TY History Box Project

By Marian Maguire, Class History teacher

Aoife Conway's History Box
Aoife Conway

We kicked our TY History Box project off this year with a whole new dimension: digital media.

Traditionally, our TY History students would compile a project based on some facet of life from the past. They would chose from an entire spectrum of topics to research: anything  from shop fronts, to bicycles, headscarves to fireplaces and everything in between! They would explore the evolution of this object down through the years. The students interviewed someone who had personal experiences and memories of their chosen artefact. They also created an artistic representation of that object or topic. All this work was contained in a box designed by themselves.

This year our TY students did all this and more! We decided to explore the treasure trove of artefacts that is the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life. We spent a great morning there, the History students exploring the vast array of objects on display. They then chose one object each to photograph, keeping in mind that there needed to be a modern day equivalent . In the classroom we researched their artefacts, imagining how best to present their findings.

The Art department were invited to come on board and very happily ran with the idea. Each artefact was given an artistic interpretation culminating in ARTefacts – a wonderful exhibition of their work in the Museum gallery.

Taking History out of the realms of dusty almanacs and tomes,  the opportunity to add a digital dimension was too enticing to refuse. With that in mind we were invited to participate in an enlightening workshop on how to create a digital recording of their interviews. The enthusiasm in the room was palpable!

Finally, we spent a morning with a member of Museum staff in our school showing students how to creating a page on their object and uploading their research to this website.

The entire experience has been extremely positive in so many ways. The students benefited hugely from realising the wealth of  cultural/ historical references we have on our doorstep, in the National Museum. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working in a cross curricular fashion with the Art department. So great to see the artefacts through the eyes of an artist and to be given the opportunity to exhibit their own work. Lastly, adding  a digital stream to our History Box Project really lifted it out of the ordinary. It gave the students a whole new vista of what’s possible in the world of History.

We would like to thank so sincerely the Education Department at Turlough Park and especially Lorna for her unstinting co-operation and enthusiasm.

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