St. Patrick’s Day Unit Study: Finding Rainbows in the Mundane

green shirt-cum-rainbow cowinkydink

Marguerite is beginning to develop an unhealthy attitude toward worksheets, so I had to step back and regroup. That felt too much like the traditional school scenario that I wanted to avoid. Why were we doing worksheets anyway? After much agonizing introspection in which I had to be honest with myself and admit that my own insecurities have been dealing destructive little blows to the peaceful rhythm I’ve been cultivating in our family, I finally ditched the worksheets and decided to try something else. St. Patrick’s Day was coming up, so I thought it would be an interesting topic for a unit study. This would be more activity-based, and the lessons wouldn’t have much to do with the downloaded list I have of things 6-year-olds should already know.

Even though the Philippines is overwhelmingly Catholic, we don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day here. There aren’t enough Irish immigrants, I suppose. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting holiday and I could link it to rainbows, which I knew my daughter liked. I’m actually really happy that we tried learning without worksheets. Of course, I don’t have much to put in her portfolio except for a couple of art projects, but lessons this time better suited Marguerite’s temperament and interests. They were also more relaxing since I didn’t have to spend my time urging her to finish her work or calling her back as she’s prone to straying when things got too boring for her. You can imagine how this could be a test to my patience and usually result in a battle of wills. We’re also trying to put a lapbook of that unit study together, but it’s taking a lot of time and Easter is coming up (something I don’t want to miss out on, homeschooling-wise), so we’re doing it in slow stages.

Basically, alongside St. Patrick’s Day, we learned about Ireland, shamrocks, leprechauns and rainbows too. It was all pretty random, but I know she learned that:

– Paddy is a nickname for Patrick. St. Patrick supposedly drove all the snakes away from Ireland, but that’s just a story. There really aren’t any snakes in Ireland except for the slow worm (we googled its image), which looks like a snake but is actually a legless lizard.

St Paddy’s Day toenails

– Ireland is very green. The shamrock is its symbol. St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach about God. Shamrocks (we found patches of them outside our church – we picked some and they’re going in the lapbook) are also called clovers sometimes, which are supposedly lucky when they have four leaves instead of the usual three. There are different shades of green. There were too many, so we just chose our faves – she likes kelly green while I’m torn between apple green and sea foam green. We also looked at pictures of the Chicago River dyed green. For music, we listened to Danny Boy, which, we concurred, is a sad song. For art, we formed a shamrock out of green hearts.

– A leprechaun is an Irish fairy. It hides a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The rainbow is formed when the different colors that make up sunlight hit raindrops at a certain angle and separate. Another word for rainbow is spectrum. Its seven main colors are ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). We played a game wherein Marguerite and Cameron had to look for the picture of a leprechaun and bring it back to me. I would then give them the letters that formed a word when arranged according to the sequence of the seven main rainbow colors. The spelled out word was the actual location of the pot of gold. We did several rainbow drawings and paintings as well as a collage. We also experimented with forming rainbows using everyday objects.

rainbow game

rainbow game

pot of gold (trick or treat cauldron during Halloween – that thing’s putting in a lot of service)

rainbow experiment 1 – water glass rainbow

rainbow experiment 2 – CD rainbow

prism

rainbow experiment 3 – crystal prism

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Comments

  1. the st. patrick’s day parade here last two weekends ago was a disaster because of the freezing weather plus the organizers were not able to do their job properly. our nephew was on the 92nd float and it took forever to start so they just took pictures and bailed out. it would be neat if there’s one in our country too. Midge and Cameron will have so much fun and even the adults althought they get drunk here afterwards.haha! dad’s scottish/Irish and we visited a museum last Sunday and saw their coat of arms. it’s cool seeing and getting exposed to the culture first hand or is that second since we are in the US? hehe..anyhow, i like your new blog. as always it’s fun and informative to read. later! 🙂

    • I have heard that it’s mostly about drinking these days, lol. Not being Catholic, we probably won’t celebrate it, but it would be fun to witness all the festivities. 🙂 When are you headed home, btw?

  2. In April, first week although m.i.l. is already planning on hostaging.lol. i got free plastic cups from the parade but i guess it’s too late to give them to Midge and Cameron.they’re just ordinary cups really. it’s true with the drinking. a lot of cars are left on the highways here.lol.they forget where they left their cars after getting the booze. haha!

    • *hostaging me. hehehe

      • Must have been a sight. 😀 Let yourself be hostaged muna. Your body might not be able to take the heat (it’s insanely hot now and it’s just gonna get worse). Maybe you should return when it’s a little bit cooler. 🙂

  3. no way! pinoy ako! I can take it. haha! i’ve been wanting to soak in the sun again. extreme coldness is ruining my brown skin. it looks odd seeing it turning pale. not like you guys who are blessed with fair skin so i think you’d enjoy the cold better. you blush when the weather is hot or cold. in my case i stay the same and i get paler each day(mukhang anemic lang). haha! thanks for the heads up though. have a good day,ivy. 😉

    • Yeah, but the body usually gets shocked by an abrupt shift in temp; that’s why even if it’s just a matter of a couple of degrees here, we still get sick when it goes from hot to cold and back. That happened when we went to HK, which, while much cooler than Manila, is nowhere near as cold as Kansas. Anyway, don’t you want to experience a proper spring? But if you’re raring to go home na talaga, then hope to see you soon! 🙂

      • Yes, I really want to go home already. I can’t extend or else my long term(which is limited to 6 mos. per visit) visa will be revoked. haha! I am here as a tourist only.not petitioned yet because i don’t plan to live here so as Justin.haha! I see some plants blooming already like the one that mom has at the front porch.it would be nice to see spring but maybe next time. I hope my body doesn’t get so shocked with the weather. I just have to toughen it up then, by God’s grace. hahay! hehe. yes, see you soon! 🙂 thanks! ngats!

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