St. Patrick: History, Geography, & Extras for Your Family-Style Unit Study

These St. Patrick history lessons & activities are perfect for homeschooling families with kids of all ages who learn together.

This section of the St. Patrick Unit Study adds in St. Patrick history, geography, music, sensory, folktales, & family fun to your family’s unit study or morning basket routine.

St. Patrick history

In this history-based unit study of St. Patrick and Ireland, you and your family will:

  • Learn about the 1845 Potato Famine and what caused it
  • Sing the traditional song, Michael Finnegan
  • Map major cities, rivers and mountains of Ireland
  • Create a rainbow
  • Build an indoor laser maze
  • Dance an Irish jig

These St. Patrick History & Extras family-style lessons have 3 main levels of difficulty to help you meet your child at the level they are currently working, instead of some arbitrary grade level.

The Early Learners lessons are generally for learners working at a Preschool, Kindergarten, or 1st & 2nd-grade level.

The Upper Elementary lessons are generally for learners working at 3rd to 5th-grade levels.

The Middle to High School lessons are generally for learners working at 6th to 12-grade levels.

Feel free to mix and match with the lessons and activities for the three different levels to find activities that best suit your children and their individual learning styles.

Don’t forget to check out the St. Patrick Unit Study Language Arts and STEAM sections, too!

Some links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that if you click on them, I may make a tiny commission, at no extra cost to you.

St. Patrick History

The Irish Holocaust

The Great Irish Potato Famine that began in 1845 led to 2 million Irish immigrating to America and another 1 million people died because of it between 1845 and 1850.

The cause? A fungus-like blight that attacked the Irish Lump strain of potatoes, which were the mainstay of the Irish diet at the time, especially among the poor.

Here’s a book for your early learners to learn about the Potato Famine in a non-scary way. Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O’Hara by Elvira Woodruff and illustrated by Adam Rex tells the story of a young girl whose family immigrates to the United States to leave behind the hurt and the hunger.

For upper elementary or middle schoolers, read (either as a family read-aloud or let them read independently) Under the Hawthorn Tree: Children of the Famine (Children of the Famine Series Book 1) ** by Marita Conlon-McKenna and illustrated by Donald Kesky. Also available on Kindle and Audible. This book is the first of the trilogy and your kids are going to want to read all 3 once you start, guaranteed. (It’s actually the best-selling kids’ book in Ireland!)

**be sure to find the book by Conlon-McKenna and not the book of the same name by Ai Mi.

For high schoolers, check out the book, Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine 1845-1850 by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, for a well-researched account of the Irish holocaust. The author uses numerous short stories to weave a picture of what life was like during those five hungry, yet hopeful years in Ireland. Also available on Kindle and Audible.

Or for more of an easier historical fiction book for your high schoolers, try The Irish Dresser: A Story of Hope During the Great Hunger (an Gorta Mor, 1845-1850) by Cynthia G. Neale

Ireland Geography

Ireland geography for early elementary students printable

Use the printable St. Patrick Ireland Geography pages in the Free Resource Library to learn about Ireland’s geography. There are 3 levels of mapping printables for elementary to high school.

And bonus points if your kids can find out what movie was filmed at the location of one of the earliest monasteries (built around 500-700 AD).

(Hint: Search: Skellig Michael and movie)

St. Patrick Music

Listen to these traditional Irish jigs, The Wind that Shakes the Barley & Geese in the Bog from Son of Labrador.

For something a bit more soothing, check out this traditional Celtic harp solo from Nadia Birkenstock

Learn to sing this St. Patrick’s Day song, Michael Finnegan, along with Love to Learn Music.

St. Patrick Gross and Fine Motor

Fine Motor

We learned about rainbows in the St. Patrick STEAM: Science section of our unit study. Make a rainbow like this one from Fantastic Fun & Learning to help your little ones work on their fine motor and color word sight-reading skills.

Gross Motor

We learned about lasers in the St. Patrick STEAM: Technology section of our unit study. Build an indoor hallway laser maze like this one from It’s Always Autumn.

Or, learn to dance an Irish jig. These simple instructions from Mission Kids will have you dancing a jig in no time at all!

St. Patrick Sensory Activities

More St. Patrick Unit Study Ideas

Just for laughs, your and your high school students will enjoy this funny satirical video from Lutheran Satire. Be sure to watch all the way to the end!

There’s an older Disney live-action movie from the 1950s called Darby O’Gill & the Little People, starring a young Sean Connery. It’s a little bit dated and does have a whiskey-drinking contest, but it is a funny G-rated family movie (which is a bit of a unicorn these days).

Be sure to follow my Pinterest board Unit Studies for Homeschooling Families for more great hands-on activities and ideas for your St. Patrick unit study history lessons!

Don’t forget to pin this post so you can refer back to it during your St. Patrick history activities.

St. Patrick history

Similar Posts