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Classroom Activity: Ice Age Ireland – Cool Fossils

Pupils at the spotted hyena display in NMI - Natural History

Use these curriculum-linked activity sheets and video resource to learn more about Ice Age Ireland.

In this museum activity, find out about Ice Age Ireland, learn about fossils and the different kinds of animals that lived on your doorstep thousands of years ago.

Watch Back: ‘Cool Fossils and Hot (Climate) Facts!' - A fun and interactive primary schools livestreamed event for Earth Day 2021 with NMI- Natural History Educators and special guests, the Rediscovery Centre.  

Activity at a Glance:

Level: 3rd to 6th Class
Format: Classroom activity - resources to be used within the classroom
Duration: 1 hour +
Availability: Online and self-guided; Download activity sheets below; Video can be accessed in link below or on NMI's YouTube page. 

Activity Sheets and Resources

Teachers, use the 'Ice Age Overview' with its included timeline on your whiteboard to introduce your class to the topic. 

Video Resource: Cool Fossils and Hot (Climate) Facts!  - Watch this video resource and learn cool facts about 'Ice Age' fossils from Ireland and discover hot experiments that explore the effects of carbon dioxide on the planet! Please note this video contains within it other NMI video resources including Giant Irish Deer (1 min 39 sec); Hyena (1 min 17 sec), Wolf (3 min 27 sec).

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 'The Ice Age' and have an understanding of the extinct species in Ice Age Ireland.  

  • Observe fossils of extinct Irish species and describe where the fossils were discovered in Ireland.

  • Recognise the difference between natural climate change, like the Ice Age, and today’s Climate Crisis.

  • Complete a series of activity sheets with themed puzzles, a word search and drawings.

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Natural History

Natural History,
Merrion Street,
Dublin 2,
D02 F627

+353 1 677 7444