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KS2: How should we respond to Famine: Ireland in the 1840s?

KS2: How should we respond to Famine: Ireland in the 1840s?



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Published by Ireland in Schools
This Key Stage 2 depth study explores contemporary responses to the the Irish Famine as a way of (a) exploring the history of Ireland and Anglo-Irish relations and (b) addressing responses to famine in the world today. For more resources, please go to: http://iisresource.org/famine_responding.aspx
This Key Stage 2 depth study explores contemporary responses to the the Irish Famine as a way of (a) exploring the history of Ireland and Anglo-Irish relations and (b) addressing responses to famine in the world today. For more resources, please go to: http://iisresource.org/famine_responding.aspx

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Published by: Ireland in Schools on Feb 20, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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History & citizenship
How should we respond to Famine:Ireland in the 1840s?
 About this unit/lesson plansLessons, sources & worksheets1.What questions arise from looking at a picture of an eviction during the Irish Famine?2.How can we explain what was happening in this picture?3.How far was eviction the main experience of the Famine?4.What can we do about famine?Notes1.Famine in Ireland2.Evictions during the Famine3.Commentaries on some sources4.Every Child Matters
Ireland in SchoolsBirmingham Pilot Scheme
English & Irish history for primary schools
Version 1, 17 November 2008
Watermark: ‘The Spectre’, 1851Far West a grim shadow was seen, as ‘tis said,Like a Spectre from Famine and Pestilence bred;His gaunt giant-form, with pale Poverty wed.The fell Spectre advanc’d - who the horrors shall tellOh his galloping stride, as he sounded the knellOf thousands on thousands who ‘neath his eye fell?
 Available online at:http://iisresource.org//Documents/KS2_Dealing_With_Famine.pdf  Also a PowerPoint of the images used:http://iisresource.org//Documents/KS2_Dealing_With_Famine.pptFor a PowerPoint overview of the Famine, with songs and music
- suitable for use in primary as well as secondary schools
Key Stage 2University of BirminghamBASSUniversity of Northampton
 IiS, KS2: Dealing with Famine, 2
 About the study unit
This study unit is intended as a depth study within the Key Stage 2History curriculum when studying Victorian Britain.The key question asks: ‘How should we respond to Famine: Ireland inthe 1840s?’Using a variety of stimulus material, the unit encourages children toexplore the past by examining sources relating to the Irish Famine andthe context in which they arose.The key question leads children to consider thea.ways in which the Famine affected people,b.how they responded to the crisis, andc.how famine is treated today.The key question also leads to a better understanding of the complexitiesof the impact of, and responses to, famine and makes explicit links toCitizenship.The unit also offers scope for work in Literacy and Music.
Prior knowledge
It would be helpful if the children hada.prior knowledge of other aspects oVictorian Britain, such as urban andrural conditions,b.some understanding of the use osources.
National Curriculum Historical objectives - Key Stage 2
2. Knowledge and understanding of events, people andchanges in the pasta. characteristic features of the periods and societiesstudiedb. the social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of the societies studied in Britain and the wider worldc. identify and describe reasons for, and results of,historical events, situations, and changes in the periodsstudied.4.Historical enquirya. find out about events, people and changes ... froman appropriate range of sources of information,including ICT-based sourcesb. ask and answer questions, and to select and recordinformation, relevant to the focus of the enquiry.5.Organisation and communicationa. recall, select and organise historical informationc. communicate their knowledge and understanding of history in a variety of ways.
Every Child Matters
The unit fully embraces the Every Child Matters strategy - see Note 4.
Other Ireland in Schools study units & resources on the Famine
Lesson plans on following page.
 IiS, KS2: Dealing with Famine, 3
Lesson plans
LessonKeyquestion ActivitiesHistoryNC
1Whatquestionsarise fromlooking at apicture of anevictionduring theIrishFamine?1.
Show eviction, source 1A (
See Note 2)
.a. Teacher introduction: Briefly explain the context of the picture.*b. Ask children what is going on in the picture and who are the people in it.2. a. Generate words on a wordwall - nouns, adjectives or verbs - to showobservations, feeling and impressions from the picture.b. Children match the cards to the picture.3. Working in groups. Look at the picture. You have to become the main peoplein the picture.a. Freeze frame.b. Judge everyone’s freeze-frame.Give it a mark from 1 (not like the picture) - 5 (exactly like the picture).
c. Optional extension activity: make a 3 second movie with soundscape to suggest what happened next in the picture.
Asking questions
(Role on the wall.)
**Pin two characters on board - bailiff and tenant (or tenant’s wife) - and childrengenerate questions on post-it notes and stick on characters.2a4a, b*5c2 How can weexplain whatwashappeningin thispicture?1.
Divide class into groups. Using source 1A and the questions from theplenary in lesson 1, groups decide on two questions to ask the bailiff and twoquestions to ask the tenant (or his wife).2. Hotseat teacher as bailiff and tenant (or tenant’s wife), using character cards,and the children’s chosen questions in the starter.3. Look at written sources 2A-F.How far do they explain the picture and/or the children’s questions to the hotseat?4. Add to wordwall, using a different colour from that used in lesson 1.5.
Pair-share the question ‘If you were a landlord why might you haveevicted your tenants?’2a*, b4a, b*3How farwaseviction themainexperienceof theFamine?1.
How far do the following sources, 3A-3D, show that being evictedfrom your home was not the only source of suffering during the Famine?2. Divide class into groups and hand out sources 3E-R in dribs and drabs.Groups decide how far the sources show that there were more responses to thefamine than eviction, using the grid provided.
(Some sources might fall into morethan one category.)
3. Add to wordwall, using a different colour from those used in lessons 1 & 2.4.
How far does the eviction illustration represent what happened duringthe famine? Justify your decision.2a*, b, c4a, b*4What canwe do aboutfamine?1.
How do we respond to crises, such as famine and war, today?
2. Divide class into groups to discuss the question ‘How do you think you wouldhave responded to the potato Famine?’3. Using sugar paper, marker pens, ideas from the wordwall and any othermaterial from the preceding 3 lessons, produce a visual aid (poster, badge, sticker,logo, ect.) and letter to persuade people to support your response.4. Present your campaign to the class and ask them to vote on it.5.
. How far has your work on the Irish Famine helped you to understandwhy famines occur today and how people respond to them?
Option: Could run a campaign to raise awareness and support for peopleexperiencing famine today.
2d*5a, c
2a,* e, h, k, j4a5d, g
*In the 1840s, Ireland faced a serious famine caused by the failure of the potato crop, Ireland’s staple food. It meant that people were short of food to eat and money to pay their rents. This led to some landlords to evict tenants as shown insource 1A.** Questions could include why is the family being evicted; why are the characters in the picture behaving as they are (suchas the bailiff - why is he evicting this family; the soldiers - why are they there); why is the roof being ripped off; what happened to the family; what will happen to the land; did all people go without food; why was there a famine?

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