Teachers' Resources

Teach your pupils how to build a giant nest, create a butterfly garden or make their own family tree!

The resources provided here have been submitted by Heritage Experts, teachers or prepared by other educational organisations. The resources are both fun and educational and are designed to inspire and develop an appreciation and curiosity about Ireland’s wonderful natural and cultural heritage.

Resources can be searched for under the following categories:

Early people and ancient stories (History)

Sir Walter Raleigh's Treasure Trail and Activity Booklet

Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

Sir Walter Raleigh's Treasure Trail

Highlights of things to see and do in Youghal’s Raleigh Quarter. Download brochure for detail on wonderful sights and unique history.

 

Youghal-treasure-trail.jpg#asset:3186

Irish Walled Towns

Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

The history of Ireland can literally be found in its walled towns. You can find lots of information on them on the Irish Walled Towns Network website listed below and information on European walled towns on the other website listed.

Things To do
1.    Have a mini-medieval festival!
2.    Download the Shield worksheet below and design your own family shield, using icons and symbols to represent your family.

Wicklow in Prehistory

Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

The earliest people that came to Ireland arrived about 9,000 years ago. These people were hunters, fishers and gatherers who used stone to make their tools. This booklet provides information about Co. Wicklow during this period.

Wicklow In Late Middle Ages

Story (History), Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

This booklet for older age groups provides lots of interesting information about Co. Wicklow during the late Middle Ages. By the middle of the 12th Century many of the Viking towns, such as Dublin and Wexford, as well as the Irish ruling families had forged strong trade and political links with England and mainland Europe. This booklet provides information about Co. Wicklow during this period.

Wicklow In Early Middle Ages

Story (History), Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History) / History

By the year AD 800 Ireland had become a favourite target of the Scandinavian warriors known as 'Vikings'. They arrived by sea in their sturdy ships in search of loot. This booklet provides information about Co. Wicklow during this period.

There’s Something About Patrick

Story (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

Acclaimed comedian Neil Delamere takes on Ireland’s favourite saint, meeting experts, historians and Paddy’s Day revellers to separate the truth from the myth. The reality turns out to be a little different – he was probably Welsh, there were no snakes, the shamrock is a pagan symbol and Christianity got here before before he did. Oh, and St Patrick isn’t even a saint! This film won the Celtic Media Award Best Factual Entertainment in 2014.

The Only Viking In The Village

Story (History), Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

Neil Delamere goes back to his half-Viking, half-Norman roots to uncover the fact and fiction behind his hairy ancestors, while trying to see if he has any Viking left in him as he learns to eat, dress, sail and fight like one. Neil also takes to the stand-up stage in Waterford to share his newfound insights. This film won the IFTA Best Factual Entertainment award in 2012.

The History Of Ireland In 100 Objects

Story (History), Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

The Royal Irish Academy has created 14 great lesson plans for primary school children with worksheets, quizzes and stories on some of the objects contained in ‘The History of Ireland in 100 Objects’ exhibition. They’re all free to use and include images, video, and audio.

The Butlers of Kilkenny

Story (History), Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

Theobald Fitzwalter, an English nobleman, came with the young Prince John, to Ireland in 1185. The prince gave Fitzwalter a large area of land and the important job of Chief Butler of Ireland. This meant that if the king was visiting Ireland, the Chief Butler had to make sure there was plenty of food and drink ready for him and for the group travelling with him. Download the full PDF below for the full story of the Butler family.

This resource encourages the children to become familiar with important events in the history of the locality, referring to the wider national context where relevant.

The Buildings We Live In

Story (History), Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Materials (Science) / History

An introduction into different types of buildings that are in the locality.

Things To do
1.    Go on a building ramble. Ask the children to look at the different types of houses that are in their neighbourhood. Do a mini survey of where they live and what kind of house/ apartment they live in.
2.    Download the Front Doors worksheet below and draw a picture of four different doors they see on their way to school.
3.    Tell the three Little Pigs Story and get the children to draw the three different types of houses.

Make A St. Brigid’s Cross

Natural environments (Geography), Story (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Materials (Science) / History

Saint Brigid is remembered for her spirituality, charity and compassion. Her feast day is on the 1st February, the first day of spring. It is customary on St Brigid’s Day to make a cross, known as a ‘St Brigid’s Cross’, out of rushes or reeds (other materials may be used if no rushes or reeds are available).

Once the cross is woven, it is blessed with holy water by a priest. It is then hung on the front doors of homes and left in place all year, to be burned and replaced with a newly-woven cross on the next St Brigid’s Day.

How to make a St. Brigid’s Cross
You will need:

  • bowl
  • 28 long reads or straws (if not available why not try pipe cleaners).

Instructions:

  • Position two straws to make a plus sign, putting the horizontal straw on the top. Fold the upper section of the vertical straw on top of its other half. Rotate the weave counter-clockwise 90 degrees. Repeat to fold the now-vertical straw.
  • Rotate 90 degrees counter-clockwise. Add another straw by placing it to the right of the folded vertical straw and beneath the folded horizontal straw. Fold it and rotate it again.
  • Keep repeating the process without letting the straws bunch up on top of each other. Rest the straws side by side.
  • Tie each arm 4 inches from the centre of the St. Brigid’s cross after all the straws have been added. Trim the ends of the straw.

Roscommon Castle

Story (History), Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

Roscommon Castle is a dramatic and imposing 13th Century Norman Castle.  It was built in 1269 by Robert de Ufford, on lands he had seized from the Augustinian Priory. The castle has a tumultuous past which can be explored with junior level children in the presentation below.

Today, the Castle's past can be visited while enjoying adjacent Loughnaneane Park and Playground, a 14 acre recreational area.  The natural features of the park include a turlough and a wildlife conservation area which is a habitat of unique flora and fauna.

Image by Mike Searle and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

My Book Of Kells Colouring Book

Story (History), Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

The Book of Kells is the most famous hand-coloured book in the world. This great publication gives you the chance to colour some of the drawings as the monks did over a thousand years ago. Choose from over 60 drawings of heavenly figures, Biblicial characters, fantastic creatures, animal and bird designs and Celtic lettering - to create your own little masterpieces.

Make A Concertina Book

Natural environments (Geography), Human environments (Geography), Story (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Environmental awareness and care (Geography/Science), Materials (Science) / Science, History, Geography

This book is quick and easy to make, yet still offers flexibility and potential for children to create their own unique versions. They can be used for everything from storytelling to making guidebooks about a local wood or museum, what they put into your book is up to you!

Kilkenny's Medieval Churches

Story (History), Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / Science, History

There are several medieval churches still to be seen in Kilkenny City. St. Canice’s Cathedral is the most complete. It is called a cathedral because it was built as the principal church of the diocese. It was the special church of the Bishop of Ossory and he had his seat there. This was an actual chair which was called cathedra in Latin. St. Mary’s Church was the Parish Church of Kilkenny in the middle ages

There were three churches which belonged to religious orders: The Black Abbey was part of the Dominican Priory. Besides the church which you can see today, there were lots of other buildings where the priests and lay brothers lived and worked. It also owned some land and had a mill on the river Bregagh. It lay outside the walls of Kilkenny, but was connected to the rest of Kilkenny by a gate. St. Francis Abbey was a Franciscan Friary. Part of its church can be seen from the main gate of Smithwick’s Brewery. This is only part of the original church and there were other buildings, now gone.

Franciscans and Dominicans were known as Mendicant Orders. A mendicant is someone who begs. The mendicant orders were founded to preach the gospel and to serve the poor. Instead of living off the produce of land which they owned, the Mendicant Orders got much of their income from the ordinary people. St. John’s Priory was an Augustinian priory. It was also the Parish Church of St. John’s Parish on the east bank of the River Nore.

Download the information sheets below to find out more about Kilkenny’s Medieval churches.

Holding Out For A Hero

Story (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

Irish history has a cast of millions of characters, but every now and then one lad or lady sticks out as truly heroic. It’s time for Neil Delamere to take on Ireland’s Heroes. From the legendary warrior, Cúchulainn to the pirate queen, Gráinne Mhaol, Neil wants to get inside their skin and see if he has what it takes to be a modern day Irish Hero. Spoiler alert: He doesn’t.

High Crosses

Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History) / History

A high cross is a free-standing Christian cross made of stone and often richly decorated. They were raised primarily in Ireland and Britain during the Early Middle Ages and sometimes later. They often, though not always, feature a stone ring around the intersection, forming a Celtic Christian cross.

Things To do
1.    Download the High Cross worksheet below and ask the children to design their own high cross, maybe using symbols that are in use today.

Famous Buildings

Story (History), Local studies (History), Early people and ancient stories (History), Life, society, work and culture in the past (History), Eras of change and conflict (History), Politics, conflict and society (History), Continuity and change over time (History) / History

Explore buildings of interest and different architectural style around the local neighbourhood, town or village.

Things To do
1.    Download the Famous Buildings worksheet below and ask the children to name the buildings in the pictures.
2.    If possible, take pictures of local landmarks and do a mini 'show-and-tell' about the buildings.
3.    Ask the children to draw a picture of a local landmark and do a mini 'show-and-tell'.