St Patricks Day History for Elementary Students

Last Updated on June 9, 2022 by Ellen Christian

St Patricks Day history for kids doesn’t have to be all rainbows and gold.  Learn the St Patrick’s Day history for elementary students.

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St Patricks Day History for Kids and Curious Adults


St Patricks Day History for Elementary Students

While it’s nice to include some of the popular stories and legends as well, I’d rather they knew the facts about the holiday first.  This post is a little bit of both things.

Keep reading to learn how you can explain the St Patricks Day history for elementary students and young children.

You may also enjoy these St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt Clues or these St. Patrick’s Day Holiday Worksheets.

What is the history behind St. Patrick’s Day?

This day is the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland named St. Patrick. Patrick wasn’t born Irish. He was brought to Ireland as a slave after he was kidnapped.  

He escaped back to Britain to be with his family. While there, a voice told him to go back to Ireland.  He was ordained as a priest and spent the rest of his life working to bring Christianity to Ireland.

a leprechaun with gold

Some people claim that Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. However, science has proven that there never were any snakes in Ireland because of the cold climate.

It is thought that the word snakes in this legend actually represent driving out the pagan ways when he introduced Christianity.

Why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for kids?

St. Patrick’s Day is the national holiday of Ireland and we celebrate it each year on March 17 because this is the day he is rumored to have died. In the United States, many people of Irish descent celebrate this holiday because it plays an important part of their cultural history.

St Patricks Day history for kids doesn’t have to be all rainbows and gold. Learn the St Patrick’s Day history for elementary students.


What brings you good luck on St. Patrick’s Day?

People search for four-leaf clovers which are very rare.  You are very lucky if you actually find one.

A shamrock is actually a three-leaf clover-like plant. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).

I’ve never actually found one but I still search for them.

What is the color of St. Patrick’s Day?

Traditionally, the color we wear on this day is green.  Ireland is known for its green shades of grass and the shamrock is green as well.

However, historians say that his color was actually a light blue and it can be seen in their coat of arms.

When explaining the St Patricks Day history for elementary students, try to share both the legend and the real facts behind the holiday.

St Patricks Day history for kids doesn't have to be all rainbows and gold.  Learn the St Patrick's Day history for elementary students.

What is the legend behind St. Patrick’s Day?

Irish legend says that there is a small Irish fairy called the leprechaun.  He wears pointed shoes, a hat, and a leather apron.  

According to the legend, he’s very unfriendly and lives alone in the forest guarding his pots of gold.  The story says that if you find a leprechaun, he will have to tell you where his gold is hidden.

If you look away for even one second, the leprechaun will disappear along with all his gold.

Legend has it that if you wear green on this holiday, the leprechaun cannot see you. If you don’t wear green, he can see you and will give you a pinch.

That’s why we pinch people who do not wear green on this day.

Irish Dublin Coddle Recipe

What types of Irish food should we eat?

Traditionally people eat corned beef and cabbage on this day although we enjoy it all year. You can also enjoy Irish Oatcakes, Or, you might want to try a Dublin Coddle.

Why not make these shamrock gummies while you explain about this holiday.

Now that you know the facts and legends of around this holiday, you can choose what you share in this St Patricks Day history for elementary students.  

three leaf clovers growing near rock

More holiday fun

Now that you’ve learned all about the St Patricks Day history for elementary students, you might want to read these for more holiday fun.

42 thoughts on “St Patricks Day History for Elementary Students”

  1. Love these facts and how celebrated St Patrick's day is however our flag has no blue, perhaps you mean the blue in the British flag as Patrick was actually Welsh but was brought to Ireland. Haven't had corned beef with cabbage but try bacon it's how we do it in Ireland and its great! And if you want to give your kids a bit of Irish you can say La Fheile Naomh Padraig sona duit which means Happy St. Patrick's day to you( one person) 😊
  2. I love Corn beef and cabbage, its one of my favorite foods and I am not irish! I would love to visit Ireland, its on my bucket list. Maria
  3. These are some of the same facts I am teaching my daughter next month for out St. Patrick's Day lasson plan! So cool learning the history of holidays. 
  4. i am a seventy one year old nan on the 16th march. i live in tasmania australia and enjoy books from amazon   for my crafts such as spinning felting etc and this is the first time i have seensuch good explnations of st patrick day thank you
  5. This is great! I teach preschool and always like to teach the kids the real reasons behind the holidays, especially the ones we get the day off for! Thanks for the lesson! I am visiting from What'sCookingLove today.
  6. It might not be a pot of gold but you could buy lots of chocolate gold coins for St. Patrick's Day with a $50 Amazon gift card! I love your post, by the way!   My paternal family heritage is Danish so I love anything about that general region of the world.  Your third bullet point is something I'm very familiar with - I remember laying on the lawn on my stomach with my brothers looking for four-leaf clovers for hours during the summer!  Sadly, we never found one (but we did find lots of ladybugs and wild strawberries).
  7. Thanks for writing about this Ellen! I was just talking with my husband about how to explain St. Patrick's day to my kids because like all holidays, it has a mishmash of ideas. I really like this list!
  8. I'm Irish so this holiday is part of my ancestry.  The real story isn't as fun as the snake one :) there are a few different fairy legends in the you never know!
  9. Im glad you found your fairy and a pot of gold. Tee hee. How fun . thanks for the Interesting info on st pattys day. Did not know that. 
  10. I'm glad the Fairy Hobmother isn't hoarding his pots of gold. He's sounds like a swell guy. The leprechaun sounds like a real scoundrel. Ireland has been on my bucket list. Glad to know there are no snakes.
  11. I love that you're teaching your children the reason for celebrating each holiday. My mother taught my sister and I about St. Patrick and how he use the shamrock to spread Christianity. I always loved the shamrock even more after learning that. As kids we liked to search our yard for the elusive four leaf clover now I'm in search of the elusive fairy hobmother!
  12. Gosh I wish they had a US site. I've been hanging laundry in my basement for the last few months because my dryer broke and we haven't been able to buy a new one or find a good used one. Sure could use a leprechaun ;) (I know it is greener and has probably saved us money in electricity but I sure miss the darn thing lol)
  13. Very informative and interesting article on St. Patrick's Day! I got some cute ideas for my kiddos who range in ages 1 - 11! Thanks for sharing (-: Yay for a visit from the Fairy Hobmother! What a wonderful pick-me-upper!
  14. This wonderful, just right for my young grandchildren. It's great you got a visit from the Fairy Hobmother, I'd like it if he visited me one day too.
  15. I love St. Patrick's Day crafts...I wonder how much of this history I could incorporate into the crafts.  :)  Two birds, one stone!   Congrats on the visit from the Fairy needed a pick me up, hopefully that helped a bit!  :)  
  16. This is a very good post, I just brought some craft items for the kids since they will be doing crafts for St. Patrick's Day in school. I think I'll like to make a few Printable! You are so crafty! Last year the kids school changed their milk to green...wonder what they will do this year. :0) How cool to get a visit from the Fairy Hobmother, one day I hope he visit me and sprinkle a little fairy love on my blog!
  17. Very cute! I love reading about all that history of St. Patrick's Day. Well, I believe in fairies! We actually have one visit our house every St. Patrick's Day. He turns our milk green, spills cereal all over the table and leave forks in bowls to use for cereal...
  18. Well, I really don't believe in leprechauns either, but while running errands one day we did see a rainbow that ended over a bank!  I love the fairy hobmother! He's most certainly welcome to visit me any day! 
  19. Great post on St. Patrick's Day.  We don't celebrate but I like sharing about different cultures with my children.  Congrats on your visit from the fairy hobmother.  I know that's a great way to start any day.
  20. We have always played a game with the children on St Patrick's Day. The night before we hid one shoe or maybe and item we know they will be looking for when they wake up. Sort of like hiding eggs. They always look forward to seeing what mischief the fairy's have been up to while they were sleeping. Oh and placing green food coloring in the toilet bowl.
  21. The leprechaun and the Fairy Hobmother Sound like amazing People and would so Love a visit from both!  Dryers and Gold at the end of the rainbow fascinate me :) :)
  22. We will be doing St. Patrick's day activities at school the next two weeks because it always calls around our Spring Break so we're not in school!
  23. The dryer site has a few brands I am not familiar with but I'm sure they are the best brands out there. My dryer runs a lot with two girls in our house.
  24. Great info on Saint Patrick! My brother's name is Patrick after Saint Patrick. Last year my oldest daughter was in Ireland for the week of Saint Patrick's day. We all have red hair in my family and my own kids have red hair! I do not like snakes!!!! I keep Saint Patrick's card with me!
  25. Wow! What a great post! I'll have to share this info with my kids :) Every year I go to my daughter's school with a pot of gold, gold chocolate coins that is! The kids love it! So nice to hear you got a visit from the Fairy Hobmother. Maybe one day I will get a visit too. :) Have a wonderful day! Elizabeth from One Mom's Moxie

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