1916 in transition 10

War Correspondent: Easter 1916

Themes: Civilian Toll, Sites of Action
Subject: History, English
Estimated No. of Classes: 2
Toolkit: Internet Connection, Computer Lab, Print Outs
Funders: The Department of Education and Skills and the Irish Research Council.
Developed by: The Letters of 1916 Project, The Military Archives, An Foras Feasa and The Humanities Institute at Maynooth University.
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“Not somewhere in France...But the ruins of Sackville Street…”


This lesson plan will introduce the key journalistic questions (commonly referred to as the 5 Ws plus H) - who? what? when? where? why? and how? In an introductory task students will interrogate a document to answer the 5 Ws plus H about Annie Malone and her connection to the fighting in Easter week 1916. The main task requires student groups to collect information on 1916 Rising sites of action in Dublin. The groups will work as war correspondents with the brief to write a newspaper report about the events in Dublin. Each team member will take turns in being the 'roving' reporter, collect a location from the teacher and “visit a site.” When at the site they will need to read accounts linked to that site and report back to their team to collate as full a picture of the events as possible. Either individually or as a team they write a newspaper article about the events in Dublin keeping it as balanced as possible. Students will demonstrate the ability to select, review and synthesise information - verbally and through their notes - and present a balanced newspaper article reporting on the events.

Lesson Aims/Objectives:

a. To analysing a range of historical documents

b. To identify relevant facts and explain and synthesise information.

c. To development of journalistic language, form and structure.

Advanced Preparation Required:

a. NOTE: Starter activity exploring Annie Malone’s compensation claim (see Materials Needed 10. ‘a’) can be carried out using computers, or teachers can use printouts of relevant documents.

b. The teacher should read through the relevant pages of Annie Malone’s compensation claim (pages 5, 6, 10, 11, 15 and 16 ) to familiarize him/herself with the case.

c. The teacher should choose which sites of action they will use in the lesson. Suggestions for possible sites in Dublin (GPO, Dublin City Hall, Bolands Mills, Mendicity Institute, Mount Street/Clanwilliam House, South Dublin Union, Metropole Hotel, Royal College of Surgeons) -associated resources are included below (see Materials Needed 10. ‘b’ and ‘c’). Teachers should familiarize themselves with the documents for their chosen sites. There are also additional sources for sites of action in Dublin as well as across the country on http://www.militaryarchives.ie/ within the Military Service Pensions collection and Bureau of Military History collection if needed.

d. If using computers in the lesson:

i. Check that http://www.militaryarchives.ie/ and http://letters1916.ie are accessible on school computers

ii. Book computer facilities if necessary.

e. Without computers:

i. Print out documents for the activities (links in “Materials Needed”)

  1. Relevant pages of Annie Malone’s compensation record
  2. Relevant documents for Dublin sites of action (see Materials Needed 10. ‘b’ and ‘c’ below)

f. Set up 'sites of action':

i. Establish between 4 and 6 locations around the class by placing the documents relating to the respective sites in different parts of the classroom with some way to identify each location. If computers are used for the lesson, designate a computer per site of action

ii. Teachers may find it useful to print out an image of the chosen site using images (see Materials Needed, 10. ‘b’) to place at classroom/computer location


a. Introductory task:

Introduce students to the key journalistic questions (5 Ws plus H) - who? what? when? where? why? and how? by carrying out the following exercise;

i. Students are divided into groups which may vary depending on class size

ii. Students collect the relevant pages of Annie Malone's compensation claim (Relevant pages: 5, 6, 10, 11, 15 and 16 )

iii. Students are given time to analyse the provided documents.

iv. As a team the groups must answer the 5 key journalistic questions about Annie Malone.

b. Main task:

i. In the same groups students will collect information on the pre selected and set up 1916 Rising sites of action in Dublin.

ii. The groups are war correspondents writing a newspaper report about the events in Dublin.

iii. Each team member will take turns in being the 'roving' reporter: each member of the group should be assigned a Dublin Rising location and visit that respective site.

iv. When at the site the students must read the document(s) provided, make notes and report back to their team to collate as full a picture of the events as possible.

v. Either individually or as a team the group must write a newspaper article about the events in Dublin keeping it as balanced as possible (a template could be provided if necessary - these are readily available on the internet, e.g. http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/03/wonderful-free-templates-to-create.html

vi. If images are required for the newspaper article, there are a selection available in Materials Needed 10. ‘b’ and ‘d’.


a. Teacher can assess collaborative work as a speaking and listening task.

b. Final newspaper article will be assessed for use of primary sources, appropriate register, style and form.

Materials Needed:

a. Introductory activity:

i.Annie Malone compensation claim (pdf pages 5, 6, 10, 11, 15 and 16)

b. Images of sites of action

i.The G.P.O. and surrounding area

ii. The Four Courts area

iii. Bolands Mills - Beggars Bush area

iv. City Hall and surrounding area

v. South Dublin Union area

c. Main activity:

i. Commemorative article(s) detailing events in Dublin during Easter Week 1916, An t-Óglach 1926. Various sites and accessed using map facility.

ii.Sinn Fein rebellion Handbook (pages 7-30 for accounts of fighting at various Dublin sites)

iii.Witness statement of Helena Moloney (City Hall) pp.34-40

iv.Witness statement of Joseph O’Byrne (Bolands Mills) pp.1-12

v.Witness Statement of R.H. Walpole The hoisting of the flag (GPO)

vi.Witness statement of Richard Balfe (Mendicity Institute) pp.5-8

vii.Witness statement of Charles J.McAuley, Medical Attendant (GPO) pp.5-6

viii. Witness statement of James Doyle (Mount Street/Clanwilliam House)pp.1-7

ix.Witness statement of Patrick Smyth (South Dublin Union) pp.1-5

x.Witness statement of Liam Tannam (Metropole Hotel) pp. 19-23

xi.Witness statement of William Oman (Stephen's Green) pp. 10-13

d. Images (to use to enhance the newspaper article if necessary):

i.A selection of 1916 images