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:

Story (History)

'Brigid 1500' Primary School Resource Pack

An initiative Kildare County Council, ‘Brigid 1500’ festival will engage communities with the story and heritage of St. Brigid, providing a connection with the past through events and programmes.  

The ‘Brigid 1500’ school programme includes videos on making crosses; Bridóg dolls; harvesting rushes/reeds; pollinators and legends of St. Brigid. There's also lots of pdf resources with tales, colouring sheets and more.

Travelling Voices

A 20 minute video filmed in July and August, 2022 highlighting the rich culture and heritage of the travelling community in Co. Wexford.

Traditional singer, researcher, folklore collector and Heritage in Schools Specialist Rachel Uí Fhaoláin (Ceol Mo Chroí) and Digital Storyteller/Filmmaker John Ó Faoláin (Traditional Archive Channel) worked with the travelling community in Co. Wexford in association with Ferns Diocesan Youth Service (FDYS) and the Heritage Council.

Participating children engaged in hands-on learning with the two artists and very open discussions around further opportunities for the travelling community in areas of filming, sound, lighting, traditional song, storytelling, performance, recording/archiving etc.

The learning outcomes included the development of important digital skills while exploring the importance of sharing and archiving the songs, language, customs & traditions which are passed onto the children from the older members of their families down through the generations.

The project was funded by the Heritage Council through the Heritage in Schools Summer Programme for 2022.

Ogham Stones in Ireland

Before people in Ireland starting writing in manuscripts made of vellum they wrote on other materials, primarily stone, in a writing system called ogham. Our earliest ogham inscriptions on stone are dated on linguistic grounds to between the 4th and the 7th century AD. Over 400 known examples of ogham stones and fragments of various shapes and sizes have survived, each with their own unique biography or story.

The ogham publication by Dr Nora White is part of the Heritage Council Our Ancient Landscapes series and follows on from the 2020 publication on prehistoric rock art. This latest publication features high quality colour illustrations from Ken Williams, the National Monuments Service, the National Museum of Ireland, the Discovery Programme and Dr Nora White.

Dr Nora White was Principal Investigator on the Ogham in 3D project (https://ogham.celt.dias.ie). She is currently a Postdoctoral researcher on the Irish Research Council/UK Arts and Humanities Research Council funded OG(H)AM project in the Department of Early Irish at Maynooth University. She has been a member of the Heritage Council’s Heritage in Schools panel since 2018 and has been leading the Knockboy church, Co Waterford, Adopt a Monument conservation project.

The Book of Kells children's animations

Specially devised animations to introduce children to The Book of Kells and The Long Room in a simple and fun way.

Multi-user friendly children’s animations packed full of adventure and colourful characters. Seagull Seagull and The Very Long Room are designed to be enjoyed by everyone, including deaf audiences and audiences with low vision.

These animations were produced with funding from The Heritage Council.

Visit The Book of Kells to access these and other resources.

Explorers: History-at-home with EPIC

Unearth the world of Irish Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton, concoct your own Arctic snowstorm and uncover the Irishwoman who became Britain’s first female commercial pilot. Includes puzzles, quizzes and games for children 8+.

EPIC - the Irish Emigration Museum has developed a series of virtual educational experiences, from downloadable history-at-home packs to online workshops/lectures and informative videos. Look, learn, and create together with fun, engaging programmes for students of all ages.

See more at: https://epicchq.com/education/...

The Great Famine: History-at-home with EPIC

Discover the conditions and circumstances that led to The Great Famine of 1845 – 1852, and caused the death of 1 million people and another 1.5 million to leave Ireland. Includes puzzles, quizzes and games for children 8+.

EPIC - the Irish Emigration Museum has developed a series of virtual educational experiences, from downloadable history-at-home packs to online workshops/lectures and informative videos. Look, learn, and create together with fun, engaging programmes for students of all ages.

See more at: https://epicchq.com/education/...

Viking Age Dublin - walking tour and activity book

A self-guided walking tour of Viking Dublin aimed at 8-12 year olds with activities, riddles and games.

It is a natural fit with the SESE History curriculum as it covers many of the strands from Early Peoples and Ancient Societies, to Story, to Life, society, work, and culture in the past, and Continuity and Change over time. It engages children with assessing evidence, understanding chronology, and expanding communication skills under the Working as a Historian skills and concept development.

This project is a collaboration between academics from Dublin, Cambridge, Nottingham and London, with the assistance of Dublinia, the National Museum, Dublin City Council and the School of Irish Archaeology.

Let's go Fishing!: Beth Murphy

An introduction to the ancient world of weaving and basket making including step-by-step instruction from Beth on how to weave a fish from willow or materials you might have at home.

A plant with a past: Paddy Madden

This tutorial links a common wild plant, Charlock or Praiseach Bhuí to the Great Famine.

Suited to children from 4th to 6th class.

Write a riddle poem: Ruth Marshall

Listen to Ruth’s Riddle poem about a heritage site in Co. Clare. Ruth will guide you to explore a place in your own area and write your own riddle.

Suited to children from 3rd to 6th classes.

A story to tell: Chris Thompson

Children are encouraged to examine the heritage significance of their immediate environment through familiar local landscape features.

Suited to children from 2nd to 4th class.

The example of an old tree is used in this tutorial. The activity encourages children to consider questions about past, present and future through personification and the creation of an unusual pictorial poem at the same time. The activity can be applied to other local features, a road, an old building etc.

Knitting needles: Ruth Marshall

Ruth will show how you can make your own knitting pins - using sticks, a pencil sharpener and a little bit of sandpaper.

Suited to children of all ages.

The lucky well: Mark Wilson

An introduction to the history of the traditional Irish farm well.

Suited to children and adults of all ages.

Time travel adventure: Áine Brosnan

There are old school houses in most communities so this is a very accessible monument type and this exercise aims to get the children thinking about what was different and what was similar long ago.

Suitable for children from 3rd to 6th class.

The heritage of hats: Mark Wilson

By finding everyday items we can learn the heritage of our locality, the tools and items which we can find within our own house holds and the history and use that is attached to them to enhance our learning and future lifestyle.

Suited to children and adults of all ages.

A tale of two beetles: Nessa Darcy

Legend has it that two different types of beetle once fought over a juicy slug, but all may not have been as it seemed. Learn about the ecology and anatomy of ground beetles and the devil's coach horse beetle.

Suited to children from 1st to 4th classes.

Discover the Walled Towns of Ireland: a workbook for primary school children

The Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) was formed by the Heritage Council in 2005 to help the walled towns of Ireland become better places in which to live, work and visit. The island of Ireland has 56 known walled towns, 29 of which have joined the IWTN.

A lovely workbook for primary school children introducing them to the the walled towns of Ireland.

Carlow Town Identity 2017

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.

Archaeology in the Classroom

This site has abundant resources for primary pupils. Teachers can download a 12-module resource pack and pupils can find interesting facts, games and activities.

Wicklow In Late Middle Ages

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

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.

Traveller Heritage

This site contains interesting information on the history and culture of the travelling community, including old photographs, sound recordings and personal accounts from individual travellers. 

There’s Something About Patrick

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

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.