National Museum of Ireland

Bronze Age Handling Box

Primary Curriculum Links

Resources for Teachers

Where does the Bronze Age Handling Box fit within the Irish Curriculum?

This Resource is informed by the principles, aims and objectives of the Primary Curriculum (1999). It fits within a number a curricular areas including History.

The concept of ‘working as a historian’ provides young people with opportunities to engage with historical evidence by asking questions, investigating and constructing historical narratives and offering interpretations of what the past was like.

Material culture (objects, buildings, physical infrastructure and human intervention in the environment) and objects in particular, form an important part of the evidence base used in studying history.

What is the value of object-based learning?

The contribution made by artefactual evidence to children’s learning has been identified in the guidelines for teachers that accompany the Primary History Curriculum as follows:

  • Using objects promotes activity based learning which helps to motivate children.
  • Objects are accessible to all children and not dependent on literacy.
  • Using objects as evidence helps children develop a broad and balanced view of history.
  • Examining objects helps children recognise the ingenuity and creativity of past peoples.
  • Working with objects provides opportunities to develop children’s understanding of historical concepts like causation, change and continuity. This lends to an appreciation of the context in which those objects were created and used.
  • Young people should be encouraged to see that objects demonstrate examples of problem solving and innovative thinking skills of our ancestors. This helps to develop young people's respect for the ancient technology and creativity of our ancestors.
Table 1: Links to the Primary History Curriculum
Strands Strand Units Activities
Working as a historian: Time and chronology
Using evidence
Change and continuity
Cause and effect
Synthesis and communication
All of the activities
Early people and ancient societies: Stone Age peoples
Bronze Age peoples
All of the activities
Local studies: My locality through the ages
Sites or ruins in my locality
This will depend on the evidence relating to the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods in the local area. Where possible, children should use the activities in this pack as a springboard to a local study.
Continuity and change over time: Food and farming
Barter, trade and money
All of the activities
Table 2: Cross-Curricular Links in the Primary Curriculum
Subjects and Strands Strand Units Activities
Receptiveness to language
Oral language: developing receptiveness to oral language; Reading: developing strategies All of the activities
Competence and confidence in using language Reading: reading for pleasure and for information All of the activities
Developing cognitive abilities through language Oral language: developing cognitive abilities through oral language; Reading: developing interests, attitudes, information retrieval skills and the ability to think All of the activities
Geographical skills
Questioning, Observing, Predicting, Investigating, Analysing, Recording and Communicating, Evaluating All of the activities
Human environment People living and working in the local area / in a contrasting part of Ireland All of the activities
Natural environments The local natural environment; Rocks and soils All of the activities
Working scientifically
Questioning, Observing, Predicting, Analysing, Recording and Communicating All of the activities
Materials Properties and Characteristics of Materials All of the activities
Visual Arts:
Concepts and skills development
An awareness of line, shape, form and texture All of the activities
Drawing Making drawings All of the activities
Looking and responding Looking and Talking about own work, work of other students All of the activities

The Bronze Age Handling Box Resource Project was developed by: