The National Gallery of Ireland has just published a free Primary Schools Resource which responds to their current exhibition: “Shaping Ireland: Landscapes in Irish Art” (13 April – 7 July 2019). The exhibition at the gallery explores the relationship between people and the natural world. The show includes the work of fifty artists, spanning 250 years, depicting views and environments from across the whole of the island of Ireland.

This rich collection of historic and contemporary work provides the ideal stimulus for creative cross-curricular lesson plans devised for the Gallery by teacher Sinéad Hall. This resource is designed to be used in the classroom, and takes key works from the exhibition as the starting point for imaginative workshops incorporating Geography, History, Science, Art and English. Looking and responding questions for each artwork underpin every lesson, and enable students to develop visual literacy and critical thinking skills.

Lessons from Junior Infants to Sixth Class explore themes and environments from Boglands to the Shannon Hydroelectric Scheme. Activities include growing plants from seed, writing a ‘Day in the Life’ of someone living in a Norman castle, and constructing a diorama. Each lesson includes a wealth of suggested follow-on activities and online resources, and the pack demonstrates how art and creativity can be embedded across the primary curriculum.

The Gallery is keen for this resource to be used in classrooms across the country, taking the exhibition beyond the Gallery walls and continuing to inspire teachers and students after the show is packed away. The themes explored are timely, relevant and interconnected and will provide students with a deeper understanding of the past, present and future of Irish landscapes.

This FREE resource (in .PDF format) can be downloaded from the National Gallery of Ireland website below: