February 19, 2018
by Catherine Crider

Lesson plan

Colorful St. Patrick's Day

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Students will be able to identify color sight words.

(10 minutes)
  • Gather students together. Read St. Patrick’s Day by Anne Rockwell.
  • Ask students if anyone is Irish or has celebrated St. Patrick’s Day before. If someone has celebrated the holiday before, how did they do it?
(10 minutes)

Explain to students that today their centers have been set up for St. Patrick’s Day and they will be focusing on color words. While green is the favorite color of leprechauns, rainbows are also a big part of this holiday, so it’s important to know all about a variety of colors! Show students each of the centers and explain different ways that they can spend time at the centers. The centers include:

  • Block Area: Fill the block area with colored blocks and color name labels. Have students sort these blocks by color and encourage students to build rainbows.
  • Acting/Dance/Dress-Up Area: Have plenty of green clothing items available for students to put on their own St. Patrick’s Day parade. Students can also dress up in different colors and make their own rainbow designs! Clothes and accessories in this section should be sorted by color in bins labeled by color. When students are done at this center, they will test their color knowledge by putting everything back in the right bins.
  • Snack Area: Have fun with green food! Serve green veggies (cucumbers, bell peppers, and even broccoli!) with green milk. (To make green milk, simply add some green food coloring to milk.) Students can also make rainbows out of Fruit Loops or brightly colored fruits and veggies.
  • Art Area: Have students make unique St. Patrick’s Day decorations. Any supplies should be sorted by color in bins labeled by color. When students are done at this center, they will test their color knowledge by putting everything back in the right bins.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students if they have any questions about the centers.
  • Remind students of any expectations for center work times (i.e. no running, indoor voices, sharing, hands and bodies to themselves, etc.)
  • Review the color words again: Give color word labels to students to go label various objects in the room. Observe and check for understanding before sending students off to the centers.
(45 minutes)
  • While students are working, any adults in the room should be circulating, answering questions, and assisting as needed.
  • Playing festive Irish music in the background can help to set the tone for St. Patrick's Day lesson plan.
  • It can be helpful to have a specific station rotation, a system to let students know when a station is full to avoid traffic jams, and ensure students visit each station. One fun strategy is to create "passports" for students and have them recieve a stamp or sticker at each station to show that they have visited.


  • Working in partners can help to scaffold the different centers.
  • Spend time preteaching and reviewing color words for students who would benefit from extra explicit instruction. Demonstrate how to perform different activities at each center and model student expectations.


  • Have students learn finer detailed and nuanced color words such as grey or beige.
  • Have students create color books to teach other students color words.
(5 minutes)
  • Anecdotal notes can be taken about student comments and actions throughout the lesson.
  • Student accuracy in identifying the different color words at the different centers can also be used to determine whether the objective has been met.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students back together. Ask students to share about their experiences at various centers. Which centers did students like best? Which did they like least?
  • Then, show students different color word labels and have students find different items in the room matching that color.
  • Have every student share their favorite color by writing it on the board, and then, as a class determine how many students consider each color of the rainbow their favorite.
  • Remind students that there are many different ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but that it’s always a very colorful holiday that includes lots of green and gold hidden at the end of rainbows!

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