Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

Illustration from the Helbling Young Reader Lusmore and the Fairies. Illustration by Michele Rocchetti. © Helbling Languages

Illustration from the Helbling Young Reader Lusmore and the Fairies. Illustration by Michele Rocchetti. © Helbling Languages

March brings many exciting cultural events, and one of the most popular is St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s national day on March 17th. A great excuse to take a trip to Ireland – taking a virtual walk around Dublin, finding out  about Irish literature and stories, getting to know the people and… finding out more about Saint Patrick’s day of course!

In this post you will find something for both little and big ones. First we look at the cultural background of Saint Patrick’s Day, then we recommend books for young learners, teens and adults by Irish authors.

SAINT PATRICK AND IRELAND

1 WHO WAS SAINT PATRICK? WHY DO THE IRISH CELEBRATE HIM?

Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, and there are fascinating stories and symbols connected to his name.

Do some research in text books and encyclopaedias or on the Internet to answer these questions about him.

  • When and where was Saint Patrick born?
  • How did he travel to Ireland?
  • Why did he travel there?
  • What is the legend of the snakes? What did he do to them?
  • What is a shamrock? How is it related to Saint Patrick?

2 IRELAND

How much do you know about Ireland? Did you know that Ireland, Éire in Irish, takes its name from Eiru, an ancient fertility goddess?

If you can answer all the answers in this quiz, you are probably Irish! If you don’t know all the answers, then do some research.

  1. What is the capital of Ireland?
  2. What is the approximate population of the country?
  3. What are the colours of the Irish flag?
  4. What is the name of the Irish flag?
  5. What is a leprechaun?
  6. What is the name of the body of water between the island of Ireland and the island of Great Britain?
  7. What animal does Ireland NOT have?
  8. What is The Book of Kells?
  9. What are banshees in Irish folklore?
  10. What does the Celtic Tiger period?

CULTURE AND LITERATURE

Ireland offers an abundance of great authors, many of whom have received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Let’s meet the most famous authors. Do you know any of them?

OUR TOP 15 IRISH AUTHORS

  1. Lawrence Sterne
  2. Bram Stoker
  3. Jonathan Swift
  4. Oscar Wilde
  5. James Joyce
  6. Sean O’Casey
  7. Samuel Beckett
  8. William Butler Yeats
  9. Elizabeth Bowen
  10. Flann O’Brien
  11. John Banville
  12. Colm Tóibín
  13. Neil Jordan
  14. Seamus Heaney
  15. Anne Enright

IRISH AUTHORS FOR YOUR STUDENTS

Here is a selection of Helbling Classic Readers which were written by Irish authors.

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IRISH CULTURE RESOURCES

You will find information about Ireland in both of our culture courses, World Around and Talking Culture (both written by Maria Cleary).

Sample pages from World Around written by Maria Cleary. © Helbling Languages

Sample pages from World Around written by Maria Cleary. © Helbling Languages

Here is a collection websites you can also use to learn about Ireland:

lusmore-coverYOUNG READERS

Fairies, music, magic, green hills and flowers. Young learners will definitely have lots of fun reading the story of Lusmore, the man with a hump on his back who lived in a small village in Ireland.

Read about the book in our blog post with lesson ideas Fairies, flutes and flowers…, then read the story and do the Play Station Project about Ireland.

You can download the Play Station Project from the Helbling Young Readers website.

Lusmore_PlayStation_Project

IRELAND AND POPULAR CULTURE

If you are looking for some Irish films to watch (or films about Ireland), and some Irish music to listen to, you can get inspired with our two lists. Most of these films are recommended for young adults and adults, and please check the PG rating before watching them with younger students.

Some of our favourite Irish films

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