Making primary history fun & challenging

‘Big questions’ Flashpoints Rich sources Free resources

Ireland in Schools (IiS) is a national network of volunteers which provides free teaching and learning resources for primary and secondary schools in Britain. The aim is to make Ireland a part of the normal curriculum in Britain, from primary schools to sixth-forms, by making it easy for teachers to draw upon Ireland in their teaching. Originally intended to underpin the peace process, the programme has taken on an educational life of its own by • addressing key curriculum issues • enriching the teaching and learning experience for teachers and pupils alike and • making learning fun as well as challenging. The free IiS resources are developed by teachers to • reflect the realities of the curriculum and the classroom and • provide models of best practice. Download free resources for primary history at: ph.aspx St Brendan the Navigator Brian Boru, Alfred the Great & the Vikings Book of Kells Grace O’Malley & Elizabeth I Irish Famine Evacuees & refugees Website: Contact:

Who needs Florence Nightingale?

‘Upset when her father refused to take her on
a [sea] trip because she was a girl, the story goes that Grace cut off her hair and donned male clothes.’
Granuaile by M. Moriarty & C. Sweeney O’Brien Press, 0-86278-62-0, p. 15

Year 1 Look at the picture above of the shorthaired Granuaile with her mother, brother and father in the background. Describe the events using speech bubbles to explain emotions.

Year 2 Freeze frame or hot seat the picture above of the shorthaired Granuaile with her mother, brother and father in the background. Focus on how differently males and females are expected to act.

1. Look at the picture above and the list of phrases below. Which phrases do you think apply to Granuaile and which to Elizabeth I? linen saffron smock gown richly embroidered lace handkerchief weather-beaten face large woollen sleeveless cloak chalk-like face sober dress ornamental style.
(Year 2: Suggest a reason why the two women would be dressed in clothing that was so different.)

2. Do you remember the reasons why Granuaile met Elizabeth I? Can you imagine what they said to each other? Use Drama conventions to reconstruct the picture above, then try to reconstruct the conversation between the two women, e.g., ‘Still image’ and ‘Thought tapping’. Or Use hand puppets to act out the imagined conversation.

‘GRANA UILE [sic] introduced to QUEEN ELIZABETH’
Frontispiece to Anthologia Hibernica Vol. II, 1793 There is no contemporary account of this meeting which took place in 1593.

Venn diagram creates a quandary
Bravery or fidelity?
This Venn diagram, asking them to compare Alfred the Great and Brian Boru, put Year 3 and Year 4 pupils in a quandary. Their task Their task was to decide which king was the more worthy of having a saga composed about them. Their choice Their choice of Brian Boru caused more than a little concern. He was the more heroically swashbuckling, but they liked Alfred better. Alfred was, they concluded, more trustworthy than Brian. Study unit - 5 lessons If you were a Viking, whose story would you choose to tell: Alfred the Great’s or Brian Boru’s?

Book of Kells
Not just pretty pictures?
Decoration Pictures and decorative lettering helped people to understand the text. It made the deep meanings of the gospel clear by using lively pictures that were not easily forgotten. The letter N Here is the capital letter N, standing for ‘no man’ (nemo in Latin). It begins the well-known sentence: ‘No man can serve two masters. He will either hate the one and love the other, or hold to the one and despise the other’. Purpose?See below for suggestions Does the way the letter is formed give a clue as to the words of Jesus which need to be thought about?

The capital letter N is shaped out of two little men. Their bodies and legs are twisted and turned to make the outline of the capital N. They face each other. They are not at all friendly. In fact they are tugging at each other’s beards! This little picture of the two men struggling gives us the clue to the words of Jesus which need to be thought about. Nothing seems to be going right between them.

St Brendan the Navigator
Just a tall tale?
What was St Brendan’s voyage like? Learning objectives • To reflect on the feelings of St Brendan. • To express feelings through music. • To be aware that beliefs can be expressed in different forms. Plenary Imagine that you could go back in time and meet St Brendan. What questions would the children like to ask him? As well as simple details encourage questions on feelings and reasons for his actions. Teacher in the role of St Brendan then takes the hot seat and answers questions from the children, giving as much detail as possible about him. A role on the wall of Brendan should then be created, gathering all the information learned about him together. (A simple outline of a person is drawn and details written around the outside. Feelings are written inside the outline).

Re-enacting the ejectment of Irish tenantry, 1848

1. Working in groups
Look at the picture. You have to become the main people in the picture. Freeze frame.

2. Judging everyone’s freeze-frame
Give it a mark from 1 (not like the picture) 5 (exactly like the picture).

3. Asking questions
Make a list of the questions which you need in order to understand the importance of the scene in the picture.

Children in the Second World War: fact & fiction
From Examining & Writing Historical Fiction: 1. Evacuees - London to Co. Wicklow, Éire Leaving London: Sophie and Hugh - evacuees at the railway station) Again, like real children, Sophie and Hugh left London by train. They had a small battered red case and a pillowcase tied with a piece of white string. Aunt Jessie had gone to their house and persuaded Mr. Thompson, the street warden to get them a few things. Some clothes, the photo of Dad in his uniform taken the day before he went away, an extra pair of shoes for Sophie. They each had a cardboard box holding their gas mask hanging across their chest, and Mrs Stokes made them both put on their coats, as it was easier than carrying them. She took out a string and label and wrote Hugh’s name and destination and where he was coming from, and attached it to the toggle of his coat. She took one look at Sophie’s face and guessed, correctly, that the twelve year old would object loudly to being labelled like a paper package and shoved the card and string back into her pocket.... There was crying and shouting and wailing and fighting as kids clung to parents and babies bawled. Some people were putting their children on the train and then, a few minutes later, lifting them off again, unable to let them go. The lists were going to be all muddled up at this rate, thought Sophie.... Sophie closed her eyes, blocking it all out, singing so softly to herself that only Hugh could hear. 1. Look at the pictures. If you had to leave home by yourself, which picture would best show how you would feel? 2. Which picture best matches the extract? 3. Enact a five-minute drama based on the extract. 4. Write up your drama as a story, using the extract as a model.

Lesson 3: Extract C (pp 47-9)

Arriving in Ireland

Lesson 4: Extract D

Unlike most evacuees, who were met by strangers, Sophie and Hugh were met by their grandfather, a stern man.
Sophie watched as families were reunited. They hugged and kissed and talked animatedly to each other. Some solitary figures stood, holding their cases, looking forlorn. The school-boys were met by a plump woman in a fur coat who hugged and kissed them all, much to their embarrassment.... People were everywhere, standing, sitting, watching, waiting. Sophie hoped that their grandfather was amongst them. Mr Cox [the ship’s steward who looked after Hugh and Sophie on the voyage] chatted away to them, all the time with his eyes scouring the crowd. At one stage, he left them and approached a balding, jolly-looking gentleman who seemed to be asking one of the ship’s officers something. He seemed friendly, just as Sophie imagined a grandfather should be. But she could see him shake his head. ‘Where is he?’ complained Hugh, voicing her own concerns. ‘He’s probably forgotten and won’t bother coming to get us’.... Then she noticed the tall man sitting on one of the wooden benches reading a newspaper. As if he knew she had spotted him, he folded the paper and began to stand up. He had a grey beard and a broad face, which even at a distance reminded her of her own father. He was wearing a blue-green tweed suit and a white shirt, and as soon as he walked she couldn’t help but notice his pronounced limp, and the gnarled dark wooden stick he used.... ‘Excuse me, Sir! Are you, by any chance, Professor Fitzpatrick?’ Mr Cox enquired. The old man looked sternly at them. ‘Yes! Indeed I am! And these two must be my grandchildren, Sophie and Hugh!’ He gave a kind of low, formal bow, and instead of hugging them shook their hands politely. Sophie wilted from his stare - the striking pale, blue eyes under the grey hairy eyebrows gazed at her. 1. Underline in different colours the words which show good, bad and mixed feelings. 2. a. Examine the sources D1, D2, D3 and D4 which show what happened to other evacuees on arrival at their destinations. b Read the following statements and match them to the sources. i. I was excited when given sweets and met by my grandparents but then I wanted to go home. ii. I stayed with a rich woman. iii. Everything went wrong. I was split up from my brother. iv. We were disappointed with the woman who met us. v. We were treated like cattle. vi. I felt rejected by the village. c. Which of the sources best matches Sophie’s feelings? Give reasons for your answer. 3. If you wanted to write a story about an evacuee, which of these evacuees would you use as a starting point, and why? 4. Use the experience of this evacuee and any other sources used in the previous lesson to help you write your own imaginative story.

(pp 68-9)

Source D1: Vernon Bell’s story The assembled villagers [of Bradninch, near Exeter, Devon] eyed us up like calves on market day, made their selection and departed. I became aware that I was the only one left and no takers! I learned later that I was saved by the insistence of my host family’s three children that the parents should go along to see the most exciting thing to happen in the village since the Coronation Party. There was no way could this family take another child into their three room farm cottage their children were told, and being as poor as the proverbial church mice to boot. They turned up just as I dissolved into tears at my rejection by the village. ‘We had better take this un home with us,’ they said. Source D2: Michael Caine’s story I don’t remember the train ride but I do remember being led into a great big village hall and my brother and I being picked by this wonderful woman who whisked us away in this big car, probably a Rolls, to this great mansion with dogs and cats and it was lovely….Mrs. Warner was her name….and we were there for two weeks, my brother and I. Unfortunately, it turned out we were too far from the school so we had to leave the house. I mean, I thought, boy, am I in for a great time here, and they took us away and they took us to another part of the village. That was Wargrave in Berkshire. They were semi-detached houses on the edge of the park. They didn’t look too bad but they split my brother and me up because of our age difference and put me with another boy who was six called Clarence. And we were out into this house and I was immediately aware that everything had gone wrong. I mean it was dreadful… Source D3: Laura Selo’s story We left [Prague] in June 1939. I shall never forget the day when we arrived at drab Liverpool Street Station, tired and slightly bedraggled. A lady dressed rather shabbily in old-fashioned clothes came towards us and into my hands she put a card on which the words ‘Mother Love’ were written.... [we] were rather bewildered and, quite frankly, disappointed ... Source D4: Edith Rothschild’s story We were then on the train to London and I only remember the porters at the station throwing sweets into the train for the children and then we left. Next I was sitting in a huge hall full of children and sipping some water. Then my name was called. My grandparents who were already in London, came to see me at the station, keeping a promise that they would do so. I was so happy to see them but was just not allowed to stay with them for very long. I had to continue my journey to Cambridge, where I was to live with an English family. By now the excitement of the journey had worn off and I wanted to go home.