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Documentary on One

Dracula was Irish

Bram Stoker's life and influences are the focus of this documentary. Students analyse readings, listen for sound effects and prepare for the final task; a dramatic reading from a gothic novel of their choice.

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Educational Worksheets

Download the Junior Cycle worksheet

Additional audio

Dracula Clip 2 Dracula Clip 3 Documentary On One Podcast: Dracula was Irish

Documentary-maker: Ronan Kelly

More Information

Dracula was Irish

Suitable for: All students from 1st year – TY

Documentary length: 10 mins

To download the worksheet, simply right click on 'Download the Junior Cycle Worksheet' link on your left - and select 'Save Link As'.

Bram Stoker’s life and influences are the focus of this documentary which looks at how Stoker’s childhood in Dublin and the historical context of nineteenth century Dublin might have influenced this famous novelist and his most famous work ‘Dracula’. Students will listen to readings from the novel and learn fascinating historical facts about the author’s life. The documentary also features various interviews including one with Senator David Norris (a distant relative of Bram Stoker). This unit of work is particularly suitable for the month of October, leading up to Hallowe’en.
The thematic unit of work uses the documentary as a primary text, as is recommended in the English Specification.

  • In studying the documentary, students engage with all four LITERACY skills, i.e.  Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
  • The oral and written assignments support development of JUNIOR CYCLE KEY SKILLS as well as a selection of LEARNING OUTCOMES from the ENGLISH SPECIFICATION.
  • In a carefully staged, AFL process, the unit begins with pre-listening, challenging students to tap into their prior knowledge, their thoughts and feelings about the context in the text.
  • The documentary, for classroom purposes has been divided into short, relevant clips and the associated activities/ worksheets will develop a variety of comprehension skills, e.g. anticipation; active-listening; discussion; post-listening and reflective/ creative activities.
  • Methodologies used in the teaching and learning resources encourage the student to become a critical, autonomous, self-directed and reflective learner. This is facilitated through AFL tasks which include peer and self-reflection sheets.
  • By the end of this unit of work, students will be ready to complete a summative assessment task, suitable for the Oral Communication Task. An outline of the CBA can be found in the specification for Junior Cycle English (October 2015) which is available on the JCT website      

Throughout the unit of work, students will be guided through activities which include:
- Pre-listening introduction based on a word association activity and language analysis
- KWL to examine what students know and want to know about Dracula and Bram Stoker
- Comprehension worksheet which prompts active listening followed by punctuation work

- Analysis of a dramatic reading from Dracula, focusing on aspects like sound effects, tone, pace etc.

- Documentary dictionary – an active listening exercise to explore vocabulary

- An analysis of imagery used in the documentary (writing and drawing work)
- A  post-listening exploration of the main character by writing a short persuasive speech, using success criteria and followed by a self-assessment worksheet

The unit builds up to the final, summative task; to prepare and deliver a dramatic reading from a gothic novel.

The summative task is preceded by scaffolding activities, followed by AfL materials including self and peers assessment activities.

Note: This documentary and the associated materials, based on Dracula, mention death and include (cartoon) images of coffins and blood. Teachers may need to be mindful of this if students have experienced recent losses.

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Click here to visit the Junior Cycle for Teachers Website


Documentary description from the documentary makers:

100 years after Bram Stoker's death, Fergal Browne, investigates how his Irish upbringing comes through in his most popular work.

(Made as part of the DIT journalism course.)

April 2012

'Documentary on One is the home of Irish radio documentaries and the largest library of documentary podcasts available anywhere in the world. We tell stories in sound, mostly Irish ones, and each documentary tells its own story'

The Curious Ear is produced by Ronan Kelly


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