In the weeks ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, we celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge. This annual international festival encourages us to promote the Irish language and culture. Encourage your students to get involved with this celebration with these 5 fun classroom ideas!
#1: Learn About Irish Places Names
Although cities in Ireland have beautiful Irish names, they are rarely ever used anymore. Here is a fun classroom game to change that: Teach your students the names of Irish places in Gaeilge by hanging up a map of Ireland in your classroom and slowly adding a new Irish name of a city or town to learn every day.
What makes this activity special for Seachtain na Gaeilge is that a lot of these cities’ names have a very specific meaning in Gaeilge. The town “Clonakilty” for instance is called “Cloich na Coillte” in Irish – which translates as stone (castle) of the woods.
Project idea: Encourage your students to create artwork portraying the true meaning of these Irish cities with their Gaeilge names. For “Cloich na Coillte” for instance, your students could draw a castle in the woods. Once your students have completed their artwork and written the Irish meaning next to them, you can publish them all together as a beautifully bound classbook.
#2: Play I Spy – As Gaeilge
Learning is always more interesting when it’s fun! That’s why “I spy” is the perfect game for practicing Irish vocabulary during seachtain na gaeilge.
Before you start the game, make sure your students know the vocabulary of most of the subjects in your classroom. This game is great if you are stuck for time and are looking for a quick and easy activity to fill the gap between classes.
#3: Guess The Story
Inspire your students to think creatively and write a story with Irish-themed story starters! To start this little project, write down some Irish verbs you want your students to practice on individual pieces of paper. Then prepare a collection of images to go along with them. These images can be anything from cartoon characters to dogs to princesses.
Project idea: Get each student to randomly pick one of the verb paper snippets out of a bowl and let them choose one of the images you provided. The students then have to make up a story about that character in the image, using the Irish verb and as many other verbs as they wish. Encourage them to write the story down and highlight all of the verbs they used in it.
This is an excellent activity to turn into a free classbook from OurClassBook! Sign up for our free classbook publishing kit today and help your students become published authors. Seeing their own stories and illustrations in a real published book will be a memory to keep forever. It’s safe to say that these Irish verbs will never be forgotten!
#4: Take A Trip To The Gaeltacht
This activity classifies more as a “class trip” than a classroom activity – but all the same, there is no better way to bring Gaeilge to life than a trip to a place where Irish is the first language! Whilst in the area, actively encourage your students to use their Irish as much as possible. Doing so will help your students develop confidence in speaking the language and experience it in real-life use cases.
Project idea: Before your class trip to the Gaeltacht, encourage your students to learn some Gaeilge phrases that they can use during the trip. To do so, choose a different phrase each day before the trip and teach your students by creating colourful flashcards around the phrases. You can start with some easy introductory phrases such as “Dia dhuit” and move on to more complex phrases as your students’ knowledge grows.
#5: Include Comhrá
Try to practice Irish with your students in as many real-life situations as possible! For instance, by setting up an imaginary supermarket in your classroom and bringing some real fruit and veg to school for this game. Ask your students to tell you the name of each fruit or vegetable you brought in before you start the comhrá. Once they have heard all the vocabulary as Gaeilge, encourage your students to come up and take part in the comhrá.
You can bring this activity to the next level this seachtain na gaeilge by combining it with a fun writing activity. Ask your students to draw the fruit and veg shop and write all the new words they learned in Gaeilge down next to the drawing. Publish all your students’ drawings and words in one professionally bound classbook.
Sign Up To Receive Your Free Classbook Publishing Kit
Many of these activities to celebrate Seachtain na Gaeilge would make for a perfect classbook project! Simply sign up to receive your free classbook publishing kit, and see your students’ faces light up as they become proud, published authors!