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Subject knowledge animation: Shackleton
Subject knowledge animation: Map skills
Subject knowledge animation: Mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes
Subject knowledge animation: Key Stage Two geography
Using the Societys collections to develop cross curricular links
Mount Everest and its ascent
Antarctica - Extreme wilderness
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China - Snapshots in Time
India - Pictures of the Past
Lesson plans and ideas

India - Pictures of the Past

India has long sparked the imagination of many an explorer and adventurer, from the ancient temples and rolling heat soaked plains of the south to the chilling beauty of the Himalaya in the north, it is a country of extremes containing a diverse range of peoples and environments within its extensive borders.

From the arrival of the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama on the shores of western India in the 15th Century to establish links with spice traders, and the later arrival of the British East India Company in Bengal, the beginnings of the extensive trade links with India we see today, were established. Today India is renowned for its rapid development and the growth of its high tech industries and is increasingly attractive to foreign investment. It is home to a diverse population of over one billion people and is the worlds largest democracy.

However the country has undergone many changes to become the nation it is today, most notably the alteration of its territory during the quest for independence in the 1940s which lead to the creation of the modern day countries of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The changes implemented during this particularly turbulent period are still felt today and have altered the social dynamics and geography of the country.

Key questions

  • Why was the 60th anniversary of the partition of India and Pakistan marked in the UK in 2007?
  • What was the relationship between the British and the Punjab?
  • What can different sources tell us about partition?
  • What are the views on partition by people today?


These fact sheets provide background information to each of the key questions. They can be used together with the associated downloadable activities to investigate each area.  

  • India Country Factsheet PDF | MSWORD
  • Pakistan Country Factsheet PDF | MSWORD
  • Climate and landscape of the Punjab Fact Sheet PDF | MSWORD
  • The Punjab - A Basic Map PDF | MSWORD
  • Britain and the Punjab Factsheet PDF | MSWORD
  • Punjabis in the British Army Factsheet PDF | MSWORD
  • Two Views of Partition Factsheet PDF | MSWORD
  • Punjab - Moving Journeys Factsheet PDF | MSWORD


Find out more about the images in the gallery above PDF | MSWORD

Online activities

If you'd like to learn more about India's links with other countries, try this online activity.
To discover more about the Indian monsoon, take a look at this interactive activity.

Downloadable activities

The downloadable activities used with the associated factsheets can be used in the classroom to investigate each area.

  • Teacher's Notes - Part one PDF | MSWORD
  • Blank World Map PDF | MSWORD
  • Student Activity Sheet - Make your own map of India PDF | MSWORD
  • Student Activity Sheet - My map of India PDF | MSWORD
  • Student Activity Sheet - Make your own map of Pakistan PDF | MSWORD
  • Teacher's Notes - Part two PDF | MSWORD
  • Student Activity Sheet - Make your own poster PDF | MSWORD
  • Student Activity Sheet - My map of Pakistan PDF | MSWORD
  • Teacher's Notes - Key Stage Three PDF | MSWORD
  • Activity Sheet - Web Quest PDF | MSWORD
  • Activity Sheet - Different Sources PDF | MSWORD
  • Activity Sheet - Interview Guidance PDF | MSWORD
  • Activity Sheet - Planning your Webpage PDF | MSWORD

An education pack exploring the Punjab and its past has recently been developed. The pack entitled Pictures of the Punjab contains activities for students from the ages of eight to 12 and can be downloaded in sections here:

The Society's exhbition The Punjab: Moving Journeys explores the complex history of the Punjab region, spanning India and Pakistan, and the impact of migration by successive generations of Punjabi people. The exhibition reveals the reasons for migration, regionally and internationally, from the late 1800s onwards. The contemporary significance of these journeys  is revealed through the perspectives of  UK-based community groups with links to the Punjab in both countries. This exhibition is also available to hire.


This theme was developed with support from the UK Punjab Heritage Association, the Muslim Womens Welfare Association, Cartwright Hall Young Ambassadors and the North Hertfordshire Sikh Education Council. Workshops were conducted with these groups exploring some of the themes raised within these resources.

Supported by:

Heritage Lottery Fund Esmee Fairbairn Foundation John Lyon's Charity

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