Guided Tour: Proclaiming a Republic - The 1916 Rising

Students get a general introduction to the key political, social and cultural events which led to the Rising, the events of Easter Week in Dublin and its aftermath, through exploring a range of original artefacts, from the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic to the Irish Republican Flag. There is a focus on the stories of ordinary people caught up in the Rising, especially children and young people.

'The fact that our guide was so informed and engaging, they pitched it perfectly to the group. Very impressed with the quality of the tour.' Teacher feedback

Tour at a glance

Level: 4th – 6th Class
Group size: 30
Location: Proclaiming a Republic: The 1916 Rising Exhibition, Collins Barracks
Duration: 45 minutes


Curriculum Links

SESE History

Working as a Historian 
Time and chronology/ Using evidence/ Change and continuity/ Synthesis and communication/ Cause and effect/ Empathy

Local studies 
Buildings, sites or ruins in my locality/ My locality through the ages

Stories from the lives of people in the past

Life, society, work and culture in the past 
Language and culture in late 19th and early 20th century Ireland

Eras of change and conflict 
Changing roles of women in the 19th and 20th centuries

Politics, conflict and society 
1916 and the foundation of the state.

Continuity and change over time 
Literature, art, crafts and culture. 


Other curriculum links include

  • Visual Art (Flags, Uniforms, Symbols)
  • English (Letters and letter writing, Poetry)
  • Drama (Production by ANU on screen)


Learning Outcomes

  • Gain a greater knowledge of the events of Easter Week
  • Increased knowledge on lead up to Easter Week and groups involved

Learn about:

  • Key personal stories of the Rising
  • Role of Women
  • Children involved in the Rising
  • Increased appreciation of material culture of 1916 and role of National Museum in caring and collecting objects 


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

  • We recommend teachers try to visit the exhibition in advance, if possible, to get familiar with the layout, key objects and key narratives within the exhibition.
  • 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, organisations.

After your visit

Ideas for post-visit activities:

  • Ask students to write a review of their museum visit.
  • Plan a project on a key personality/key garrison.
  • Hold a classroom debate on a contentious issue or event.
  • Explore the symbolism of the Rising - create a new flag for Ireland in 2016.
  • Consider contemporary contexts such as equality, migration, globalisation and create a new proclamation for 2017 Ireland.
  • 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)


Teachers' feedback about this tour

‘A guided tour is invaluable; tour guide was great at telling some stories that we hadn’t heard before.’

‘The examination of artefacts which they would never have seen before really opened their eyes to the history of 1916.’

‘We got to see the actual evidence from 1916 and explained by a personal guide which was brilliant and really brought home the information to the children.'