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:

Geography

Empowering Teachers and Pupils for a Better Life through Nature

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

Empowering Teachers and Pupils for a Better Life through Nature - some useful resources for pre-school and primary school teachers.

Last July BirdWatch Ireland hosted 60 preschool and primary school teachers for an environmental education training course as part of the Empowering Teachers and Pupils for a Better Life through Nature project, funded under the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme. These lectures and training sessions were filmed and are available to down load free of charge.

Eco Rangers - discover nature and biodiversity

Natural environments (Geography), Human environments (Geography), Environmental awareness and care (Geography/Science), Living things (Science), Energy and forces (Science), Materials (Science) / Science, Geography

It’s time to get out of the classroom with the Eco Ranger’s school programme and use active learning with your pupils to discover, learn and connect with nature. Once you’ve registered for Eco Ranger’s offline and have received your confirmation, you can go ahead and register here on the website https://www.ecorangers.ie/.

Nature and biodiversity is something that Bord na Móna is investing in as part of our day to day work. This is why Bord na Móna created Eco Rangers- Guardians of the Land an initiative for schools that gets children outdoors and connecting with nature and learning about the importance of protecting it. See more at https://www.ecorangers.ie/.

Water Explorer

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

What is Water Explorer?
Water Explorer is a fun, inspiring and educational programme that empowers thousands of students across the world to lead joint action on water issues for their schools and communities. Water Explorer is fully funded and supported in 11 countries and is free to all schools and groups taking part. Top Water Explorer teams could earn the chance to represent their country at the Water Explorer International celebration event in London. 

What do Water Explorers achieve? Water Explorer supports 8 -14 year olds on a student-led mission to rescue our waterful world. Water Explorers are supported to:

  • Complete water-based challenges on key water issues
  • Collaborate with other students across the world
  • Hold community water festivals and win points and prizes
  • Develop a range of transferable knowledge and skills

What impact will Water Explorer have? By the end of the two-year programme (Sep 2016), the programme will have resulted in the following (among other) benefits:

  • 1,400 Water Explorer teams
  • 9,000 Water Explorers trained
  • 90,000 students with increased water awareness
  • 475,000 students and community members engaged
  • 240,000 m3 water saved = 95 Olympic swimming pools

Carlow Town Identity 2017

Natural environments (Geography), Human environments (Geography), Story (History), Local studies (History), Continuity and change over time (History), Environmental awareness and care (Geography/Science), Living things (Science) / Science, History, Geography

In August 2017 we came to stay in Carlow for a week. We occupied a shop in the Potato Market and invited people to come in and share their memories, hopes and ideas for Carlow town. We did this in order to articulate a sense of place for Carlow. We acted as impartial listeners; collecting material, while offering perspectives in co-creating a joint future.


All-Ireland Pollinator Plan - Junior version

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

How Can Schools Help Pollinators?

In 2015 bee experts in Ireland came together to produce the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020. We did this because our pollinators, especially our bees, are in big trouble. We need bees to grow our fruit and veg, and to make sure our countryside has lots of beautiful wildflowers. Now we need your help to make Ireland a better place for bees and other pollinators. We need you to tell everyone how important bees are. We also need you to make your school and garden a safe place for bees to live.

Visit the website of the National Biodiversity Data Centre for more information and guidelines on what schools can do to help pollinators http://www.biodiversityireland...

The Living Classroom

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

The Living Classroom is a huge educational resource for schools linking in with 70% of the curriculum.

A school garden is a great addition to your school. Children learn and have fun in a natural ever-changing environment where they get to appreciate nature, nutrition, and even how maths, reading, geography and history can be fun and how they fit into and influence our day to day lives. They get to learn in a new and exciting way.

Visit http://www.schoolearthed.ie/li... for a range of ideas, resources and links relating to the school garden.

Nature Detectives by the Woodland Trust UK

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

Build a giant nest, go on a mini beast safari, interview a tree, be a nature reporter, make mud pies and even investigate animal poo!

Visit the Woodland Trust’s ‘Nature Detective’ website for lots of imaginative things to build, create and discover in the outdoors. Great ideas for kids, but lots of fun for grown-ups too!

Organic Gardening for Primary Schools DVD

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

This DVD shows teachers and pupils how to plan, build, develop and maintain a school garden using organic principles. Along with the DVD disc, the pack contains 24 Worksheets/Bileoga Oibre to complement the video as well as a comprehensive document showing the curriculum linkages. The content is in English and in Irish and available free of charge to all Primary Schools.

Available from Bord Bia

Produced by By Kerry Earth Education Project for Bord Bia.

SEED - School Earth Education

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

SEED is a national network of educational centres with many years experience in Primary and Post Primary environmental education, specialising in all aspects of organic school gardening.

SEED's aims are to establish living classrooms in every school to demonstrate that school gardens have unlimited cross curricular potential, particularly tying in with SESE, SPHE, Art, Languages, History and Maths.

Heritage Maps

Science, History, Geography

Find or identify heritage sites and explore heritage data sets anywhere in Ireland.

Ireland’s most comprehensive heritage resource, HeritageMaps.ie enables you locate a vast range of heritage-related sites and projects.

The HeritageMaps.ie viewer provides access to national heritage data sets in map form while incorporating additional contextual data from a wide range of online sources.

Pollinators: Actions to Help Pollinators

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

You may have heard that our bees and other pollinating insects are in trouble. The good news is that you can help by making your garden pollinator friendly. Every garden, no matter its size, can be a haven for hungry pollinators.

Register your school garden on with the 'Actions for Pollinators'  mapping system to track the build-up of food and shelter for pollinators in your school garden.

Use the mapping system to check out what other gardens in Ireland are doing to help pollinators.

The actions that this website tracks align with a series of pollinator friendly guidelines. For example, the guideline document for Gardens suggests 20 possible actions suitable for any type of garden. You can download the Garden Guideline from the Pollinator Plan’s website:

www.biodiversityireland.ie/pol...

Once you've identified the changes you'd like to make to your school garden register your garden on the mapping system. Instructions on registering and using the mapping system can be downloaded here http://www.biodiversityireland...

Insects of Ireland: A Field Guide

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

Over 11,000 species of insects occur in Ireland but most are very small and escape notice. Identifying them accurately can be difficult or impossible. This comprehensive compact guide to over 120 of Ireland’s most popular insects includes all Irish species of butterflies, bumblebees, dragonflies, ladybirds, grasshoppers and shield bugs. All are illustrated in colour with clear descriptions enabling accurate identification.

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.

     

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.

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.

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 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.