St. Patrick's Day Discussion Topics for English Language Learners

  • St. Patrick was not born in Ireland. His home country was Britain. He was kidnapped by pirates when he was only sixteen years old and taken to Ireland as a slave.

  • Imagine that you are young Patrick. How might you react to your kidnappers, your new "owner," and your circumstances?

  • If you escaped a life of slavery, as Patrick did, what (if anything) might cause you to return to the land where you were once a slave?

  • Has slavery ever been a part of your country's culture? Is slavery still legal in your country? Is slavery good or bad? Why?

  • Potatoes are a staple in Ireland. That means that they are a main ingredient in Irish meals. (Like rice in Asia!)

  • Although potatoes are not as important in many other countries, people of many nationalities enjoy potatoes. Do you enjoy potatoes? What are some of the ways that potatoes are prepared in your country? Which way is your favorite? Which way is your least favorite? What foods are good with potatoes?

  • What foods are considered staples in your country?

  • Legend says that if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you will become an eloquent speaker. An eloquent speaker is someone who people want to listen to. Imagine that you just kissed the Blarney Stone. Now you are a powerful speaker, and everyone wants to listen to you. What would you say?

  • Gold is a precious metal. That means it is very expensive. If you found a pot of gold, you would be rich! Imagine that you have just found a pot of gold. What would you do?

  • Leprechauns are rumored to hide their gold at the end of the rainbow. If you had a great treasure, where would you hide it? Why?

  • Many people believe that a shamrock with four petals represents good luck. Every culture has good luck symbols. What are some of the good luck symbols in your culture?

  • Each culture also has bad luck symbols. For example, those of European descent used to believe that a black cat was bad luck. What are some of the bad luck symbols in your culture?

  • Do you know how these symbols originated?

  • How many people in your country still believe in these symbols today?

  • Do you believe in luck? Why or why not?

  • Do you know of any symbols in other countries that are considered lucky or unlucky? What are they?

  • According to Irish legend, leprechauns enjoy playing pranks on unsuspecting people. Some pranks are harmless, like setting flowers outside someone's door, knocking, then running away. Other pranks are bad, like hiding someone's umbrella when it is raining.

  • What kinds of pranks are common in your country? What are the funniest pranks? Which pranks are not funny?

  • What kinds of pranks have you played? What kinds of pranks have others played on you? Were the pranks played on you good or bad, funny or not? Why? What was the best prank someone ever played on you? The worst?
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