Dig it Kids
- Science, History, Geography
- Curriculum Strands:
- Story (History), Local Studies (History), Early people and ancient societies (History), Human environments (Geography), Living things (Science), Materials (Science)
- Counties catered for:
- Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow
- Classes catered for:
- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th
Dig it Kids have seven different class topics for you to pick from. In person class visits are currently held outdoors; or you can select a virtual class visit (6 topics). The award-winning Dig it Kids team - Dr Stephen Mandal, Lisanne O’Loughlin and Dr Francesca Cadeddu provide inspiring classes bringing History & Geography lessons to life with lots of hands-on learning through crafts, videos, and story.
Dig it Kids have one in-person (blended) topic and six virtual class topics for you to pick from. They are all one-hour classes. The in-person (blended) topic is undertaken in two stages, an outdoor visit near your school, followed by a live virtual in-class lesson. Each virtual topic comprises a 20-25 min video which includes quizzes, followed by a one hour live online class over zoom, where we make the historical craft models / undertake science experiments (guided step by step), and listen to some great storytelling to deepen the learning.
The Dig it Kids team have a contagious love of archaeology. Children are encouraged to ask questions to gain understanding of life in Ireland in the past and connect this knowledge to their experience of visiting local ancient monuments.
In-person school visits
This topic is available as a stand-alone in-person visit or coupled with virtual school visit ‘Ancient ink making - the science of oak gall ink’ (see below).
Classes: 3rd – 6th
Duration c. 1 – 1.5 hour
This is an outdoor visit; we will walk around to investigate trees in the locality. The class will look for oak trees, discussing:
- How to identify oak trees
- The value of trees to the environment today
- The value of trees in through time
- How to search for oak galls
- How galls are formed and the life cycle of the gall wasp
- The important role these galls played as the key ingredient of the ink used in recording historical documents in the Middle East and Europe for thousands of years
Virtual school visits
Classes: 3rd – 6th
This topic is available as a stand-alone virtual visit or coupled with in-person school visit ‘The history and science of the mighty oak’ (see above).
The pre-recorded video played prior to the virtual visit introduces the class to the science behind the preparation of the inks and paint pigments as used by the Early Christian monks when writing the beautiful, illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells. The live lesson will be a hands-on experiment with the children and their teacher making oak gall ink. Each step will be guided by Dig it Kids team. As each raw ingredient of the ink is introduced, we will discuss the science of what each ingredient does to the ink making process. Dig it Kids will provide a kit of the raw materials in advance for the teacher to make this historical oak gall ink.
Classes: 3rd – 6th
The Irish landscape has the remains of over 45,000 ringforts. Learn what archaeologists have discovered about everyday life in medieval Ireland through excavating a ringfort. Children will each make a model of a stone ringfort (cashel) during the live session guided step by step. A story set in early Christian Ireland will enrich the learning and enjoyment.
Classes: 2nd – 6th
In Early Christian times monasteries flourished throughout the county. This programme will peek into life in the monastery. Children will make models of a round tower and learn the engineering skills behind these remarkable structures. An engaging story reveals how the monks played an important role in spreading literacy.
Classes: 1st – 6th
The development of Celtic illuminated manuscripts is the highlight of this arty programme. The programme tells the story of manuscript and of one of Irelands Patron Saints, St Columba, coinciding with the 1500th anniversary of his birth. This fun and engaging history programme is tailored to suit junior and senior classes, comprising captivating videos, and learning step by step how to do Celtic art. Children will create their own illustrated Celtic letter (their initial). An original story will bring to life the story of how the Irish monasteries saved the abundant body of Irish Myths and Legends. Suitable for 1st – 6th Class.
Classes: 2nd – 6th
What are family crests all about? What do the symbols represent? Children will make their own knights shields, representing values which are important to them. Our story is an exciting knight’s tale – which children can vigorously participate in.
Classes: 5th – 6th
The Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland comes alive with a class on making a model of Kilkenny Castle, and hearing about the defensive features of the castle that made them virtually impregnable. Aimed at 5th – 6th classes (due to the complexity of the craft), the children can have fun planning an attack, posing their plan to the Dig it Kids team, who will tell them if they are likely to survive such an assault. Each child will be guided in making their own model of the Kilkenny castle, step by step. For eager craft classes, we have an optional further step to elaborate the castle to a more ancient time.
Stage 1: Pre-recorded video (20-30 mins)
Dig it Kids makes the pre-recorded video fun, by light-hearted engagement between them onscreen, modelling curiosity and making the lesson content interesting. The video has interactive quizzes for children to answer, and opportunities for lesson expansion including discussion, and local research.
Stage 2: Virtual online class session (c. 1 hour)
During the virtual class, each child will make an individual* craft models/art. Dig it Kids will demonstrate each step, so all children will have a successful experience. The crafts are tailored to be suitable to the class level. The children will enjoy a historical story and discover the secrets of what life was like in the past.
*for Ancient ink making - the science of oak gall ink, the class will work together to make a jar of ink.
Resources to be provided
Virtual classes are made simple by the Dig it Kids team. Teaching resources for virtual classes include a pre-recorded video, and a Teacher Resource Pack comprising FAQ worksheets and a relevant further topic information sheet. Finally, the pack will include straight-forward craft instructions with images so the teacher can assist the children in making the craft during the live virtual session.
List of materials classes will need (if appropriate)
A comprehensive list of required materials required to make the craft* will be given in advance to the school / teachers so they can prepare for the activity. Craft materials are standard stationary items such as coloured pencils, and glue. Templates for the craft will be given in A4 format so that they can be printed out in advance.
*material kits are provided for Ancient ink making - the science of oak gall ink.
Where possible Dig it Kids will do a preparation Zoom call in advance of the virtual visit in order to test technical set-up, discuss the role of the teacher on the day and also to ensure the pre-recorded tutorial and resources have been received. It is also a nice opportunity to meet the teacher and answer any questions that may arise.
You will need the following:
- Access to internet
- Laptop with mic and webcam
- Whiteboard or smartscreen linked to laptop
- Zoom app downloaded on the laptop and on second portable device (tablet/phone)
"Very enjoyable and engaging work. The children loved it and the work created was fantastic!" - Culmullen NS, Meath
"Lisanne and Steve were excellent. The pupils really engaged in all aspects of the call and loved every minute of it. They surprised themselves with their artistic abilities after being guided through it so well." - St Tolas NS, Clare
"They were extremely engaging and held the children's attention excellently, using zoom for these type of activities can be difficult as children miss the physical presence and engagement from a visiting person, but this webinar was brilliant and held their focus which for a 6th class can be tricky." - St. Edwards NS, Sligo
"Such an interactive lesson. Children were delighted to create their very own ringfort." - Fanore NS, Clare
"The children learned lots from the visit and from the resources. It was entertaining and interactive and very child centred." - Doonaha NS, Clare
"'Celtic Art' -A most enjoyable and worthwhile experience for the children. This appealed to every pupil and they thoroughly enjoyed and put huge effort into their art pieces." - Lenamore NS, Kerry
"Great workshop, thoroughly enjoyed by the children." - Adamstown NS, Wexford
- Provides in-person visits
- Provides virtual visits
- Caters for special needs
- Provides practical/ hands-on activities
- Provides field trips