Living in Ireland in Our Grandparents’ Time

Primary School» History

Project Type:


Our main aim in this project was that our 5th and 6th class pupils would interview their grandparents on what it was like to grow up in Ireland of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. They would be questioned on various aspects of life at the time from home and school to special occasions, and also about their wartime experiences during the Second World War. Our website consists of video footage of our grandparents imparting their oral history to a new generation. In the context of Continuity and Change in the Primary History Curriculum, pupils are able to compare and contrast actually how life was different in many respects and all too familiar in many other, even after the passage of more than 70 years.

Curriculum Addressed

History: 5th and 6th Classes

  • Client Name: John Carey
  • Project URL:
  • Skills Needed: In this project a discussion with the chosen grandparents beforehand would be essential to tease out their memories of their childhood. It would also allow you to frame suitable questions when you brainstorm with the children back in the classroom on what questions will be asked of the grandparents. Pupils can write down the questions they want to ask and then it’s a matter of choosing both the final questions and who will ask. During the recording session with the grandparents there should be an opportunity for lead-on, “unexpected direction” questions and perhaps an open forum at the end. Concerning the actual recording of the session, which obviously could be several small sessions with different grandparents, check camcorder, tape or disk, use mains power with battery as a back up. Consider additional lighting or videoing near natural light is better. To compress the video we used Macromedia’s Flash 8 Video Encoder which is part of the Studio 8 Suite including Dreamweaver which we then used to build the webpages. We set the video size to 320 x 240 pixels, which created relatively small file sizes. We sourced an educational version of Macromedia’s Studio 8 from Micromail in Cork City.
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