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With children of all ages studying from home once again, we decided to pull together some of the free educational resources available from Ireland’s top museums and cultural venues.

Unsurprisingly, there’s lots of materials covering art and history. But there’s some for English, Irish, science and maths too. These museum websites offer plenty of ways to engage students and make most of e-learning.

You can check out EPIC’s e-learning resources here. Or you can spread the word and share your favourite materials using the hashtag: #IrishMuseums

Marsh’s Library

Age group: Pre-school and primary school students

Subjects covered: Maths, art, science and history

Under the ‘Play’ and ‘Learn’ sections of its website, Marsh’s Library offers colouring sheets, online jigsaw puzzles, sewing projects and other artsy activities. There’s also some maths challenges for primary and pre-schools children. But, best of all, there’s an online minifigure hunt and a tricky escape room activity for 5th and 6th class students.

 

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum

Age group: Primary and secondary school students

Subjects covered: History and STEM

EPIC’s history-at-home packs are full of facts, puzzles and games which will help young students learn about Irish culture, while also developing their literacy skills. Suitable for ages 8+, they cover topics like the Easter Rising, the Age of Exploration and famous computer scientists.

Older students can also take advantage of EPIC’s workshops, videos and articles. They can also do a virtual school tour and fill out the 14-page worksheet afterward.

 

Dublinia

Age group: Primary school and Junior Cert students

Subjects covered: History

Dublinia’s e-learning resources include interactive maps, quizzes, animated videos, tasks and topic recaps. There’s content for 3rd and 4th classes, 5th and 6th classes and Junior Cert students. For teachers, there’s also extra resources like timelines, questions and fun facts.

 

The Glucksman

Age group: Primary school children

Subjects covered: Art

The Glucksman #CreativityAtHome initiative has seen children making masks, drawing posters and growing grass hair. The museum even won an international award for the series back in October. Each video comes with a worksheet and connects to the Irish curriculum.

 

MoLI – Museum of Literature Ireland

Age group: Primary and secondary school students

Subjects covered: English

For younger children, MoLI’s Bright Sparks series provides warm-ups, word games and story prompts through 10-minute videos and complementary worksheets. They’re taught by children’s author and creative writing teacher, Sarah Webb.

Then there’s also classes for teenagers presented by successful writers like Darren Shan and Dave Rudden. They aim to help budding writers with everything from character development to dialogue. There’s even one as Gaeilge from bilingual writer Éilís Ní Dhuibhne.

 

The Butter Museum

Age group: Primary school and Junior Cert students

Subjects covered: History

The Butter Museum in Cork offers some worksheets focused on the Junior Cert history syllabus. There’s also lessons, activities and flashcards for younger children which link to science, geography and history.

 

The Chester Beatty

Age group: Pre-school, primary and secondary levels

Subjects covered: Art

Inspired by its art collections, the Chester Beatty has put together a range of online workshops, how-to videos and art activities for all ages. They cover everything from watercolours and 3D drawing, through to origami and finger puppets. They even go beyond art to include cooking, music and wellbeing.

There’s activity packs for ages 3+, 5+ and 8+, which include puzzles and colouring sheets. Then there’s also a 12-page drawing pack for teenagers. This covers topics like outlining, shading and perspective.

 

The National Print Museum

Age group: Primary school and Junior Cert students

Subjects covered: Art and history

The National Print Museum offers loads of arts and craft resources for primary school students. Think activity packs, fact sheets, word searches and videos. They can even learn how to make stamps or create their own prints.

There’s some worksheets about the printing press for Junior Cert students too.

 

Hugh Lane Gallery

Age group: For primary and secondary students

Subjects covered: Art and art history

The Hugh Lane has crafty activities and a virtual tour designed specifically for primary school children. It’s also got some useful resources for Leaving Cert students, including artwork talks and material on the Leaving Cert Gallery question.

 

Coleraine Museum – Mountsandel

Age group: Primary school and Junior Cert students

Subjects covered: History

This website explores life at the Mountsandel settlement during the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. It includes activity sheets, maps and archaeologist interviews.

This site was designed for primary school students in Northern Ireland. But if you’re looking for extra content for older students, Clare County Museum also has a great eight-page worksheet on this topic.

 

Kilmainham Gaol

Age group: Junior Cert students

Subjects covered: History

While the primary school pack primarily covers Kilmainham Gaol itself, the resources for secondary school students cover Robert Emmet, the Easter Rising and the period from 1796-1849. These activity packs are full of primary and secondary source documents too.

 

IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art

Age group: All ages

Subjects covered: Art

IMMA has put together lots of at-home activities for children, including step-by-step guides to make your own crystals and create your own hanging mobiles.

For classes that check out IMMA’s collection online, there’s also study packs for primary, secondary and third-level teachers.

 

Science Gallery Dublin

Age group: Leaving Cert students

Subjects covered: Science

If you want to cover something topical, the Science Gallery’s latest exhibition Speed of Science is about vaccines and immunity. Right now, it’s website features podcasts, articles and engaging infographics on the topic.

Its YouTube videos also cover a range of subjects, from plastic to automation, which could help supplement the content in your science book.

 

Irish Film Institute

Age group: All ages

Subjects covered: English, Irish, history, geography and CSPE

The IFI Player features tons of newsreels and video clips which can help with a wide range of secondary level lessons. There’s also some short animations that are ideal for primary school children.

On its main website, you’ll find film study ideas and a selection of guides for French, English, Spanish and German movies as well.

 

National Library of Ireland

Age group: Primary and secondary school students

Subjects covered: English and history

The National Library’s website features online exhibitions on W.B. Yeats and the 1916 Rising, as well as worksheets for primary schools and documents-base case studies for Leaving Cert students. There’s also some educational resources for students who are studying the poetry of Seamus Heaney.

 

14 Henrietta Street

Age group: For primary and secondary students

Subjects covered: History

14 Henrietta Street lays out different tasks, games, activities and reading materials for students in primary school, Junior Cycle, Transition Year and Leaving Cert. Audiences can also learn more about the social history of football in Dublin with ‘Teatime talks‘ on 10 February. 

 

National Gallery

Age group: Primary and secondary school students

Subjects covered: Art and art history

The National Gallery at Home hub features virtual tours, audio guides, videos, podcasts and playlists. Children can learn about the Renaissance or create their own stained glass artwork.

There’s also project ideas, worksheets, colouring sheets and sensory activities designed specifically for students. The school resources, which are available in both Irish and English, link directly with the current curriculum.

 

National Museum of Ireland

Age group: Primary school students

Subjects covered: History, art and environment

The museums of Archaeology, Country Life, Natural History and Decorative Arts and History are all offering online educational resources. These include activity sheets, art projects, word searches and talks – most of which are made for young children.

The Design & Crafts Council Ireland, which has a contemporary collection with the National Museum, also offers lots of lesson plans for all ages.

 

Donegal County Archives

Age group: Primary and secondary school students

Subjects covered: History

The archives offer tips and questionnaires for conducting interviews and historical research. For younger students, there’s also lessons on life in 19th century Ireland. For second-level students, there’s study packs on the 1916 Rising, the Flight of the Earls and the Ulster Plantation.

Some of the resources relate to the local area, so they’re particularly useful for students based in Donegal.

 

Crawford Art Gallery

Age group: All ages

Subjects covered: Art

The Crawford Art Gallery is big on school resources. There’s colouring sheets, art activities and prompts for primary school students, as well as drawing classes and case studies for second-level students.

There’s also lots of worksheets for teachers, which cover artists like Jack B. Yeats, Harry Clarke and Eilis O’Connell.

 

Irish National Stud & Gardens

Age group: Primary school students

Subjects covered: Science

The INS in Kildare has four horse-related worksheets on its website. They include a word search and a guide to equine anatomy for young students.

 

Central Bank of Ireland

Age group: Leaving Cert students

Subjects covered: Economics

The Central Bank’s website has lots of information on banking in Ireland, including some short animations explaining its work using simple language and humour. It also has some short, but helpful, explainer articles on various topics like monetary policy and quantitative easing.

 

Wicklow Mountains National Park

Age group: Primary school students

Subjects covered: Science

For children who like to spend time outdoors, Wicklow Mountains National Park created its ‘Nature In My Garden’ series of worksheets. Available in English and Irish, they aim to help primary school children discover nature and learn about the likes of birds, butterflies and bumblebees. Posters, videos and other resources are available too.

 

Poetry Ireland

Age group: Primary school and Leaving Cert students

Subjects covered: English and Irish

Poetry Ireland has tons of educational resources. Its Behind the Lines video series helps Leaving Cert students learn about poems in the English and Irish curriculum. They’ll see Irish poets read and discuss their own work, as well as the work of other poets like Emily Dickinson and Francis Ledwidge.

It also offers resources for teachers, including poetry packs for primary schools and creative writing lesson plans for secondary students. There’s plenty of other content on its YouTube and SoundCloud accounts too.

 

The Hunt Museum

Age group: Primary school and Junior cert students

Subjects covered: Art and history

Limerick’s Hunt Museum has colouring books, games, quizzes, worksheets and online jigsaws for children. There’s also an animal hunt through the museum’s 3D collection, as well as craft activities which show you how to make stained glass windows, masks and dream catchers at home.

For older students, there’s online exhibitions and one-minute video talks on different collection pieces. There’s also workbooks on costume design and Vikings created specifically for Junior Cert students.

 

Glenveagh National Park

Age group: Primary school students

Subjects covered: Science

Donegal’s Glenveagh National Park provides downloadable worksheets, nature identification charts and activities to do in the garden. Think making bird feeders, identifying birds and undertaking minibeast hunts.

Its resources link the outdoors to all sorts of areas on the curriculum and are ideal for the spring and summer seasons.

 

I-LOFAR

Age group: Junior Cert students

Subjects covered: STEM

I-LOFAR, which is part of the international LOFAR network, runs the low frequency radio telescope based at Birr Castle in county Offaly. Its website offers lesson plans and step-by-step videos for Junior Cert science teachers.

Its resources cover a wide range of topics relating to space science, including the moon, the solar system, gravity, telescopes and astronomy in ireland. Any materials needed as part of lessons are usually available at home.

 

Geoschol

Age group: Primary school students

Subjects covered: Science

Geoschol brings together contributions from various museums, including the National Museum of Ireland, Ulster Museum and the Geological Museum at Trinity College – which also offers additional resources on its own website.

Geoschol features puzzles, word searches, maps, posters and other activities relating to geology and fossils. It also provides links to downloadable field guides too.

 

Trinity College Dublin

Age group: Primary and secondary school students

Subjects covered: History

Trinity College has in-depth teacher guides on the Book of Kells for both primary schools and secondary schools. Both documents link to the current curriculum. Then, if you want to delve into the topic further, you’ll also find videos over on YouTube and an online course over on FutureLearn.

The Trinity College Library also offers online presentations of its exhibitions, which cover a range of subjects. There’s one on Oscar Wilde, ‘The Playboy of the Western World’, the 1916 Rising, Irish illustrators, Harry Clarke, and the Middle Ages.

 

Irish National Heritage Park

Age group: Primary school and Junior Cert students

Subjects covered: History

During the last lockdown, the Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford created a series of short, educational videos based on the workshops it usually gives to students who visit the park.

The park’s memorable tour guide Jack brings viewers from the Mesolithic period right through to Norman times with humour and quiz questions.

 

The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies

Age group: Primary school and secondary school students

Subjects covered: History and STEM

DIAS, which conducts research into Celtic Studies, Theoretical Physics and Cosmic Physics, has a broad range of resources for students. Right now, it offers free online lectures – many of which are suitable for secondary school students. (Past lectures are also available on the DIAS Youtube channel.)

For primary school students, there’s lesson plans developed by the SEA-SEIS ocean-bottom exploration project. They cover a range of topics, such as techniques for scientific discovery, which connect to the STEM, English and art curriculums.

DIAS’s Irish National Seismic Network website is also a great way to introduce seismology to all ages. It even shows a map of all the earthquakes detected in Ireland since 1980.

For history students, its Ogham in 3D database offers images and information on Ireland’s surviving Ogham stones. While its Irish Script on Screen database hosts historic Irish manuscripts too.

 

National Archives

Age group: Primary school and secondary school students

Subjects covered: History

The National Archives has lots of videos about its work and stories about the records it holds. It’s a great source of primary source documents and its Decade of Centenaries website has lots of documents on Irish history from 1912-1923.

There’s also a selection of activities for all ages, including a census quiz, an online jigsaw and a macaroon recipe.

 

The Ark

Age group: Primary school students

Subjects covered: Art, music, science and geography

The Ark in Dublin has adapted many of its worksheets for use at home. They’re packed with art projects and games to help children learn about everything from rhythm and beats, through to rockets and bees.

Its lesson plans are relevant to many different areas of the primary school curriculum and include audio clips, discussion topics and activities. There’s more parent and teacher packs to come too – these will accompany its new Winter Light exhibition.

You can check out EPIC’s e-learning resources here. Or you can spread the word and share your favourite materials using the hashtag: #IrishMuseums