Choose your Topic

The core aim of Threads is to encourage students to become active ‘researchers’ or ‘oral historians’ who collect and reflect on stories and history about their locality and the experiences or memories of living people within these localities. Threads has a potentially broad application to the curriculum – while it is primarily History-centred, it can be used for project work covering aspects of ‘locality’ across many subjects in either Primary or Post-Primary. Take a moment to read Threads in the Curriculum. And remember, everyone has a story to tell!

Things for teachers to consider

Help students find an appropriate starting point.

What significant changes have taken place in your surrounding locality over the past eighty years? Is there a particular strand or topic within history, geography, or another subject that you want to get students to explore for a project?

Are there people or places in the locality which have particularly significant connections with historical events, achievements, or inventions.

Is there something special in the history of the locality that would merit exploration? Did something happen in the locality in the past that people, alive today, might remember? Here is a starter list of events that might be relevant from this perspective:

  • Games or pastimes and how they have changed
  • Industries or ways of work that have changed in your area
  • Trades or crafts that have changed over years
  • Changing modes of transport and communications
  • Changing practises in farming
  • Emigration or immigration affecting your area – the stories of these people
  • The story of a returned emigrant
  • Life in Ireland during World War II or ‘The Emergency’
  • A local monument – the stories that it commemorates
  • The coming of electricity to rural Ireland
  • The visit by US President Kennedy or Pope John Paul to Ireland in the late 1900s
  • Old folklore tales and stories from your area
  • Changes in the environment due to erosion, new roads or new methods of farming.

This is a very general list and is by no means definitive – the important thing to note is that there is great potential here for using subject imagination and creativity.

Did your school engage in the Schools Collection of the 1930s? Could some of the research collected by pupils then be re-visited now, some 80 years later? See Connect with the Schools Collection of the 1930s for ideas.

From time-to-time specific themes will be promoted on Threads and these may guide your choice of topic. These themes will be promoted through Scoilnet as well as the Threads website and may reflect a particular anniversary, event or theme.