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New Workshop: Imagine You Were There! Re-enacting 1916

What was it like during the 1916 Rising for rebels, soldiers and civilians? This workshop uses drama to explore what happened in Ireland during and after Easter Week 1916. Using handling objects and other resources, students will be encouraged to think about the motivations and experiences of different personalities caught up in the Rising.



We will pilot this workshop in November 2018. Please register your interest in the pilot by contacting the bookings office.


Workshop at a glance

Level: 5th - 6th class

Group size: 30

Location: Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising exhibition, Collins Barracks

Duration: 1.5hrs

Available:  Thursdays, 10-11.30am and 12-1.30pm, from November 2018


Curriculum links

SESE History

Working as a historian: using evidence, empathy, synthesis and communication

Politics, conflict and society: 1916 and the foundation of the state; understanding of events, developments, personalities involved, motives, develop a sense of identities

Story: Stories from the lives, myths and legends of people in the past



Receptiveness to language: Reading - developing strategies, Developing receptiveness to oral language

Competence and confidence in using language

Developing cognitive abilities through language: Oral language. Writing - clarifying thought through writing


SESE Geography: Reading Maps



Learning Outcomes

The workshop aims to

  • Increase appreciation of material culture of 1916 in the National Museum
  • Promote an understanding of events during Easter week in and outside of Dublin
  • Explore experiences of people during the Easter Rising - rebels, soldiers, civilians - through drama, handling objects and other activities


Resources and Suggestions

At the Museum

If you would like to further explore 1916, you could visit Soldiers and ChiefsAsgard and Recovered Voices: The Stories of Irish at War, 1914-1915


Before your visit

  • Visit the exhibition in advance, if possible, to get familiar with the layout, key objects and key narratives.
  • Read literature and poetry depicting events from and around the period.
  • Use these resources and the exhibition visit to imagine and discuss the feelings and motives of people in the past and to discuss how an event in the past may have been perceived by those who participated in it.
  • Consider choices made by individuals and organisations and the contexts these choices were made in.
  • Plan a project around your visit. Students could research key personalities.


After your visit

Ideas for post-visit activities:

  • Ask students to write a short story based on the information they re-enacted during the workshop.
  • Re-enact other stories related to 1916, for example experiences of possible families who had relatives serving in World War One.
  • Explore the symbolism of the Rising - create a badge a person might have worn or wear today to express alliance for a certain cause.
  • Consider contemporary contexts such as equality, migration, globalization and hold a classroom debate.
  • Consider the value of museums as places to display objects that connect us with our history. create a museum in your classroom.


Recommended reading and useful links


RTE Century Ireland

A History of Ireland in 100 Objects

Inspiring Ireland

1916 Exhibition National Library of Ireland



  • The Proclamation of the Irish Republic, Michael Kenny (2017)
  • Proclaiming a Republic: Ireland, 1916, and the National Collection, Darragh Gannon (2016) ISBN:9781911024484.
  • At home in the Revolution: what women said and did in 1916, Lucy McDiarmid (2015) ISBN: 9781908996749
  • Easter 1916, Charles Townsend (2015)