Teachers' Resources | Heritage in Schools

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)

The History Of Ireland In 100 Objects

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.

The Frog Blog

The Frog Blog contains short and snappy science articles on a rich array of topics, from astronomy to zoology. It's created for science enthusiasts of all ages, so enjoy! 

The Confederation Of Kilkenny

The PDFs below provide a history of local government in Kilkenny, encouraging the children to become familiar with important events in the history of the locality and referring to the wider national context where relevant.

The Butlers of Kilkenny

Theobald Fitzwalter, an English nobleman, came with the young Prince John, to Ireland in 1185. The prince gave Fitzwalter a large area of land and the important job of Chief Butler of Ireland. This meant that if the king was visiting Ireland, the Chief Butler had to make sure there was plenty of food and drink ready for him and for the group travelling with him. Download the full PDF below for the full story of the Butler family.

This resource encourages the children to become familiar with important events in the history of the locality, referring to the wider national context where relevant.

The Buildings We Live In

An introduction into different types of buildings that are in the locality.

Things To do
1.    Go on a building ramble. Ask the children to look at the different types of houses that are in their neighbourhood. Do a mini survey of where they live and what kind of house/ apartment they live in.
2.    Download the Front Doors worksheet below and draw a picture of four different doors they see on their way to school.
3.    Tell the three Little Pigs Story and get the children to draw the three different types of houses.

The 1947 Flood, Kilkenny

Content of the study
Children should learn about:
1.    The cause and effect of the flood.
2.    The River Nore and how it has changed from the time of the flood.
3.    The story of the flood as told in the Kilkenny People.
4.    Memories of people about the 1947 flood.

Skills and concepts development
Children should be able to:
1.    Time and Chronology:

  • Describe events as before/after/ later/earlier
  • Use a simple timeline

2.    Change and continuity:

  • Identify features that have remained the same, for example the houses and the bridges near the river
  • Identify how the River Nore has changed

3.    Cause and effect:

  • Examine the reasons for the flood and the effect it had on Kilkenny City

4.    Using evidence:

  • Photographs of the river today
  • Photographs of the flood
  • Edited version of articles in the Kilkenny People

5.    Synthesis and Communication:

  • Communicate an awareness of the story of the flood and stories associated with it, in a variety of different ways such as drama and art.

5.    Empathy:

  • Imagine and discuss what it was like to be rescued in a boat on the evening of the flood.
  • Imagine and discuss what it was like to have your home destroyed by floodwater.


  • Among the methods which may be used are:
  • A story lesson based on the accounts from the Kilkenny People
  • Examining a photograph taken of the flood
  • Listening to personal memories of the flood (oral evidence)
  • Integration with other subjects: the river (Geography)


  • Teacher observation
  • Outcomes of pupil-pupil and teacher-pupil discussion
  • Teacher-designed tasks
  • Work cards designed to help children examine the evidence

Stepping Into Kilkenny's History: A Resource For Primary Schools

Published by Kilkenny Education Centre with support from the Heritage Council, this beautifully illustrated publication provides in-depth knowledge about the medieval city of Kilkenny with its narrow streets, its distinctive townscape and rich historic fabric.

Kieran’s Street Trail, Kilkenny

St. Kieran’s Street in Kilkenny is named after St. Kieran's Well and the site of an ancient church at its northern end. In times past it was named Low Lane, Back Lane and King Street. The presentation, walking trail and worksheets below allow the children to discover the rich heritage of the street first hand.

This resource ties in to the strand unit, ‘my locality throughout the ages’, which requires the children to become familiar with important events in the history of the locality, referring to the wider national context where relevant.

Make A St. Brigid’s Cross

Saint Brigid is remembered for her spirituality, charity and compassion. Her feast day is on the 1st February, the first day of spring. It is customary on St Brigid’s Day to make a cross, known as a ‘St Brigid’s Cross’, out of rushes or reeds (other materials may be used if no rushes or reeds are available).

Once the cross is woven, it is blessed with holy water by a priest. It is then hung on the front doors of homes and left in place all year, to be burned and replaced with a newly-woven cross on the next St Brigid’s Day.

How to make a St. Brigid’s Cross
You will need:

  • bowl
  • 28 long reads or straws (if not available why not try pipe cleaners).


  • Position two straws to make a plus sign, putting the horizontal straw on the top. Fold the upper section of the vertical straw on top of its other half. Rotate the weave counter-clockwise 90 degrees. Repeat to fold the now-vertical straw.
  • Rotate 90 degrees counter-clockwise. Add another straw by placing it to the right of the folded vertical straw and beneath the folded horizontal straw. Fold it and rotate it again.
  • Keep repeating the process without letting the straws bunch up on top of each other. Rest the straws side by side.
  • Tie each arm 4 inches from the centre of the St. Brigid’s cross after all the straws have been added. Trim the ends of the straw.

Roscommon Castle

Roscommon Castle is a dramatic and imposing 13th Century Norman Castle.  It was built in 1269 by Robert de Ufford, on lands he had seized from the Augustinian Priory. The castle has a tumultuous past which can be explored with junior level children in the presentation below.

Today, the Castle's past can be visited while enjoying adjacent Loughnaneane Park and Playground, a 14 acre recreational area.  The natural features of the park include a turlough and a wildlife conservation area which is a habitat of unique flora and fauna.

Image by Mike Searle and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Planning A ‘Storywalk’

This sheet contains some lovely ideas for creating an adventure with your class when out on a walk. Suggestions include questions you might ask the group, activities you can try out or simply some things to highlight to the children as you go along.

Past Explorers

Developed to compliment the National Curriculum in England, this site is aimed at 7-11 year olds. It includes some great resources, including an interactive Anglo-Saxon virtual village.

Old Kilkenny Advertising

Let the children explore continuity and change over time by discussing these old ads and the difference in prices between now and then.

My Book Of Kells Colouring Book

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 Pop-Up Landscape

Pop-up cards are a popular and often enchanting way of drawing ideas together or giving people a chance to integrate their new knowledge of an idea or a place into a quick creative form. There are lots and lots of folds and movements you can use.

Make A Concertina Book

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

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.

Holding Out For A Hero

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.

Family Tree

A great genealogy website with games, ideas and resources, suitable for a range of age groups. Activities include a family history scavenger hunt and creating a time capsule.

Create Your Own Colourful Characters

A quick activity that can offer delightful characters to use in building stories, having adventures or unfolding the life of an old building. 

Famous Buildings

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'.

Exploring Sligo

This website documents a project in which six County Sligo schools explored and documented the heritage sites of the county. It has lots of resources that can be used by other schools in Sligo.

Christchurch Cathedral

This website has lots of interesting information on the history and heritage of Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin for older age groups.

Loughnaneane Park - Primary Schools Education Pack

Loughnaneane Park is a free amenity provided by Roscommon County Council which is available to all. This pack aims to promote Loughnaneane Park as an education resource site, to be used by primary schools for field studies relating to natural, built and cultural heritage.