Lesson Spotlight: The Plantations – The Events

In this lesson, we took a look at the main events of the first three plantations of Ireland! After the somewhat successful use of Pixton for the first history video, I decided to give it a second chance. I’m not sure whether I hate it or love it. There is a good bit of learning still to do on my part. The most annoying being the different aspect ratio for the ‘downloaded’ Pixton pictures. They just don’t play nice with the animation software ‘Animaker’. But I digress. Back to the lesson…

The Lesson


W.A.L.T: Share the learning objective of the lesson with the group.

Direct Teaching: Explain how the plantations began. Start with the Laois-Offaly Plantation. Move on to the Munster Plantations. Then move onto the Ulster Plantations.

Time-lining Comic Strip: Put the events of the plantations in the correct chronological order. Then draw a picture for each piece of the timeline.

What Went Wrong?: In the bubbles, either draw and write the reasons the Laois-Offaly Plantation and the Munster Plantation did not work out

Cromwell?: At the very end of the video the name Cromwell is mentioned and it is suggested that maybe there was another plantation. Write what do you think the next part of the story is? Who is Cromwell? What happens to Ireland next?

How Did It Go?

I am starting to realise why animators and software engineers get paid so much! There is nothing more tedious and soul-destroying that watching the same little clip over and over again to try and make sure everything lines up properly. As you can quite clearly see in the video’s many animation errors, there comes a point where you just have to give in. I’m hoping that the more I use Animaker, the better I will get at editing the videos, but I just don’t know! Overall, the video was grand. Not the best, not the worst. The humor is really aimed at my 6th classers (hence the painful ‘dabbing’) and they did appreciate the effort to make the plantations a bit more entertaining. Judging from the work submitted, I do think that they were able to gain a solid, if not limited, understanding of what the plantations were and why they failed or succeeded. It is my hope that when they go on to study this further in secondary school, they will have at least the basic understanding of what is going on!

I must admit, I am really struggling with the activities part of the history lessons. Distance learning has shattered a lot of the methodologies I would usually use to dive deeper into the history topics. Things like teacher in role, drama activities and hot-seating are just impossible now. It breaks my heart ever so slightly to know how much they are missing out on. That leaves me with the impossible task of trying to forge miracles from written tasks. This week we at least got to practice some chronology and hypothesizing but I am struggling to think of ways to hit the other higher order skills. Check out some of the work samples down below!

What would I change?

Well there are some pretty obvious errors in the video lesson. From props disappearing early to audio issues, the problems are many. That would be my first port of call! Tidy up the video. I really would like to figure out a way of building empathy with the people effected by the plantation but I just don’t know how to do that just yet. The worksheet activities are grand for distant learning but could be significantly improved for an in-person lesson. Perhaps some hot-seating would be a good start! Then maybe some work using the ‘babysteps’ methodology to get them to imagine what life would be like in their shoes.

Click Here For Lesson Resources and Plans

Rang Maher