Welcome to Young and Old, a learning programme specifically designed for use in the Irish primary curriculum. The programme aims to promote a positive attitude to ageing and older people among primary school children.
The programme consists of this CD-ROM and a teacher's guide, which introduces the CD-ROM and summarises the contents of the lessons. The main emphasis in developing the programme has been to:
Note: as a teacher, you do not require an in-depth technical knowledge to use this CD-ROM.
Click on each of the following for more introductory information:
What is on the CD-ROM?
What does each lesson contain?
Using information and communication technologies
Linking to the primary curriculum
Terms used in this programme
Bibliography: Ageing literature
Bibliography: Children's books
Introduction to the seven themes in this programme
Click on the Help icon for technical information about the CD-ROM.
The CD-ROM contains twenty-eight lessons, divided into the following seven themes:
Click here for an introduction to the themes, which sets the context for the lessons. At each level in the primary school (infants, first and second class, third and fourth class, and fifth and sixth class) each of the seven themes is developed in a separate lesson, resulting in seven lessons at each level.
Note: for your class, it is recommended that you complete the theme 'Who is old?' first, because it introduces the ageing concept and sets the scene for the other themes at that level. You can complete the remaining six themes in any order that you wish to suit your class and the school environment.
Each lesson consists of a lesson plan and Online activities.
You will find the lesson plans in the Teachers' Corner on the CD-ROM. It is recommended that, for any lesson, you print the complete lesson plan from the CD-ROM (click on the Help icon for information on how to print from the CD-ROM). Each lesson plan contains a number of classroom-based activities that cover a theme at the appropriate level.
The lesson plan combines a variety of learning approaches, including discussion, artwork, brainstorming, role-play, use of stories and poems, quizzes, and a variety of group-based activities. It contains sufficient material for a lesson of approximately thirty minutes, but in most lesson plans, many additional activities are included.
The lesson plan outlines the objectives of the lesson, the resources required, the main links to the primary curriculum, and the key questions. Sometimes you can use worksheets in the Online activities as part of the classroom-based activities. The resources section of a lesson draws your attention to the relevant worksheets.
The activities in the lessons give the children opportunities to be actively engaged in their learning, both at an individual and at a group level. Different strategies are recommended, depending on the objectives and the level of the lesson. For some activities, you may choose a different strategy, depending on the needs and ability of your class and the resources available. The lesson plans provide extensive backup information and questions that you may find useful in helping the children to develop their thinking about a range of topics. The lesson plans assume that you are familiar with the recommended strategies for active learning, outlined in the SPHE Teacher Guidelines (1999).
After you have completed the lesson in the classroom, three different types of Online activities (which the children can explore) reinforce and extend what the children have learned in the classroom. The activities are organised as follows:
Many of the activities in the 'Things to do' section also involve contact with older people. For example, the children talk to older people as part of a survey or to find out information on a particular topic. Classroom visitors are encouraged throughout the programme. Older people can visit the classroom to talk about issues relating to older age. But older people can also become valuable informants on specific topics. For example, an older person who is an environmental expert or who has a particular skill in knitting or art can make a significant contribution to a class. The activities that encourage intergenerational contact are a key component of the programme and make a significant contribution to enhancing intergenerational solidarity. During the test phase of the programme, the feedback on some of these intergenerational activities was very positive and some of the simplest activities for first and second classes had a significant impact on the children involved.
For the junior classes, some teacher support may be required to complete the Online activities. However, the senior classes, often working in groups or pairs, should be able to do so with little teacher intervention. Because the lessons are aimed at both classes at a given level, some of the Online activities may be more suitable for the lower of the two classes, while some may be more suitable for the higher of the two classes. Similarly, different activities will suit children of differing abilities in a class and you may want to choose children of different abilities to work together on the Online activities. As a teacher, you are likely to choose those activities (from the many suggested activities) that are appropriate for your class and for the environment in which the children live.
The CD-ROM uses a web-based interface; that is, you need to use a web browser to be able to view the contents.
This programme provides many opportunities for the development and use of skills in the area of information and communication technologies (ICT). ICT is used to facilitate learning in this programme, and you can choose the extent to which your class uses ICT to complete the activities. Depending on the ability of your class and the computer resources available, you can choose some of the following options to develop and use the child's ICT skills:
Some activities requiring Internet access are included for fifth and sixth class. You should be aware of your school's guidelines on using the Internet in the school. These guidelines usually recommend that children have access to the Internet only when supervised by a teacher.
The content of the programme links directly to the SPHE curriculum and each lesson provides opportunities for integrated activities. The content was developed with regard to two key concepts in the curriculum:
SPHE is intrinsic to all areas of the curriculum and is most effective when a school takes an integrated approach to SPHE across subject areas. Therefore, each lesson offers a number of opportunities for integrated activities, allowing you to integrate the content into other learning contexts. For example, the brainstorm and discussion in a lesson may occur during a discrete time for SPHE activities, your art lesson may be based on some aspect of the ageing theme, and the poem you use in your English lesson may be one of those suggested on the CD-ROM.
The integrated approach of the CD-ROM supports some key objectives in the primary curriculum, including the development of a print-rich environment (English curriculum) and the involvement of the child in the study of personal and local history. Older people can often become informants in these activities, for example, local history.
Spiral development of themes
Each of the seven ageing themes is developed in a spiral fashion throughout the programme. Similar topics are revisited at different stages throughout the child's time in school. Opportunities are provided to build on what the child has already learned and experienced. This allows for the development of a theme to a greater depth, appropriate to the children's needs and abilities. Therefore, depending on what your class has already covered at a lower level, you may find it useful to familiarise yourself with the content of one or more activities from a lower level in the programme. You may also find that you can adapt an activity from a different level to suit the ability and experience of your own class - many of the extension activities, in particular the classroom visitors, are suitable for more than one level.
For simplicity, this programme uses the following terms consistently:
Note also that in many places, precise statistics are rounded up for simplicity. For example, the number of people in Ireland aged sixty-five years and over in the 1996 census was 413,882. This figure is usually presented as 414,000. However, to simplify some Mathematics activities for a specific level, the figure is reduced to 400,000.
Information on ageing was gathered from many sources, including the following:
Here are some children's books that integrate very well with the lessons on this CD-ROM: