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Classroom Activity: What Does 'Extinct' Mean? (Irish Sign Language Resource)

Two boys look at a display of birds of prey

Explore extinct Irish animals at the museum from the comfort of the classroom.

Using a series of short curriculum-linked videos, your class will be introduced to the topic of extinction and meet some of the most special museum specimens, which have one thing in common – they are extinct! Detailed teacher’s notes with suggested lesson plan and accompanying classroom activities are provided and can be used to complement the learning outcomes. A video playlist with Irish Sign Language is also now available. 

Activity at a Glance:

Level: 3rd to 6th Class
Format: Classroom activity -  resources to be used within the classroom
Duration: 30 + mins
Availability: Online and self-guided 

Teacher's Notes and Resources:

  • Download ‘Teacher Notes’ – Detailed notes and images

  • Link to the ‘3D Virtual Visit’ - Explore the galleries of the museum online

  • Subtitles/closed captions are available for all videos in English and Irish. These can be turned on by clicking the CC icon found to the lower right corner of the video player bar in YouTube.

  • Link to the 'What does 'extinct' mean?' Playlist

Video List: What Does 'Extinct' Mean? (1 min 07 sec); Giant Irish Deer (1 min 39 sec); Hyena (1 min 17 sec); Wolf (3 min 27 sec). Total: 7 min 30 sec.

  • ‚ÄčLink to the 'What does 'extinct' mean?' Playlist with Irish Sign Language (ISL)

Video List: What Does 'Extinct' Mean? (1 min 07 sec); Giant Irish Deer (1 min 39 sec); Hyena (1 min 17 sec); Dodo (2 min); Thylacine (1 min 50sec); Wolf (3 min 27 sec). Total: 13 min 08 sec.

These videos were in partnership with the Irish Sign Language STEM Glossary at Dublin City University, supported by Science Foundation Ireland. For more information about ISL STEM Glossary please visit 

Curriculum links:

SESE Science:

Investigating and experimenting

- Collect information and data from a variety of sources

Living things

- Human life; Plant and animal life

Environmental awareness and care

- Environmental awareness; Science and the environment; Caring for the environment


Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this classroom activity pupils should be able to:

  • Describe the meaning of 'extinct' and recognise examples of different extinctions throughout the Earth’s history.

  • Describe animal extinctions specific to Ireland in the distant past and more recent past e.g. cases studies of Giant Irish Deer and Wolf

  • Describe 'extinction' versus 'local extinction'.

  • Describe the role of conservation and identify how animals can be re-introduced into a habitat, and describe the pros and cons e.g. re-introduction programme example of Wolves in Yellowstone, USA versus Ireland.


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Natural History

Natural History,
Merrion Street,
Dublin 2,
D02 F627

+353 1 677 7444