Friday 5: Special Mystery Guest: The Great Potato Famine

Hi All –

I sent this list in the midst of editing, so I apologize for duplicate entries this week! Please welcome my friend and neighbor, Joan Kane, as our special mystery guest this week. Another SMG will follow next week with sites on the spring equinox.

Lucy Gray


As St. Patrick’s Day approaches and all things seem to turn green, it is important to remember the reason why the Irish seem to be everywhere. Many of these Irish are descendants of the four million victims of the Great Famine that left Ireland between 1845 and 1851.

The links below highlight some of the resources available if you would like to explore some of the social, political, historic, governmental, and cultural issues associated with the Great Famine.

Beannachtái Lá Fhéile Pádraig (pronounced: ban-ach-tee la fay-le Paw-drig) or Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


1) An Gorta Mor

This site, developed by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut and County Kerry Library offers original source documents from the time of the Great Famine, digitized resources, Irish history e-texts, a collection of over 400 pictures of Ireland, and more.

2) Following the Great Famine

This website focuses on the impact of that Great Famine on Canada. It tracks the experiences of the Great Famine victims in Canada through stories that mirror the Irish experience in many countries. The site provides curricula on the elementary and high school levels.

3) BBC History of the Irish Famine

Information on the Great Famine from a British viewpoint. This site provides a different viewpoint
that can be used as a basis for discussion of famine and reactions to famine across the globe.

4) Curriculum on Great famine from the New Jersey and New York
Departments of Education

Both sites offer complete version of curricula for grammar school and high school students with many resources listed.

5) The International Famine Centre at University College Cork, Ireland

The International Famine Centre commemorates the more than one million people who died and nearly four million who were exiled during Ireland’s Great Famine by working to prevent the present-day recurrence of famine elsewhere in the world. This site provides information on current famine conditions across the globe.

Joan Kane has over twenty years experience in the software industry. She has worked in training, marketing, and management roles for leading software companies, such as Adobe, Ashton-Tate, Asymetrix, and Borland Software, but she has always considered herself to be a teacher first. She recently returned to teaching as a business/technology teacher for the Chicago Public Schools and is completing her doctorate in instructional technology. Joan has presented at the Illinois Technology Conference for Educators, the ToolBook Developers conference, and the American Society for Training & Development Conference.


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Filed under Ed Tech Resources, Friday 5, Lessons & Projects, Special Mystery Guests

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