Primary School

Why choose the National Print Museum for your class trip?

  • The National Print Museum offers an educational, interactive and activity based guided tour specifically designed for Primary School children.
  • Your class will travel back in time to experience what it was like to be a young apprentice printer by exploring the National Print Museum’s Print Shop style layout – the composing area, printing area and finishing area.
  • Children learn all about Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, and how newspapers, books and posters were created before the arrival of today’s computers.
  • Through three tactile and engaging activities and working directly with artifacts from the Museum’s collection, children learn about a selection of the traditional printing machines, are given the opportunity to experience traditional hand-setting and printing and using the Japanese paper craft of Origami learn how to make and decorate their very own printer’s hat.
  • In addition children test their knowledge with fun activity sheets!

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Primary School Tour and Learning Outcomes

The National Print Museum’s Primary School guided tour is suitable for 2nd – 6th class pupils. The tour is cross-curricular in nature and interprets a number of strands within the Primary School History, Visual Arts, Science and English curricula. Upon arrival at the Museum your class will be divided into three groups. Each group will be then rotated through three activities, with each activity lasting 30 minutes (total 90 minutes for entire tour).

Activity 1: Tour of Printing Machines & Finishing Area 
During this hands-on and engaging tour children learn about a selection of the traditional printing machines in the Museum’s collection including the Wooden Press, Columbian Press, Wharfedale Stop-Cylinder Press and Platen Presses. Children view an original copy of the 1916 Proclamation and help their guide to explore and spot the printing errors throughout.  The tour closes in the Finishing Area, where children are invited to interact with the traditional perforating and hole-punching machines.

Activity 2: Hand composing & Poster Printing
During this activity children learn about Johannes Gutenberg and his invention of movable type. They learn about interesting aspects of the traditional composing of text for printing (the case-room, composing stick, movable type, uppercase and lower case, inking up, the proofing press etc.). Each child is then invited to hand-compose their names and insert into a ‘forme’ in order to print their own ‘Wanted’ poster.

Activity 3: Printer’s Hatmaking
A printer’s hat was one of the first things an apprentice printer learned to make and during this activity children learn to make a similar hat using the traditional Japanese paper craft of origami. Once the hat is complete children decorate and personalise their hat using traditional wooden ink stampers.



Primary School Bookmaking Workshop

The National Print Museum offers an educational, engaging and fun Bookmaking Workshop for 4th, 5th and 6th class pupils. In this workshop, using traditional and modern methods and materials, children learn to handcraft and bind their own small hardback book, which they then decorate and personalise with fun craft materials such as feathers, sequins, ribbon and fancy paper. The book can be brought home or back to the classroom and used as a Research Diary (see Primary School Teacher’s Fact and Activity Pack for more info!)

The workshop costs €8.00 per pupil and can take a maximum of 15 pupils. Contact for more information and bookings.

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Primary School Curriculum Links

Visual ArtsStrands: Print, Drawing, Construction, Looking & Responding
HistorySkills and Concepts: Working as an historian – Time and chronology, Using evidence, Change and continuity, Cause and effect, Using evidence, Empathy Strands: Story, Life, society, work and culture in the past, Continuity and change over time, Eras of conflict and change, Politics, conflict and society
EnglishStrands: Receptiveness to language, Emotional and imaginative development through language
ScienceSkills Development: Working scientifically – Questioning, Observing, Predicting Designing and Making – Exploring, Making
Learning stylesVisual, Auditory and Kin-aesthetic

Primary School Teacher Downloadable Resource Packs

Primary School Teacher’s Fact and Activity Pack  (PDF) Guidelines for Teachers and Code of Conduct (PDF – 19KB)

How to Book and Ticket Price

For more information on how to book a Primary School Tour please visit our Guided Tours booking information page.

Print Protest and Polls: Free Primary School Tours November 2018

The National Print Museum would like to invite a class from your school to take part in a free special Primary School guided tour of the Museum’s current exhibition Print, Protest, and The Polls: The Irish women’s suffrage campaign and the power of print media, 1908 – 1918.

This exhibition commemorates the centenary of the first female vote in Ireland through exploration of the use of print media by the Irish suffragists, and their opponents. The exhibition includes print ephemera, photographs, and newspaper publications which illustrate the influence and effect of protest through print in a period of early media.

The exhibition was curated by Donna Gilligan, a material culture historian who specialises in the research of the objects and images of the Irish suffrage campaign.  Ms Gilligan has researched and developed this special Primary School guided tour of the exhibition. This guided tour is suitable for 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th Class and its aim is to assist your teachers in interpreting the Primary School SESE History curriculum in the following areas:

Working as a Historian
Time and chronology, Using evidence, Change and continuity, Synthesis and communication, Cause and effect, Empathy

Strands and strand units
Strand: Story, Unit: Stories from the lives of people in the past
Strand: Eras of change and conflict, Unit: Changing roles of women in 19th and 20th centuries
Strand: Continuity and change over time, Unit: Communications

Guided Tour Information
The Primary School special guided tour of Print, Protest of the Polls is 30 minutes in duration. The maximum number of pupils we can take on the tour is 15. If you are bringing a larger group of 30 pupils we will split the group, with Group 1 partaking in regular Primary School printing activities in the permanent exhibition and Group 2 taking part in the special guided tour. The groups will then swap over. This tour format is 60 minutes in duration.

The available time slots are as follows:

1. Tuesday 13 November – 10.00am
2. Tuesday 13 November – 11.30am
3. Wednesday 14 November – 10.00am

4. Wednesday 14 November – 11.30am

If you or one of your teachers would like to book one of these time slots for the special guided tour of Print, Protest and the Polls or if you would like any further information, please contact me at or 01 6603770.

The exhibition’s Education Programme is funded by the European Year of Cultural Heritage.