St. Patrick’s Day Activities for Culinary and FCS Teachers
Patrick’s Day is an important part of multicultural education. Studying the history of St. Patrick’s Day can be part of a larger effort to promote multicultural education in the classroom. By learning about the cultural traditions and history of different groups of people, students can develop a greater appreciation for diversity and the importance of tolerance and respect.
Some ways you can teach about St. Patrick’s Day and Irish culture in the month of March are:
1- Reading and a small project on St. Patrick’s Day history and the marketing of St. Patrick’s Day in history. If you teach culinary arts, business, or family consumer science this is a great way to incorporate the marketing aspect of a major holiday as well as the history of the foods. Students are interested to learn about how the holiday arrived in the US and how businesses such as McDonald’s with the Shamrock Shake have monetized.
Check out our History of St. Patrick’s Day and Marketing Worksheet and Project!
2- Make a Shamrock Shake! Gather the ingredients and have students make a Shamrock Shake. Maybe you allow them to get creative and change the recipe a bit to see what they can create.
For 4 large shakes (enough for about 20 students to have a taste), you’ll need:
- 3 cups vanilla ice cream
- 1.5 cups whole milk
- 2 drops green gel food coloring (see note)
- 1 teaspoon mint extract
1- In a blender, combine vanilla ice cream, milk, and food coloring. Blend until smooth.
2- Pour the milkshake mixture evenly between small sample cups.
3- Teach about traditional Irish Foods– This lesson has a colorful slideshow about the most popular traditional foods of Ireland including Boxty, Corned Beef, Black and White Pudding, Irish Stew, Irish Soda Bread, Irish Breakfast, Barmbrack, and more! It also includes embedded videos and guided notes with questions for students to answer as they follow along.
4- Make Irish Foods as a Food Lab- If you teach culinary arts or family consumer science, this is the fun part! Incorporate international foods into a holiday and you’ll have your student’s attention. We have made Reubans with class and for a fun twist, Reuban soup and even Reuben dip! As a menu item in the school-run cafe, these were a hit among both staff and students.
Amy Rapin’s Students at Oswego High School made Irish boxty. Amy allowed students to choose from green onions, cheddar cheese, and bacon and they could serve and eat them with sour cream or applesauce.
5- Have Students research a food that was not listed in the slideshow and create their own presentation. Kids learn the most when they have to teach information. Let them be the teacher, and have them find information about an Irish food item and research things such as:
- The origin of the dish
- The region the dish is derived from
- The regional influences on the cuisine (for example near water, seafood)
- The cooking methods used in creating the dish
- A list of the ingredients
- Information on its use in other parts of the world
- Images of the dish
- Possibly a video of the dish being made
While a group of students or one student presents the slideshow, have the rest of the class complete a simple chart with the information they learned from the presentation. You can grade them based on a simple rubric that includes time management, presentation skills, thorough information and images, and grammatical competency.
“May peace and plenty bless your world
With a joy that long endures
And may all life’s passing seasons
Bring the best to you and yours.”
And may the luck of the Irish be with you as we finish out the month of March on our way to a nice Spring break!