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:

Biodiversity Data Capture App

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

Use the Biodiversity Data Capture app to record the wildlife in your school grounds and send the records directly to the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s national database. A species list can be downloaded from the website for all records submitted by your school over a given period.

The app generates a co-ordinate automatically from a GPS, so recorders only need to select the identified species and some other additional information. Records can be sent immediately, or stored until reliable internet connection is available.  Biodiversity Data Capture is free of charge and is available as iOS and android.

     

Wildflowers of Ireland: A Personal Record

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

Here is Zoë's personal record of the wildflowers that adorn Ireland's countryside, presented so those without botanical knowledge can gain a greater understanding of the subject. Passionate about this often-overlooked part of our natural heritage, Zoë embellishes descriptions and photographs of the plants with herbal and literary references and related Irish folklore. She describes over 400 commonly found wildflowers as well as some not so common and even rare species. This book creates a new awareness and wider picture of the world of wildflowers in Ireland.

In presenting this book, Zoë Devlin says: 'Conservation of our wildflowers is of the utmost importance as they are now facing threats on several different sides', and she expresses a hope that 'through education and awareness of the diversity of our wildflowers, perhaps, just perhaps, the tide can be held back a little longer.'

The Wildlflowers of Ireland: A Field Guide

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

Discover the fascinating world of Ireland’s diverse and astonishing collection of native wildflowers: from insect-eating Sundews to humble Harebells, this lavishly illustrated guide features over 530 of the wildflowers of Ireland with more than 1,200 of the author’s photographs.

For ease of identification, the species are divided into colour categories and within each category the species are grouped by, for example, the number of petals in the flower or whether the species carries its flowers in a cluster or a spike. In easily understood terminology, focus is put on the main identifying features of each plant, by colour, size, shape of flower, leaf, habitat, flowering season, and where in Ireland it might be found.

This is a must for enthusiasts of all ages and experience and a complementary companion to the author’s Wildflowers of Ireland – A Personal Record.

Wildflowers of Ireland

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

This fabulous website is Zoe Devlin's personal record of the wildflowers of Ireland containing her own photographs of the Irish wildflowers which over the years she has come across and recorded.  A fantastic resource for those wanting to learn about the wildflowers of Ireland.

The wildflowers can be searched by name (English, Latin or Irish); by colour and by flowering period. Zoe includes folklore with regard to many of these wildflowers and any other relevant herbal information, historical or literary allusions.

Identification Guide to Ireland's Grasses

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

A guide to help beginners and intermediates tackle grasses. This attractive field-friendly 164 page guide simplifies grass identification. It is rich in photographs and diagrams and contains both a floristic guide and a vegetative key. It will help you identify up to 100 Irish species. Suitable for teachers or senior classes.

Published by the National Biodiversity Data Centre and available to purchase at http://www.biodiversityireland...

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!