Written activities

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There are many opportunities to use written activities for exploring particular issues and aspects of SPHE. Surveys, checklists, worksheets and questionnaires are all useful ways of provoking children’s thinking, of helping them to gain new insights and of examining topics in some depth. Information that children gather through surveys, questionnaires and projects can encourage children to explore and research a topic in detail, to question popular ideas and to develop opinions and ideas of their own. Information gathered can form the basis of further exploration or research and encourage the children to think about an issue in a real and meaningful manner. It is essential that any written activities undertaken are discussed, findings explored and reasons given for particular considerations.


The approaches and methodologies for SPHE, outlined in the SPHE teacher guidelines on pp 54-99 are an excellent reference for teachers to support them in the implementation of active learning methodologies in SPHE lessons

The following exemplars illustrate how various aspects of the SPHE content can be explored using a variety of written activities:

  • Surveys: outlined on p87 highlight the uses of surveys across all class levels for gathering information on many topics. A sample lesson plan on surveys for fifth and sixth classes is outlined on p88.
  • Questionnaires: outlined on pp89-90 for fifth and sixth classes as an effective means of exploring particular topics
  • Lists and check lists: outlined on p91 for fifth and sixth class whereby they guide children in their exploration and help them to be more observant or conscious of detail
  • Projects: outlined on p92 explain the emphasis in carrying out a project with any age group is on children finding and collating information of different kinds. A sample lesson on projects for first to sixth classes is outlined on p93. A further sample lesson for third to sixth classes is outlined on p94
  • Worksheets: outlined on p95 are a helpful means of informing parents about issues covered in school as they can see at first hand the type of material being covered in school and can further explore the topic with their children at home. A sample lesson for junior and senior infants is outlined.


Click on the links below for further resources to support you in using written activities:


Witch activity: A written activity on the topic of ‘witches’ involving group work and the using the ‘jigsaw’ technique

Treasure Hunt: A written activity which can be used as an introduction or ‘warm up’ activity whereby children collect names of class mates that they share similar hobbies/ characteristics with

Which person in this class has.. A similar written activity to ‘Treasure Hunt’ whereby children collect names of class mates that they share similar hobbies/ characteristics with

Angry: A written exercise where by children construct a poem based on the theme of ‘anger’ following a list of specific instructions. This can be adapted for any number of emotions

Treasure Island activity: A written activity, which can be completed in small groups whereby children must choose to pack for a stay on a desert island