Children of the Famine

Primary School» History» SESE

Project Type:

The project is a resource for pupils in 5th and 6th classes studying the Irish Great Famine (its causes, effects and consequences). It is based on the story of two (fictional) children's experience of the Famine years. It is the story of a brother and sister growing up in rural Ireland in the pre-Famine years, their struggle for survival during the Famine, their journey on the emigrant ship "Dunbrody" to America to start a new life and their experiences in the New World.

Curriculum Addressed

The curriculum area covered is SESE & History, The Great Famine. The story of two children is used as a devise to study the causes, course and results of the Famine. The overall aim of the project is to give a sense of Famine times to pupils through the experiences of children their own age. The project links to several websites which give additional information on various aspects of the Great Famine.


The project concentrates on:the difficulties experienced by small-holders in the mid-19th century who struggled to survive on small farms with large families and exorbitant rents, the reasons why the failure of the potato crop in the 1840’s had such a catastrophic effect, the workhouses, famine relief works, soup kitchens, the huge exodus of people from Ireland to escape the Famine, - the hazards of the journey to America on sailing ships, the difficulties of the emigrants in their adopted country.

Visit Resource
  • Client Name: Jack Stacey
  • Project URL:
  • Skills Needed: You need a computer with internet access. - The project is suitable for whole class teaching, group work or individual learning. - The project will require about four weeks.
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