10 – 12

Window on the past


Window on the past

What to do with this activity?

Older members of your family or community have so many memories of times that were very different from today. Encourage your child to interview them, and perhaps write up something about someone older that you know. Maybe that older person came to Ireland from a different country? Here are some suggested questions your child might like to ask.

1) Do they remember what it was like before computers, mobile phones, television, or washing machines? 
2) How did they travel when they were little - do they remember people going by horse and cart; what were the cars like; were there any motorways?
3) What about the food they ate when they were young? Had they heard of spaghetti, pizzas, or curry; and how did their milk arrive?
4) Do they remember news events like the moon landing; events in the "Troubles"; the first time they saw television; or the visit of American President John F Kennedy? 
5) What clothes did they wear? Look at old photos to see if the clothes look different from what we wear today.

These are just suggestions - help your child understand that times change and that the past can be fascinating. 


  • Why am I doing this?

    Writing is like a muscle – the more your child practices it the stronger their writing ability will become. You child is also more likely to write about things they like or are interested in – writing is a way to express yourself and using writing in this way can be more meaningful to a child.

  • How can I do more?

    Decide on a writing project you could work on either together or with you standing by to help. This could be writing or sending an email to a family member or friend living away or your child writing about one of their interests. List key messages you want to write about, who else might read it and then begin work on the piece. Have a dictionary at the ready and use the spell checker if working on a computer.

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