Lesson Plan: The Céilidh


Social Studies 6, Outcome 1:

Students will explore the concept of culture and demonstrate an understanding of its role in their lives inclusive of Acadians, African Nova Scotians, Gaels, Mi’Kmaq and additional cultures.


Social Studies 6, Outcome 4:

Students will examine how traditions relate to culture in a region, inclusive of Acadians, African Nova Scotians, Gaels, Mi’Kmaq and additional cultures.


Music 4-6, Outcome 6:

Students will explore diverse cultures and communities, including Acadians, African Nova Scotians, Gaels, and Mi’Kmaq, with respect and sensitivity through music.



To hold a classroom céilidh which demonstrates the values of a Gaelic céilidh; i.e. interaction among generations so as to transmit a culture.


Suggested time

1 hour for planning

1-2 hours for actual céilidh

Ideally held after students have had some exposure to Gaelic cultural expression. i.e. songs, stories


Anticipated Outcomes:                                                           

Students will

  • Understand that a céilidh is an integral means of passing down Gaelic culture.
  • Either as a group, pair or solo effort present either a story, song, dance or information piece relating to a Gaelic community.
  • Use a Gaelic phrase or word in the proper social context.
  • Appreciate that transmission of culture happens over time through many generations.




  • Review what we know about céilidhs.  Make sure students are aware of the impromptu nature of most céilidhs but we are doing a reenactment.
  • How can we make the classroom more like a kitchen or living room?
  • What are some behaviours to avoid and things they should remember to do?  i.e. remember to give all a chance to speak and to be good listeners.
  • Discuss who we will invite.  Try to invite some older folk or individuals with Gaelic.
  • As a group, draw up an invitation.                                                                                                                                               



Children should be assessed on:

  • Social skills and behaviours as discussed in the planning session.
  • Delivery of cultural performance.


Review and Reflection

  • Recall what they learned from visitors following the visit.
  • Discussion of differences in "oral" versus "literary" ways of learning.
  • Why do we think céilidhing or "visiting" is so important to the Gaels?
  • Talk about intergenerational transmission of knowledge.  How have the students experienced this in their own lives?