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10 November 2020: NMI invites teachers to bring the Museum to the classroom this autumn

From hieroglyphics to harvest knots and extinction to the Easter Rising … new programme explores national collections across four Museum sites

THE National Museum of Ireland (NMI) has just launched a new programme of online events, activities and resources for teachers to bring the Museum to the classroom this autumn.

Each year, the NMI welcomes some 90,000 primary and post primary students to its four Museum sites in Dublin and Mayo, providing engaging, hands-on and curriculum linked learning opportunities that underpin classroom teaching.

This year, due to COVID-19 guidelines, the Museum has had to rethink how schools, teachers and their students can engage and learn with the national collections and, in response, has developed a range of virtual programmes to be used in the classroom.

The first strand of the new programme is launching this month.

The Museum’s new programme for 2020/2021 blends live online sessions with Museum educators, and a range of pre-recorded video and printable resources available from the Museum’s website.

Primary and post primary learning across a wide range of subjects can be enriched through exploration of the Museum’s collections, from art and design to archaeology; 20th century Irish history; rural traditions and the natural world.

Some highlights include a green design STEM workshop from the NMI - Country Life; a new virtual tour about 1916 with the NMI - Decorative Arts & History; a Viking challenge from the NMI - Archaeology; and a special series on extinction from the NMI - Natural History.

Lorraine Comer, Head of Education at the National Museum of Ireland, encouraged all teachers to visit and see what is on offer:

The National Museum of Ireland’s learning programme for schools offers a range of curriculum-based activities designed to encourage participation, collaboration and exploration. As we live through this challenging public health situation, we want to bring the Museum into the classroom by inviting schools to engage with our newly developed multimedia learning resources and participate in some of our online workshops.
“This programme will continue to unfold throughout this academic year, taking inspiration from the wealth of stories and themes in our Museum collections and designed to be fun, engaging and to stimulate historical empathy and curiosity among students.”

The National Museum of Ireland will be building further on this new programme throughout the school term and adding new resources and events as they become available so teachers should check the website regularly or follow the Museum on social media for updates.

Visit for more.

Some programme highlights:


In place of Leaving Certificate Art History Tours, Museum educators have developed a presentation containing high-resolution images of the artefacts on display at the Museum that are linked to the Leaving Certificate Art History curriculum. The presentation can be used by teachers as an in-class resource and the notes pages can be used by students as a revision tool.

Learn how to write your name like an Egyptian Pharaoh with this fun and educational classroom activity for primary schools.  See how Ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics and use the wordsearch challenge to learn about the many different gods from Ancient Egypt and the animals they are connected to.

Available for primary and post primary schools, this virtual tour features Museum Curators, Educators and Guides and brings viewers through the hugely popular Proclaiming a Republic exhibition, which closed in 2020. Learn about key artefacts, personal stories and key curriculum linked themes featured in the exhibition.

Explore a range of art and design activities suitable for primary students and art at post primary junior cycle, through short videos and downloadable activity sheets. Students can take a design challenge inspired by Eileen Gray, make their own musical instrument, design and build a Thaumatrope or build their own bird helmet inspired by a Samurai costume.

In this hands-on STEAM workshop facilitated by Make Create Innovate, students will gain an understanding of electrical power and learn design and engineering skills in a fun way. Discover electronics and how circuits can be used to power a gear motor to design a scribblebot that will create an art piece for you.

Join storyteller Fiona Dowling on the grounds of the NMI – Country Life at Turlough Park, Co. Mayo, to hear some nature based stories and some intriguing tales connected to the Museum’s fairy trail ‘Of Fairies and Fairy Folk’.

Explore extinct Irish animals at the museum with this classroom activity. 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 all extinct! Detailed teacher’s notes with suggested lesson plan and accompanying classroom activities are provided and can be used to complement the learning outcomes.

In this specially designed classroom activity for Transition Year,  students can explore the effects of climate change on Irish coastal ecosystems during a self-guided virtual walk-through of the Museum. Detailed teacher’s notes on featured animal species and associated impacts of climate change are provided, with suggested follow-up classroom activities. These may be used to create classroom discussion and expand upon on the topics of climate change effects and the environment in an Irish context.

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Frances Toner, Marketing Executive, National Museum of Ireland - Country Life
T: +353 94 90 31773 | M: 087 798 7439| E:
The National Museum of Ireland has four public sites, and a Collections Repository:

  •  National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology (Kildare Street, Dublin 2)

  • National Museum of Ireland – Natural History (Merrion Street,  Dublin 2)

  • National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History (Collins Barracks, Dublin 7)

  • National Museum of Ireland – Country Life (Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo)

Admission to the National Museum of Ireland and its Exhibitions is Free. Museum Shop & Café on site – see

Museum opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday and Monday 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Visit for details of ongoing events/activities.
Instagram:  @nationalmuseumofireland

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