Junior Certificate RE: Section D: Sundays in the past

Here are some lesson ideas for teaching Sunday’s in the past!

Phase 1: Introduction

I will greet the class. I will take the class roll call.
I will introduce the lesson topic of ‘Religion in the past’ to the students.
I will state my learning objectives for this class.
I will review what I have taught the students in the last two classes.
-Religious belief
-Religious practice
I will give the students the homework task of a questionnaire. The students will ask their parents about their religious experience when they were younger.
Phase 2: Think-Pair-Share-Worksheet-What do you do on Sundays now?
I will ask the students to think about ‘What do you do on Sundays now?’.
I will give the students a worksheet and I ask the students to write down what
they do on Sunday’s now and what they think their parents did on Sunday’s years ago.
I will give the students four minutes for this task.
After the time is up, I will ask a number of students for their answers and I
will discuss the pupils’ answers with the class.
Phase 3: ‘A Question of Faith’ Textbook page 174- Lower and higher order questions
I will ask the students to open their textbooks on page one hundred and
seventy four. I will ask a number of pupils to read.
I will use the technique of popcorn reading where the students do not know
who I will ask to read next. This makes sure that the students are fully
engaged with the text at all times. I will then ask the students higher and lower order
questions about the content of the text.
Lower order questions:
Reena had statues of whom in her house when she was
younger? (Our Lady
and Joseph)
What would the whole family do after dinner? (The whole family would kneel
in the front room while we said the rosary)
What did Reena do every Saturday? (Went to confession)
What does Reena say one of the most important changes for her was? (Return
to scripture)
Higher order questions:
Why do you think Reena thinks the changes that came
because of Vatican II are positive changes?
Why do you think some of these changes were difficult for older people?
What do you think about the changes Vatican II made?
Would you have liked to have grown up in Reena’s time?
Phase 4: Handout on ‘The Station’- Group work: Worksheet on ‘The Station’. 
I will give the students a handout which will discuss the stations in 1940s/1950s Ireland.
I will ask a number of pupils to read the handout.
I will then give the students a worksheet which will assess the students learning of the handout on ‘The Station’.
The students will get four minutes for this task.
I will then collect the worksheets for correction.
Handout – Stations handout
Phase 5: Conclusion 
I will sum up what I have taught the students in class today.
I will thank the students for their co-operation in today’s class.
I will remind the students of the homework task which I set at the beginning
of today’s class.
I will tell the students that I look forward to working with them tomorrow.

Lesson 2

In the next lesson, I put the students into groups.
I gave each group a sheet of paper and I asked each group to think of 2 questions that they would ask an older person about what how they spent Sundays when they were young.
I will give the students 5 minutes for this task.
After the time is up, I will ask each group for their questions. I will make sure that each group has different questions. By getting the students to come up with their own questions, I am really involving the students. By developing their own questions the students will be really interested in the lesson!
Then I will invite my guest speaker in.(In the past I invited my Deputy Principal in as a guest speaker).
Each group will then ask the guest speaker their questions.

The students really enjoyed this lesson and they all evaluated that they learnt a lot from it. More than they would have learnt from a textbook!

Trim students tell story of Rising through song and craft

I am not a History teacher but I think it is important that we as English teachers understand Irish history. Cultural context is really important. It helps  to deepen our understanding of the contexts of Irish plays and novels that are set in different eras. Learning about he 1916 Rising particularly helps with William Butler Yeats poetry. A theme in his poetry is political issues. Yeats comes up most years on the English Leaving Certificate syllabus. Learning about this topic especially helps with his poem ‘Easter 1916’. This poem portrays his torn emotions at the political situation of Ireland at the time. It is one of themost poweful poems of the 20th century. In ‘Easter, 1916,’ Yeats focused so closely on an unsuccessful struggle in Ireland’s fight for independence, Yeats had timeless and universal things to say about it. Understanding the context of 1916 has helped me greatly to understand the drama ‘The Plough and the Stars’ by Sean O’ Casey. I am currently reading it with my Leaving  Cert students. I am looking forward to seeing the play in March in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

I saw this video clip on the internet and it reminded me of some websites that I have used to educate myself about the Easter Rising. This video clip is by Students in Scoil Mhuire secondary school in Trim in Meath and they show off the work they have done on 1916 art and song.


Here are some websites about the Rising.

What was the 1916 Rising?


50 facts about the Easter Rising 


This amazing Irish rebel wounded in the Easter Rising is finally getting some recognition


1916 Rising: Personalities and Perspectives 


The 1916 Rising- a brief overview


The 1916 walking tour