Handling image by Frank Miller Irish Times

Exploring Museums: Object-based Learning

“This workshop really gets to the heart of what you do…”


Museum workshops using handling objects are designed to meet the needs of a range of learning styles and provide opportunities to handle high-quality, authentic objects that might not otherwise be possible.

Object-based learning encourages students to use and develop a range of skills including language and listening skills and critical thinking skills.  Workshops also:

  • Demonstrate the importance of multiple perspectives
  • Develop perceptions, ability for reflection and making judgements
  • Make connections to the objects on display - the Museum is all about objects!
At the Museum

If Things Could Talk - Exploring Museums Workshop

“It was really good…we were just allowed to talk about the objects ourselves…”

TY Student, aged 16

Learning using objects
In this cross-curricular workshop, students are encouraged to think and work as historians and curators, through hands-on, object-based learning. This workshop can also be booked by schools working on inter-generational projects with older people’s groups. This allows potential for a deeper engagement with recent social and economic history and stronger CPSE links.

Maximum: 30 per group. Duration: one hour.

Curriculum Links

Junior & Senior Cycle

  • History
  • Art, Craft & Design
  • English Language/Oral/Listening Skills
  • Home Economics
  • CPSE

Self Directed Visits

Please note that all group visits must be pre-booked. Groups who arrive unnannouced may not be able to access galleries as groups who book will be given precedence. Contact us to make a booking.

Galleries which provide objects for handling include:

  • Irish Furniture Galleries
  • Barracks Life Room

Follow these steps to get the most out of a self-directed visit.

In The Classroom

In the classroom, there are several follow up activities you can do with your class to continue the Exploring Museums topic.

We suggest:
  • Brainstorming: Ask your students to create their own handling box of objects by bringing in items from their home.
  • Working Together: Mix all the handling objects together and break your class into teams. Ask your class to make up short scenes where the original owners of different items meet. What would they say?
  • For more tips, see our guide on how to plan a visit.

    We're continually improving and adding to our online Museum resources.

Take a look around our exhibitions and collections information.

Want to look up a particular artefact?  Try our Artefact Search.

Quick Links

Tips for your visit

For tours and workshops, the maximum number of students per group is 15.

More Tips and How to Plan a Visit...

Make a bookingLinks to external website
Second Level Resources in other Museums
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