- Science, History, Geography
- Curriculum Strands:
- Story (History), Early people and ancient societies (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Myself and my Family (History), Human environments (Geography), Materials (Science)
- Counties catered for:
- Clare, Cork, Galway, Kerry, Laois, Limerick, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary
- Classes catered for:
- All Classes
Geraldine has long experience as a craft worker and has taught traditional crafts in many different settings to adults and children alike. Geraldine is part of the Craggaunowen Living Past Project in Co. Clare where she demonstrates spinning, weaving and natural dyeing and takes part in experimental archaeology projects.
Both in-person and virtual workshops will introduce children to the history of spinning, weaving and dyeing in Ireland and show the importance of these crafts to the people that lived long ago. It aims to give an insight into the lives of our ancestors and how they lived and survived. The sessions will also look at some of the folklore and superstitions from early Ireland.
In-person school visits
Geraldine’s in-person visits cover a variety of topics and discussions that relate to life in the past especially spinning and weaving, but also other aspects and she encourages children to participate with their own information. The visit includes practical hands-on learning, adapted to suit various age groups. Geraldine will discuss with the teacher beforehand which project will suit the group. The initial workshop is basic and simple to understand, follow up sessions can deal with more complicated techniques.
For the older groups: Make your own drop spindle, weave a wristband, identify plants that can be used for cordage, fibre and dyeing.
For the younger children: weave a tree, make a colourful sheep. Introduction to basic weaving techniques
Geraldine will show the children how to make a basic loom out of cardboard or other recycled objects. She then instructs them on how to make a simple weaving either to wear or to hang on the wall. She will encourage the children to be creative while at the same time being aware that some children might need more help and direction. Solar Dyeing / natural dyeing: The children will learn how to identify plants from their locality that will create dyes then how to set up a solar dyeing project for their classroom. Setting up an outdoor loom: Geraldine can help the children to set up an outdoor loom by using existing structures like a fence or constructing a loom from sticks or branches. Making a drop spindle: Children can make their own drop spindle with a potato and a stick. They can learn how to spin wool in the way that our ancestors would have done. Alternatively Geraldine will provide spindles to use during the class.
Virtual school visits
The Importance of Spinning, Weaving and Dyeing in past times in Ireland. Emphasising children’s involvement in these crafts in the olden days and looking at links with the present day by encouraging the class to create a weaving of their own that they can wear or hang on the wall.
The workshop is very much a hands on experience that children love. It aims to stimulate their creativity and helps them to become aware of their environment.
Classes: Junior Infants to 6th Class
Senior classes, Strong cardboard, “Chunky” Yarns and other weaving materials, ribbon, cloth, tinsel, grasses, beads - depending on project chosen. As well as scissors, pens, paper and ruler.
Junior Classes: Paper plates, yarns and coloured wools, cloth, glue, coloured pens and sheep template (provided).
Session 1 (pre-recorded)
This video will introduce the children to the history of textile crafts in Ireland, dating from 8000BC to the present day. It will cover the role of children in the production of textiles as well as showing the children some of the tools, methods and plants involved. Geraldine will demonstrate spinning, weaving and dyeing in her own workshop using equipment that has changed very little over time. The class will be asked to consider investigating crafts in their own locality both in “olden days” and in present times as well as identifying plants used for dyeing and textile production. They will also be shown how to make and prepare a cardboard loom for their own weaving.
Session 2 (live)
Senior (approx. 1hr): The live session will allow the children to ask questions and to relate their findings from their research. They will be then shown and helped to weave a wristband or wall-hanging.
Junior (approx. 30mins): This live session will consist of interacting with the children about wool and sheep, singing songs and starting them on their textile project.
Worksheets & teacher's notes:
Notes will be provided for the teachers on all aspects covered in the sessions including discussion topics and relevant links. Full instruction will be provided for textile projects.
Other: The programme links to the SESE, Visual Arts and SPHE curricula. It aims to encourage children to explore and discover the possibilities of fabric and fibre as a medium for creative expression, while observing, discussing and identifying how Textiles are involved in our history, science and environment.
"Highly reccommend Geraldine. The kids were engaged during the live lesson and learned lots about the history of making clothes in Ireland. They learned about the importance of sheep, weaving, spinning and dyeing in this process. We thank Geraldine O'Sullivan, Fabric and Fibre and Heritage in Schools for these virtual lessons. The children learned lots about history and fabric and fibre." - St.Michael's NS, Monaghan
"Geraldine did an excellent workshop with each of the class levels and she made each session age appropriate to the group she was working with. She was very well resourced and had a wealth of information on her topic and she kept the children engaged and interested throughout. I would highly recommend her workshop to other schools."
"Geraldine provided an excellent workshop where each child was involved in making something personal. They really enjoyed this workshop."
"This was a very successful day. We invited parents in as well and they really enjoyed it."
"The children really enjoyed the sessions with Geraldine and the weaving activities."
"Very worthwhile!" - Scoil na mBráithre, Limerick
"Geraldine O' Sullivan was excellent. She came to the school on two half day visits. She had loads of materials and she was really good with the children" - Connolly NS, Clare
"The workshop was very well structured, with a wide array of resources and activities that were both insightful and practical, with an abundance of learning for the children. Geraldine presented her knowledge very professionally, with patience, care and diligence, taking into account the different age groups of the pupils taking part in the workshop. Overall a very well delivered and helpful workshop. Highly recommended." - Rahara NS, Roscommon
"We thoroughly enjoyed Geraldine's visit. Her patience and relationship with the children of all ages was second to none" - Dromclough NS, Cork
- Provides in-person visits
- Provides virtual visits
- Caters for special needs
- Provides practical/ hands-on activities
- 087 4185719