Primary School Activities
by Mairín Ní Mhurchú
Please Note - These initiatives are in the process of being up-dated and will be uploaded as soon as possible.
The Story of the Universe
The Story of the Universe is a narrative/ script and is told in verse to the air of old Irish melodies, combining to make up a small drama. The programme is perfect for a school show. As the narrative/ story is read, children sing the verses and others act out the various parts/ elements they have chosen to represent in the evolving universe.
Maírín Ní Mhurchú B.Sc and Melissa Griffith M.A.
A story that goes back 13.73 billion years…
The Story of the Universe is the story of how the whole universe began and how it evolved into what it is today. The story begins 13.73 billion years ago (a billion is 100,000,000) and tells how over time, oceans and mountains formed, then life began and plants and animals evolved, up to the emergence of the human.
This education initiative makes for an ideal 'End of Year' or Christmas project, and it has also helped many schools in their bid for the Green Flag.
It can be downloaded here (.zip) free of charge:
The music is easily downloaded above, but please
Through engaging with The Story of the Universe Project, children will grow in awareness of the Earth and the whole earth environment, and will develop a relationship of wonder and reverence with the natural world. The project involves working in a participative way with children as you weave together the scientific facts that give us a 'new' story of our beginnings on earth, as opposed to the biblical one.
The students take on the personae of the story – planets, insects, mountains, mammals, etc. - thus improving their knowledge of history, geography, religion, storytelling, and science, and they then present the story in creative ways through art, music and drama.
Students develop interactive and cooperative skills, and learn to work as part of a team. The programme also encourages critical and independent thinking.
This education initiative also functions as a stand-alone unit of simply telling a story and singing its songs.Listen to the music and voice:
Listen to the soundtrack:
Transition Year Programme
The development of a programme of education for Transition Year students is currently underway and will be available for download here soon. In the meantime, teachers may wish to use the education resources currently on this site. These will provide ideas and valuable information for transition year students' projects.
Our Interactive map contains a vast amount of information on each of the Irish counties, ranging from Population; Area; Farmland; Flora & Fauna; Marine life; Endangered species, etc. Such a wide range of detailed county by county information has been unavailable in one online location until now, and we hope you can make use of this wonderful educational tool. Check it out.
Please support us in the continued development of our educational programmes.
Literacy for Adults
These workbooks, in 8 modules, contain student worksheets that can be photocopied, along with teacher's notes, lesson plans and learning objectives.
Available below (.pdf) or download all modules (.zip)
The Environmental Studies workbooks aim to highlight the connections between everything in life, by showing how everything is connected to everything else and how consequently, there are huge implications for us all in the lifestyle choices we make.
Becoming earth literate is so important at this particular time in our history, as we are faced with a massive global environmental crisis. In our view, we can no longer only consider human needs in our teaching and learning practices.
What is happening to the earth and the environment matters as it impacts on our daily lives. People are experiencing higher food prices, poor local water supplies, ill health, etc., and are only too aware that something needs to be done, both individually and collectively.
Teaching literacy is an opportunity to not only teach the rudiments of reading, writing and numeracy, but an opportunity also to raise awareness of how the lifestyle choices we make affect all of life, both now and in future generations. Hence, Green Sod Ireland offers you these Environmental Studies workbooks, with lesson plans and suggestions on how this idea can be taught as an integral part of adult basic education.
Not only will students learn to read and write, but they will also be educated on important life issues and that is inclusive learning. This means that through education we are engaging with the most important issues and questions of our time, i.e.: the survival and protection of life itself.
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I am an art teacher. My students are from the Irish traveller community and they showed great interest in this art workbook. I explained to them that this module uses the art of the Aboriginal tribes of Australia as a basis for teaching about the interconnectedness of all life. Working with this environmental studies art book has been great.
Students get a pre-prepared package, which they can first look through to get a feel for the module. This made teaching it very easy for me. The historical context and research aspects of the module are very exciting. Students of various levels can use it. It was fun to do with the class of young teenagers, who worked both as a group (discussing the Aboriginal tribes and collecting sticks for construction of their finished wall hangings) and on an individual basis (asking grandparents how and where they lived when they were young). Some students came back with wonderful stories from their grandparents that enriched all of us.
Students used only recycled fabric and this helped bring home the message of waste and the importance of the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). I am fortunate enough to have some good art books on the art of Aboriginal tribes, but even without this the web has some great sites and the students used this resource to do their research. The workbook has word searches, which are very helpful in improving the literacy levels of students, along with short pieces of writing that can be worked through. It is a thoroughly integrated module, art and literacy, and my students benefited greatly from it. Consequently, I was able to use the work that the students did as part of their FETAC Level 3 Art & Design Module. If could also be used as part of the Graphic Communication Module.
Sheila, Youthreach 2010.