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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and Cottage

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, where you can visit Burns’ Cottage as well as other sites like the Auld Kirk - which features in Tam O’Shanter - is an excellent source of educational material for Scots Language.


The schools programme features workshops such as ‘Being Burns’, which incorporates Scots language into a learning experience which teachers children about the life of Burns. The boys don a pair of breeks, sark, and a bunnet, while the girls don a petticoat under their frock. The children then visit Burns’ cottage, the interior walls of which are emblazoned with Scots words and phrases – the part of the cottage where the animals were kept has ‘kye’ written above the bales of hay and another room has ‘wean’ written on the wall. The cottage kitchen has images of the characters from Tam O’Shanter projected on the wall, and learners can see the tiny box bed where Burns slept.


The museum itself features an exhibition that will stimulate learners – they are able to view portraits of Burns as well as a vast selection of his letters and poems. Interactive features are also there: learners can also view their own portrait, and a special feature is the Creepie-chair, where children may sit and be disciplined by the preacher’s sermon. Scots language features throughout, as the guide to each exhibit is written by James Robertson. You can download a sample of the text below.


To find out more about school visits to RBBM, and the cultural events they host throughout the year, visit their website:


To see our teaching resources and relevant links for the teaching of Burns poetry, click here.


If you’d like more information about guidance and support in teaching Scots, contact us at or follow our Twitter account at @LairnScots.