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Onsite Workshop: If Things Could Talk

Workshop at a glance

Level: 3rd to 6th class
Group size: 20
Location: Out of Storage
Duration: 1 hour
Available: Tuesdays, 10am to 11am and 12pm to 1pm
Booking: Please contact to book this session

Explore the power of objects to tell stories about Ireland’s rich history. Working in small groups, students will develop their historical enquiry and communication skills, through hands-on, object based learning.  Engaging with a selection of objects from the Museum's handling collection, students will take on the role of historians and curators to explore the different meanings that we invest in objects..

The workshop helps them to see history as being about people and people's lives.
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Curriculum links

SESE History

Working as a Historian
Time and chronology/ Using evidence/ Communication

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

Other Curriculum Links

Language/ oral/ listening & presentation skills


Learning outcomes

  • To explore the value of objects - intrinsic and acquired

  • Understand reasons for curators' choices - what objects are chosen and why

  • To create an awareness of what a museum provides

Skills developed:

  • Decision-making: The participants make their own choices as to objects they would want to preserve, the value of these objects, and why they should be saved whilst others are not

  • Observational/ imaginative/ descriptive/ analytical

  • Speaking/ listening/ understanding/ empathising

  • Working within a team


Resources and suggestions

Before your visit

  • Ask your students to examine an object of their choice closely, using the 'Exploring an Object' sheet

After your visit

  • Make your own box of objects choosing items from modern daily life - what object would you choose to tell your story?

  • Make your own school or classroom museum. If everyone were a curator, what would they put in the exhibition? Plan your exhibition by selecting the theme and the objects. Then think about labels or information panels, and the exhibition title. Invite other students, teachers or parents and families to your museum


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Decorative Arts & History

Collins Barracks ,
Benburb St,
Dublin 7,
D07 XKV4

+353 1 677 7444