Statistics in Schools brings St. Patrick's Day to life with Census Bureau data - AZEdNews
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Statistics in Schools brings St. Patrick’s Day to life with Census Bureau data


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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, and Irish-American Heritage Month with intriguing information like how many of those residents speak Irish Gaelic. Find out their occupations, educational attainment, and more with the Statistics in Schools Fun Facts handout.

Using St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts in the Classroom or at Home

Teachers and parents/caregivers should give student(s) time to read and digest the information in the St. Patrick’s Day Fun Facts handout. Below is a list of ideas for using the fact sheet with students at any grade level:

Any Grade Level


Use the fact sheet as a springboard for a class or at-home discussions. Potential discussion questions include:
• What fact(s) did you find to be most interesting and why?
• Did any questions come to mind while you were reviewing the data?
St. Patrick’s Day poem. Ask students to use words from the 4-Leaf Clover Word Search to write a poem about St. Patrick’s Day. You can challenge older students to write their poems as limerick, a style of poetry associated with Irish culture.

Elementary School Level

Tools for the job. Help students come up with jobs that fit into the groupings of occupations in the “Lucky Charms” section of the fact sheet—and tools workers need to do those jobs. For example, a biologist would be in a “scientific” occupation and might need a microscope, test tubes, and a computer to do their job. Students can then select an occupation (it doesn’t’ have to be listed in the groupings) and draw pictures of tools they think are needed to do it.
Facts about my state. Discuss data in the “Everything Irish!” section with students and work with them to identify interesting facts about the state where they live like the median age, the capital, the number of toy stores, the state’s nickname, and more. Students can use the State Facts for Students tool at to aid their research.

Middle School Level


Luckiest places. Ask students to conduct research on the economy, employment, education, and history of each place listed in the “Places With the Luckiest Names” section. Suggest they visit www.census.gov and type the name of each place in the search box to find this and other interesting data about each one. Students can use the information discovered during their research to determine if the name of each place has special meaning.
Irish ancestry. Using data in the “Golden State of Irish Ancestry” section, teachers or parents/caregivers can help students come up with possible reasons Massachusetts and New Hampshire have the highest number of people of Irish ancestry. Suggest they use the data.census.gov tool to determine the states with the lowest number of people of Irish ancestry, and to look for any trends.

High School Level


Persuasive pitch. Have students identify ways their state can start an annual tradition for St. Patrick’s Day and use their ideas to write a persuasive letter to their state representatives telling them why they believe it’s important to make such a move.
Golden marketing. As noted in the Fun Facts handout, Congress proclaimed March Irish-American Heritage Month. Have students work with a partner to develop an advertising campaign to celebrate the month and then share their ideas and discuss the role and importance of advertising.