St. Patrick’s Day Goal-Setting Art Lesson

Project Description: Students draw a universal message based on the holiday theme of St. Patrick’s Day. While making traditional holiday symbols, youth explore “symmetry” with shamrocks, learn the “color wheel” with rainbows and have discussion of the symbolism of finding a “pot of gold.” Historical references can also be explored, such as starvation, poverty, and religious strife that spurred immigration from Ireland.  Many of our students are from immigrant Latino families that have moved into a once predominantly Irish community.  Understanding history helps youth understand the common bond among so many Americans who have sought a better life and helps to redefine a neighborhood holiday and give it personal and empowering significance.

Discussion Questions: How do you follow your rainbow (joy)? What does it mean to be lucky and what do you have to do to find a four-leaf clover? How does perseverance help you find your pot of gold (success)? Why is it important to pursue your own goals? What do you want to pursue and how are your current goals different from previous ones you had? Students share their career goals and then are asked if they would be happy trading them with others (such as, a future ballet dancer becoming a fireman instead).

Vocabulary: symmetry, color wheel, uniform line.

Materials: white paper, green paper, scissors, markers, pencils and erasers, and color wheel.


  1. Students fold green paper in half twice and cut leaf shape to make symmetric and radial shamrock leaves.
  2. Students draw on white paper while teacher illustrates on the blackboard.
  3. Students write their own goals on back of paper and read to class.
  4. Student learn the color wheel and review by coloring a rainbow.

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