Saint Patrick’s Day Storyboard
with free downloadable activities
I’ve always enjoyed holidays (decorating, dressing in festive outfits or colors) so I have always enjoyed celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. As I was deciding what I wanted to put into my Saint Patrick’s Day post I realized I didn’t really know why we celebrate it. Oh, you will see me dressed in green, possibly with a shamrock somewhere on my outfit, but I wasn’t sure why. I thought some of you might be in the same predicament, so my post is going to cover some of the history of Saint Patrick’s Day.
Introducing Saint Patrick’s Day
You might think that your child is too young to be learning history but, in reality, the earlier you introduce it and the more fun you have with it, the more likely they will enjoy it. As I state in every learning activity, I like to start with a book. Books are fun. The excitement in a child’s eyes, when they get to see or experience something they read in a book, is priceless.
I’ve listed and reviewed several picture books below in the story time section. Each of them covers some aspect of the history and meanings behind Saint Patrick’s Day. You should be able to pick most of them up at your local library. Here are 3 of my favorites, I would recommend, for beginning this learning activity:
For 4 to 8 yrs old: St. Patrick’s Day (Holiday Histories) by Jennifer Blizin Gillis
For 6 to 8 yrs old: Saint Patrick’s Day (Holidays and Celebrations) by Ann Heinrichs Includes Irish poems, songs, a recipe and a craft.
For 8 yrs old and up: St. Patrick’s Day (Best Holiday Books) by Dorothy Rhodes Freeman
Getting to tell or “read” a story by yourself seems to be one of the many joys of childhood. At least my 3 year old great-nephew really likes to take books, look at the pictures and make up his own story. In light of that, I thought making up a storyboard, about Saint Patrick, might be a fun way to celebrate this special holiday.
This activity will work best after reading at least one of the suggested books. I have created 2 versions of the storyboard. One version is for the younger child. It has all the pictures on it. The other version has several pictures missing from the storyboard. This is to encourage the child to work on sequence of events as well as retelling the story. I recommend laminating the storyboard and cards so they last longer.
After reading a book or two about Saint Patrick, take out the storyboard and cards. Have the child look over the storyboard. See if they can match or put the pictures in order (depending on the age of the child) and explain what happened in the story.
Click on the pictures below to download your free storyboards and cards.
F.Y.I. – The first page is the set of cards that will need to be cut apart.
The second page is the storyboard. The third page gives short storylines for each piece of the story; so you can help direct the storytelling.
Storyboard for Younger Child
Storyboard for Older Child (yes there is a difference, open them and see)
Alternative ways to Play:
- After the child has gone through the storyboard a few times try this different way of playing. Give the child the storyboard and then turn all the cards facedown. Have the child pick out one card and see if he/she can find where it should go on the storyboard.
- For multiple children: Print off a storyboard and set of cards for each child playing. Give each child a storyboard. Take the cards, shuffle them and place them upside down in a pile in the middle of the table. Take turns picking a card off the top of the pile. Place it on your board and tell the part of the story it represents. If you all ready have that card, place it face up in a discard pile. The turn goes to the next child. The first child to fill his/her board and tells the story wins. If you get to the end of the stack and no one has filled their storyboard then shuffle the discard deck and put it upside down in the center of the table again. Keep going until someone fills their board.
St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8yrs old
I like this book for introducing the younger child to Saint Patrick and the meanings behind the holiday. It gives quite a bit of history but, with only a few sentences per page and lots of pictures, it should hold a younger child’s interest. The story covers the fact that Saint Patrick was kidnapped and forced to be a slave, in Ireland, but then escaped. It tells of his devotion to God and how he felt he should return to Ireland and tell the people about God. You child will learn the meanings behind some of the symbols we use when celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. Sit down with your little one and enjoy learning about Saint Patrick.
St. Patrick’s Day (Best Holiday Books) by Dorothy Rhodes Freeman
Reading Level: Ages 8 and up
This picture book is for a little older child. I am very impressed with the details it gives, about Saint Patrick, while keeping it enjoyable. Your child will learn, in a little more detail, of the struggles of Saint Patrick and how he felt God’s hand on him. There is information on several of the legends surrounding Saint Patrick. Your child is encouraged to decide which ones might be true. There is information on the celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day and some of the symbols associated with it. If your child is interested in learning a few more details about Saint Patrick, this is a good book to pick up.
St. Patrick’s Day (Holiday Histories) by Jennifer Blizin Gillis
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 8 yrs old
This is my favorite St. Patrick’s Day book for younger children. It has a wonderful mixture of photos and illustrations, to keep little eyes interested, as you are reading. This simple little book does a great job of covering the major points on the history of Saint Patrick. The information is clear and concise so your little one will get an idea of what St. Patrick’s Day is all about. One of the facts this story brought out (and I hadn’t thought about) is that there are now more people of Irish descent in the United States than there are in Ireland. I highly recommend sharing this book with the little ones in your life. You will be surprised how much they learn about Saint Patrick.
St. Patrick’s Day (Celebrations in My World) by Molly Aloian
Reading Level: Ages 5 and up
I like books that actually teach history an interesting way. Your children will enjoy a lot of great photographs while learning about Saint Patrick. This book covers Saint Patrick’s kidnapping as a young teenager and his calling to return to Ireland. Your children will learn of some of the ways we still celebrate the holiday today. I enjoyed this book because not only does it cover the history but also some of the music and food of Ireland.
Saint Patrick’s Day (Holidays and Celebrations) by Ann Heinrichs
Reading Level: Ages 6 to 8 yrs old
If you are interested in teaching your child about Saint Patrick’s Day, this is a great little book. It is broken up into one or two page chapters with just a few sentences on each page. There are lots of illustrations to enjoy. Your child will learn about who Saint Patrick was and the love he had for the Irish people. You will learn a couple of the legends surrounding Saint Patrick. Enjoy Irish poems and a recipe for Irish Soda Bread.
St. Patrick’s Day (Library of Holidays) by Amy Margaret
Reading Level: Ages 5 to 8 yrs old
If you are wanting your children to learn about some of the history behind Saint Patrick’s Day, this is a great book to share with them. The book covers the story of Saint Patrick being kidnapped and taken to Ireland. Your children will learn of his concern for the Irish people. They will also learn about some of the symbols surrounding Saint Patrick’s Day. This is a great book for your 5 to 8 year old to learn more about the reasons for the holiday.
Some of the images for the Saint Patrick’s Day Storyboard were created by Dancing Crayon Designs
Some of the images for the Saint Patrick’s Day Storyboard were created by Artistic Educational Clip Art