Teacher's Notes

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Framework for Irish Folktales Lesson Plan


This lesson involves a comparison of two stories in the context of an English literacy lesson focussing on Irish folklore. There will be a particular focus on the uniquely rich descriptive approach to storytelling, character portrayal (particularly in terms of strong female roles) and plot twists used in these stories which evoke a wide range of emotions in the reader. The stories ‘The Children of Lir’ and ‘The Cattle Raid of Cooley’ use themes such as love, jealousy, anger and revenge. The plots are typical of the oral folklore tradition in which myths and legends were told in presence of adults and children with the purpose of entertaining, informing and teaching lessons to them. This lore was created in the context of a rural population in which nature and natural phenomena influenced their daily lives. Descriptions of religious or pagan practices and rituals were often woven into the plots of these stories.

Prior Knowledge

The children are familiar with Irish folklore through myths and legends.

Learning Target

The learning objective of this lesson is to enhance the emotional, imaginative and aesthetic development of the children through oral, reading, writing, visual and dramatic arts experiences with the stories ‘The Children of Lir’ and ‘The Cattle Raid of Cooley’.