Irish Fairies Literature & Composition


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  • Date Updated: February 17, 2019
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Sold By: Canadian Winter Homeschool Materials


This title makes a great addition to any St. Patrick’s Day study!

Journey into a fantastical world with these six pieces of writing about Irish Fairies and six different writing assignments to go with them!

Themes include:

  • an authentic Irish fairytale
  • different kinds of fairies (not all friendly)
  • a first-hand account of seeing leprechauns
  • official research about fairies
  • and a fairy poem!

Writing assignments vary – from writing a story with specific requirements, to telling a tale with a unique accent, from summarizing scholarly research to writing a poem. An image of a Celtic knot is included (use it for advanced colouring, or print it in green) to be used as decoration on the student’s notebook. Stories are taken from official Fairy books by W.B. Yeats and Thomas Keightley.

Literature & Composition collections are suitable for students who are ready to read and study different types of literature in small quantities. For example, instead of an entire novel or scholarly work, a small sample of each (which can stand on its own) will be presented. This way, the intermediate student has an opportunity to stretch their reading abilities without being discouraged. Each book contains six different writing samples that share a common theme. The writing assignments vary in length and are intended to inspire the student to try writing in different forms and styles. 

Page 1 of 62 Canadian Winter Homeschool Materials include both English and French materials (the two official languages of Canada). These materials may be of interest to homeschoolers who are looking for non-religious and non-American content. Our methods are simple and old-fashioned; it is presumed that a parent will help the student to use the material. Canadian spelling is used in general. Many thanks to my homeschooled daughter, Marlene, for her great ideas, and my husband, Pierre, for his support and love! Sources The Fairy Mythology by Thomas Keightley, released October 9, 2012. Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry by William Butler Yeats, released October 28, 2010. (Texts lightly edited by Elise Kennedy) Contents This book contains six pieces of writing about Irish Fairies, as well as instructions for completing six different writing assignments in a separate notebook. Two images of a Celtic knot are included – one in colour and one which can be coloured – which the student may want to print out and use to decorate his or her notebook. Sample file Page 1 of 6
Page 2 of 63 Literature & Composition 1. An Irish Story-Teller (page 5) Here is a description, by the renowned Irish poet W.B. Yeats, of an elderly Irish peasant’s beliefs regarding fairies. Has someone ever told you about something they believe in, which you do not believe in? Perhaps you believe in something that no-one else does, or have seen something that other people find hard to believe. Assignment: Describe something for which there is no proof to verify its existence, other than a person’s experience. This could be something as simple – yet immeasurable – as friendship. Or, something observed by only one person (or a small group of people), such as a ghost, spirit, natural event, miracle or fairy. 2. The Fairies’ Dancing-Place (page 7) This folktale describes what happens if a person disregards the fairies, and what kind of a reward one may expect if one shows respect to them. Leprechaun stories often involve a pot of gold – either a pot of real gold which is given to a human, or a pot of false gold (or the promise of a pot of gold which is in fact never found). In leprechaun stories, gold is often used to tempt or confuse a human who is thinking only of their own greed. Assignment: Write your own short fairy story about someone who first offends the fairies, then obtains their pardon for the offense and receives a reward. 3. Lepracaun, Cluricaun, Far Darrig (page 8) There are many fairies according to Irish tradition. They are not all friendly. Many are to be avoided, and all are to be treated with some respect. Assignment: In your own words, summarize the information in this text by dividing the fairies into two groups: state which fairies, according to this source, seem to you to be the most frightening, and which seem to be the least frightening. Sample file Page 2 of 6
Page 3 of 64 4. A First-Hand Account of Seeing Leprechauns (page 9) Here you have, word for word, the tale of someone who saw three leprechauns in a field. Is it true? Only the story-teller knows! The speaker had a distinctive Irish accent, and her words were written out in a way that shows how they were pronounced. Assignment: In no more than a page, describe something you once saw that amazed you (it does not have to do with fairies – perhaps a remarkable bird, an acrobat, a blizzard, etc.). Write out your story in a way that represents a specific accent. English is spoken in many ways around the world; you may write in a way that represents the way English is spoken where you live, or somewhere far away. Spelling rules – just this once – can be ignored! 5. Official Research About Fairies by Thomas Keightley (page 10) Thomas Keightley travelled a great deal in order to learn about fairies and hear fairy stories. Here he describes Irish fairies as real, a part of the daily lives and shared knowledge of many Irish people. He explains how evidence could support the theory that fairies are a real, different race of people who live in underground ‘forts’. Assignment: Write a page in which you describe fairies as real people, using information presented in this article. 6. A Fairy Poem (page 13) The Celtic peoples have a very old tradition of story-telling in the form of poems, and many’s the poem that has been written about fairy-folk. This one describes the fairies in a general way. The poem also contains a specific reference to a young woman who is taken away by the fairy people and is lost forever, a common theme in Irish fairy stories. Some stories tell of people who have spent time with the fairies and returned with strange afflictions (such as suddenly becoming deaf). In other tales, people are said to be stolen by the fairies, who then leave a ‘changeling’ in their place. There is a great variety within Irish fairy-tales; this collection of writings serves only as an introduction to an intriguing topic! Assignment: Write a poem of your own. Be sure to include descriptions of fairies based on what you have learned. For example, the fairies wear red caps, they are child-sized, they live in caves, etc. Your poem should consist of at least two stanzas, in a form of your choice. Sample file Page 3 of 6
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Age Group

Middle School

Product Format



Canadian Winter Homeschool Materials


Language Arts, Literature, Poetry, Reading, Writing


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