A Guide for Teachers
Vocabulary/Historical Figures/Topics for Research
The Irish Potato Famine
Knights of Labor
Justice William Brennan
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Edgar Allen Poe
James Walter Braddock
Stephen Watts Kearney
Billy the Kid
Good Friday Peace Agreement
Suggested Activities for Students:
• Write a research paper on one of the above topics.
• Invite a member of an Irish-American organization to speak to the class about Irish culture, holidays, or traditions.
• Ask students of Irish descent to share their heritage with their classmates.
• On a map of the United States mark the parts of the nation with the largest Irish-American populations. Why do you think immigrants choose to settle in those areas?
• On a map of the United States, locate specific landmarks that Irish Americans helped build. For example, locate the Erie Canal, the Santa Fe Railroad, the Brooklyn Bridge, and others.
• Create a timeline of New Mexican history and point out specific figures of Irish descent who contributed to the history and development of New Mexico.
• Ask students to pretend he or she is living in Ireland at the time of the Potato Famine and they have decided to immigrate to the United States. Have them write a journal on their experiences. What was life like in Ireland at that time? Why did they decide to leave? What will they bring with them? What was the journey across the Atlantic like? What will they do and where will they go once they reach the United States?
• Ask students to imagine they recently arrived to the United States and are writing a letter to their relatives in Ireland. How are their lives in the United States different or similar to their lives in Ireland?
Quiz on Irish Americans
1. What event in Ireland led to the Great Irish Exodus in the mid-nineteenth century?
2. What attracted many Irish immigrants to New Mexico?
3. Who was St. Patrick?
4. Name two famous Irish-American artists who are popular in New Mexico.
5. Which Irish-American designed the New Mexico State Flag?
6. Who was Nellie Bly?
7. Which Irish-American was the first person to land on the moon?
8. Which infamous Irish New Mexican escaped prosecution for his role in the Lincoln County War?
9. Who officially declared the New Mexico territory an American possession?
10. Who founded the Little Brothers of the Good Shepard?
1. The Irish Potato Famine
2. Catholics could practice their religion freely, the availability of work on the Santa Fe Railroad and in coal mines, and the discovery of gold in Pinos Altos.
3. A Saint from the fifth century who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.
4. Possible answers: Desmond O’Hagan, Georgia O’Keefe, Jack O’Connor.
5. H.P. O’Mera
6. She was an Irish-American journalist who had herself committed to a mental institution to expose the horrible treatment of mentally ill patients in asylums. She wrote a famous exposé on her experiences called Ten Days in a Madhouse.
7. Neil Armstrong
8. Billy the Kid
9. General Stephen Watts Kearney
10. Brother Matthias Barrett