Primary Education

 New! Online Education Resources

Tours, talks and workshops: Explore with us or in the classroom!

For further information or to make a booking, contact:

For enquiries relating to the Seamus Heaney exhibition, contact:

We welcome primary school classes for tours of our exhibitions. Workshops using themes from the Library's exhibitions and collections are also available.

Booking a tour/workshop

We currently offer tours of our exhibitions: Yeats: the life and work of WB Yeats and World War Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience. Tours of the exhibitions must be pre-booked and are subject to availability. It is advisable to book early to avoid disappointment. Please choose from the exhibition tours and/or the workshops (listed below) and email your booking to Learning at It is possible to arrange self-guided visits to the exhibitions; we also advise pre-booking such a visit.  Online sessions are also available - contact us to plan an online session at:

Yeats: the life and works of William Butler Yeats

Here you can find information about the tour and the workshops we offer primary schools visiting the Yeats exhibition.  We have also included some information about WB Yeats to help prepare for your visit. Alternatively it is possible to download a Yeats trail which is fillled with activities and puzzles to guide you around the exhibition or the online exhibition.

Yeats in the classroom
The Lake Isle of InnisfreeThe Lake Isle of Innisfree

The Yeats exhibition is also available online.  Here you will find information about how to use our Yeats online exhibition  and a range of activities that can be carried out in the classroom including the Yeats trail. The Yeats trail is filled with puzzles and questions to guide you around the exhibition.  It can be used in the Yeats exhibition in the NLI or can be used to navigate our online exhibition.

Online talk: The life and poetic works of William Butler Yeats

This talk gives an overview of Yeats’ life experiences and how they inspired his poetry.  The talk touches on the poems The Stolen Child, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, The Wild Swans at Coole and Easter 1916. This talk would be best suited to primary school students in fifth and sixth class.

1916 people and place workshop

 This workshop (suitable for 3rd to 6th class) will draw on the National Library's photographic collection to explore the impact of the Rising on the city of Dublin so that history begins to be understood as not just something that happened but rather as something that people lived.

World War Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience

This tour introduces students to the uniquely Irish experience of the First World War. By showcasing the National Library's collection of letters, diaries, recruitment posters, newspapers, cartoons, music and poetry, students get the opportunity to develop the skills of the historian by learning about World War One from the people who lived through it.

An online version of this exhibition provides valuable context to the exhibition in advance of a visit along with additional classroom resources.

Postcards from the Front workshop

Suitable for 5th and 6th class, this workshop is incorporated into a tour of World War Ireland: Exploring the Irish Experience. The National Library of Ireland collects and preserves letters and postcards that were sent and received by Irish soldiers and nurses. The students can step into their shoes by completing their own postcard from the Front, bearing an image from the National Library's collection which, it is hoped, will be a treasured souvenir of the visit.

The Dublin Lockout

Ireland in 1913 was a country in turmoil, divided by the issue of Home Rule – self-government for the country. Against this backdrop, a violent industrial conflict took centre stage: The Dublin Lockout.

Our free exhibition ran from August 2013 to Autumn 2014, and examined the background, events and aftermath of the conflict. In partnership with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ 1913 Commemoration Committee, the National Library presents the online version of the exhibition which includes downloadable resources: The Dublin Lockout

See more of the National Library's images - in your classroom!

You can explore the treasures of the National Library in your own classroom - many of the our treasures are featured on the website Discover your National Library online exhibition and in our online catalogue.

Small Lives
Classroom in WaterfordClassroom in Waterford

Small Lives, a photographic exhibition of Irish childhood from 1880 to 1970  took place in the National Library - Photographic Archive, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar from August 2011 - May 2012.  Although the exhibition is now finished, you can follow the exhibition activity trail which is available below and view the photographs.   

Small Lives in the class room

 You can view the photographs on our flickr site and complete the worksheet in class.

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Primary Education at the NLI
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