    to have a green thumb idiom eslkidsgames.com St Patrick's Day
    Definition: A talent for making things grow. 
    a green eyed monster idiom eslkidsgames.com
    Definition: Jealousy 
    to be green idiom eslkidsgames.com
    Definition: To recycle materials and good for the environment.
    grass is always greener on the other side idiom eslkidsgames.com
    Definition: A different place appears better than where you are. 
    the luck of the Irish Idiom www.eslkidsgames.com St Patrick's Day
    Expression: The Irish are lucky or have luck.
    to give the green light idiom eslkidsgames.com
    Definition: To give someone permission to do something.

    Extra materials For Young Learners

    St Patrick’s Day Flashcards – Large flashcards

    Download (PDF, 370KB)

    Key words: Ireland, leprechaun, pot of gold, rainbow, shamrock and snake

    St Patrick’s Day Word Search – A word search to practice the key vocabulary of St Patrick’s Day

    St. Patrick’s Day Vocabulary Match Game (young learners)

    More ESL St. Patrick's Day Activities
    Discover more St Patrick’s Day Activities.

    St Patrick’s Day Quiz – Test your students’ knowledge of everything Irish with this fun St Patrick’s Day Quiz!

    ESL St. Patrick’s Day Activity: True or False  is a simple St. Patrick’s Day activity for teens and adults. In this activity, students test their knowledge about Ireland and Saint Patrick’s Day by deciding if the statements are true or false.

    Find more games and activities weekly on our YouTube Channel

    Page updated 13 March 2019


    1. Thanks very much for those lovely resources along with the instructions!
      Now I look forward to next Year’s Saint Patrick’s Day to sing and clap with my students… in the meantime I’ll learn those great songs and keep smiling!

    2. Love the Whiskey in the Jar ideas, I want to do this song for a sing along with the rest of the school but had no idea how to approach it. Thanks for sharing!

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