Report on Grandparents Project
Part of SIP 19.(Schools Integration Project …IT2000)
As part of its IT2000 initiative to infuse schools in Ireland with good ICT practices the National Center for Technology in Education has launched SIP…a programme in which some schools have been chosen to produce exemplars in good ICT practice . This is one of the projects being undertaken in the following school.
School: Coolderry Central School , Birr,Co.Offaly.
School type: Small, rural,mixed.
Class: First and 2nd Class pupils ,age 6/7/8.
My name is Una Teehan and I teach first and second class in Coolderry.
Recently the children in my class (ranging in age from 6-8 years old) and I , undertook a project entitled ” Looking back through the years “.
This project was part of S.I.P. 19 ( School Integration Project ).
As we all know the process of teaching and learning is made much more enjoyable and rewarding if children are actively involved in the learning process and the use of project work is highly motivating
(a) if the topic is of interest to both the teacher and children.
(b) If the children are actively involved in the collection and compiling of data for the subject in hand.
With this in mind, the area we decided to research was Granparents- with the aim of preserving a little of life in years gone by .
The project involved every child in the classroom in collecting and recording information about life in their granparents time .We drew up a list of questions that they decided they would like to ask of their granparents based on four areas :
2. School Life.
4. Social Life.
The following is a sample of some of the questions which were asked by the children of their granparents:
HOME LIFE- AS A CHILD
1. Where did you grow up ?
2.How many brothers /sisters did you have?
3.Describe your house.
4.What sort of food did you eat?
5.How did your mother cook?
6.Where did the drinking water come from?
7.How were the clothes washed?
8.What sort of heating did you have in your house?
9.Did your mother need to buy butter,milk or bread?
10.What lighting did you have in your house?
The granparents also recounted procedures involved in everyday activities of life when they were young- buttermaking, hay traming, going to the bog etc.
Here is an account of one such activity:
My Grandad went to his
uncles farm in Lorrah for his summer holidays.
He saved hay, saved turf, rode the horse to the forge to get him shod.
A mowing machine was used behind the horse to cut the hay. It was turned with forks. It was then rowed up using a tumbling rake pulled by a horse and made into trams. The trams were left for six weeks. They were then drawn into the shed or made into a rick.
The children also collected old photographs, old coins etc depicting various samples of life in times gone by.
Once all the information had been collected and recorded on paper, we set about bringing it all together using various programmes on the computer- Hyperstudio, Netscape Composer, and Powerpoint.
The use of the computer was an integral part of the work and was invaluable as a method of recording the data and presenting the finished product.
We deciced to use Netscape Composer to record the data. It is part of the browser Netscape. With this programme each child was given a page onto which he typed in his text ,choosing from a variety of styles. He could also edit, cut, copy , paste text and pictures from one area to another and even decide on on the colour scheme for the page. Each page was linked to the Homepage ( our starting page )
This project also involved the collection of old photographs ,old coins and newspaper cuttings depicting various aspects of life. We had access to a flatbed scanner ,which enabled us to scan them into our project. After scanning them in, we used an authoring package -Hyperstudio . This programme enabled us to design cards onto which we copied and pasted the scanned images.
Finally each child was given a hard back copy of the project . The project was also uploaded onto our school site and the World Wide Web.
While compiling this report, I asked the children to tell me what they thought about the project.
All of them said they enjoyed it- some felt they were like reporters when asking the questions.
The children were fascinated with the difference in life then and now- their granparents had no bus to bring them to school, no electricity, they had an open fire in school, they got water from the well, they used horses instead of tractors etc
Sinead said her favourite part was the collecting of old photographs from her granny as her granny gave sweets to her as well.!
The children really enjoyed hearing about the funny things that happened to their granparents when they were in school.They all said they were glad that they were not growing up at that time .
It was a very enjoyable experience for all concerned. I have always held the view that we learn in a more effective way when we see a need for certain skills and processes. And so it was in this project . The children acquired a range of computer skills in an incidental way.
This was a very worthwhile and enjoyable project for all concerned . It served as a way of preserving and presenting a little of the past to future generations of children and adults .
Una Teehan May 2001.
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