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:

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.

Where We Live

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

Encourage the children to engage with the landscape of the surrounding areas, the land and layout of their area and how it can change with new building works.

Things To do
1.    Download the Where We Live worksheet below and ask the children to draw a map of their trip to school, showing the major landmarks on their way.
2.    Bring the children to the local park and point out the little hills and mounds that make up that landscape and ask them to draw a picture of the park.

What’s In A Fish?

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

Fish are animals that are cold-blooded, have fins and a backbone. Most fish have scales and breathe with gills. They’re one of the oldest animal families to live on Earth. They were here long before the dinosaurs – about 500 million years ago — and they still thrive. There are over 25,000 known species of fish. There are probably many more that we haven’t discovered yet.

Fish are vertebrates. That means they have a backbone. But unlike mammals, fish don’t have lungs. They breathe by taking oxygen from the water in through their mouths, where it passes over the gills. The gills then absorb oxygen from the water and send the oxygen throughout the body. Some fish are carnivores. They eat other fish and small animals and insects. Other fish are omnivores, eating both plants and animals.

Veggie Delight

Living things (Science) / Science

Encourage the children to recognise what they are eating and where it comes from. Explain the difference between root and leaf vegetables and the importance of eating their five portions of vegetables a day through using the resources below.

Things To do
1.    Download the activity sheet Veggie Delight Worksheet below and ask the children to name the vegetables and everyday foods that are made from the products.
2.    Download the Maps of Ireland handout below and ask the children which county the vegetables come from.
3.    Look at a map of the world and ask the children which country their favourite fruit comes from.

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 Sun!

Natural environments (Geography), Living things (Science), Energy and forces (Science) / Science

It’s big and round and keeps us warm, but find out what else the sun can do!

Things To do
1.    Tell the time?
You will need:

  • A bowl, a straight stick, some small pebbles, rocks, watch or clock

Directions:

  • Find a sunny spot in the grass and put the stick in the ground (make sure it is straight).
  • Throughout the day, place a rock for each hour indicating where the shadow falls at that time.
  • Now your sundial is ready to use. When you want to tell the time, just look for the shadow

2.    Download and printout the Sundial Worksheet below on card and make a sun dial.
You will need:

  • Cardboard, scissors and sellotape.

Directions:

  • Cut out the dial plate and the gnomon.
  • Cut a slit in the dial plate along the dotted line.
  • Score alone the dotted lies on the gnomon. Fold along these lines. Slide the folded gnomon into the slit in the dial plate and stick the gnomon flaps to the bottom of the dial plate with sellotape.
  • Take the sundial to a sunny place and place it in a north-south direction.
  • The gnomon should cast a shadow and you will be able to tell the time (Don’t forget to calculate in daylight savings time where appropriate).

The Secret Diary Of Biodiversity

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

With so many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors during the summer months, we could easily be fooled into thinking that biodiversity only makes an appearance during summer, but of course we know different.

From the time when swallows start gathering on telephone lines to make the journey to Africa, right through to the first one arriving back on our shores and signalling the beginning of summer, there is still so much to see and enjoy. Can you remember, or imagine, getting your first diary as a child, and keeping it for a year

Shane Casey, Biodiversity Officer, Clare County Council gives us a little glimpse of what adventures might be encountered each month in the PDF below!

The River Nore

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

The Heritage Office of Kilkenny County Council has developed eight lesson plans, which will be useful for teachers of 4th, 5th and 6th class groups, on aspects of the River Nore's heritage. They are designed to be used in conjunction with the ‘Explore the Nore’ poster (downloadable below).

The river Nore (An Fheoir) rises in the Devil’s Bit Mountain in Co. Tipperary. It then flows through County Laois and enters County Kilkenny at the townland of Ballynaslee. It flows through Co. Kilkenny, before flowing into the River Barrow a few kilometres north of New Ross. 

It is known as one of the Three Sisters Rivers (Barrow, Nore, Suir). The River Nore is 140km in length and drains an area of approximately 861 hectares. It has a very steep gradient, but this is lessened by the many weirs built along its length.

This project is kindly supported by the Kilkenny Education Centre and the Heritage Council.

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.

Ready, Steady, Play: National Play Policy (2004-08)

Research and Policy

This is the most recent national policy document available in relation to children and the outdoors. The objective of this policy is to plan for an increase in public play facilities, thereby improving the quality of life of children living in Ireland by providing them with more play opportunities. The document is an outcome of the National Children’s Strategy, launched in 2000 and is aimed specifically at addressing the needs of younger children.

The policy looks at a range of issues, including: guiding principles; a partnership approach between the statutory, community, voluntary and private sectors; developing a play infrastructure; safety and public liability insurance; and funding arrangements.