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:

History

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.

Kilkenny Water

Natural environments (Geography), Environmental awareness and care (Geography/Science), Living things (Science) / Science, History, Geography

The city of Kilkenny is built on the River Nore. The name 'Nore' in Irish is An Fheoir, which probably means the boundary. The river rises far to the north in the Slieve Bloom Mountains between counties Laois and Offaly. The monastery, cathedral and small town which existed before the Norman invasion was built on the west bank of the river. Today the Nore is crossed by three bridges – Green’s Bridge, John’s Bridge and Ossory Bridge.

Download the resources below to explore the history, science and geography relating to Kilkenny’s water.

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'.

Archaeology Lesson Plans

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

Would you like your class to learn more about their heritage, and Kilkenny's archaeology, in a fun and education-centred way? The Heritage Office of Kilkenny County Council has developed a series of four lesson plans focused on teaching archaeology to young children! The plans are aimed at pre-school, junior and senior infant classes. They are linked to the primary school curriculum and the Aistear curriculum.

This project was developed in partnership with the Kilkenny County Childcare Committee, Kilkenny Education Centre, Dig-it-Kids, and with co-funding from the Heritage Council.

Around Kilkenny Castle

Natural environments (Geography), Human environments (Geography), 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, Geography

Through using the resources below, and undertaking a trail around Kilkenny Castle, the children should learn about:
1.     The people associated with Kilkenny Castle – the Butler family and the servants.
2.     Certain design features of the castle, such as limestone, moat, sally port, arrow
3.     loop windows, servants’ entrance, coat of arms and lead hoppers.
4.     The strategic site that the castle is built on.
5.     How the building is changed and why. How the defensive character of the castle became less important as time went by.

Skills and concepts development:
Children should be able to:

1. Time and Chronology:

  • Describe events as before/after/, later/earlier
  • Use a simple timeline
  • Use dates such as 1681

2. Change and continuity:

  • Recognise how the castle has changed at different periods
  • Identify features that have remained the same

3. Cause and effect:

  • Recognise the link between the site of the castle and the need for the lord and soldiers to defend themselves in the early centuries of the castle.
  • The importance of displaying a coat of arms for a family.
  • Recognising how people’s needs change and the impact that has on a building, for example the moat being filled in and the change in the design of the windows.

4. Using evidence:

  • Visiting and examining the building

5. Empathy:

  • Imagine and discuss the feelings of the servants working in the castle.

Methodologies:
Among the methods which may be used are:

  • Story lesson about the Butler family
  • Comparing a modern photo of the entrance to Kilkenny Castle with an 18th century
  • painting
  • Exploring the environment, using the trail
  • Integration with other subjects: geography (limestone), art (designing coats of arms), maths (shape)

Sources Used:

  • John Bradley, Kilkenny, historic town atlas no. 10 (Dublin, 2000)
  • John Bradley, Discover Kilkenny (Dublin, 2000)
  • Katherine Lanigan and Gerald Taylor (eds) Kilkenny, its architecture and history (Kilkenny, 1977)
  • William Neely, Kilkenny, an urban history, 1391-1843 (Belfast, 1989)
  • William Carrigan The History and antiquities of the diocese of Ossory (Dublin, 1905)
  • David Edwards, The Ormond lordship in County Kilkenny 1515-1642 (Dublin, 2003)
  • Oral testimony of Castle Park constable, Liam Burke (3/08/2007)

A Mini-Dig

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

Explore the past, the hands-on way! Archaeologists are scientists and historians who spend much of their time on their hands and knees, carefully digging through layers of earth to discover the past. What they find not only reflects the past, but also helps us to understand the present and to anticipate the future.

Things to do
1.    Create a mini-dig 1 - Find the treasure!
2.    Find a big box and fill it with loose soil or sand and place loose coins and artefacts (brooches, pins, and arrow heads) for the children to dig or find in the box. Discuss where and where the items came from.
3.    Create a mini-dig 2 - What’s the person’s job?
4.    Fill a big box with loose soil or sand and place articles that relate to a person's job in it for the children to find.