Teaching Students About Queen Of England
The Queen of England, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is a significant figure in British history and culture. Teaching students about the life and role of the Queen can help them develop a greater understanding and appreciation for the history, politics, and global influence of the United Kingdom. This article offers an in-depth exploration of teaching resources and strategies to introduce students to her fascinating life and legacy.
The Importance of Teaching About Queen Elizabeth II
Educating students about the Queen of England provides not only historical context but also valuable insights into British politics, culture, traditions, constitutional debates, and international relations. As Britain’s longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has been a figurehead of continuity and change since her ascension to the throne in 1952.
Themes and Topics to Cover:
1. Early Life: Begin with an introduction to Queen Elizabeth II’s early life, emphasizing her unexpected path to becoming queen after her father King George VI assumed the throne following his brother’s abdication.
2. Accession to the Throne: Talk about her sudden transition from princess to queen at just 25 years old following her father’s death. Discuss her coronation ceremony, as well as her commitment to service throughout her reign.
3. Her Role as Sovereign: Sheds light on the constitutional role of the British monarch as a figurehead for stability, diplomacy, and national unity in times of change. Explain how her powers are mainly ceremonial in today’s political landscape.
4. Political Milestones: Analyze significant political milestones – from Winston Churchill’s prime ministership during her early reign to Brexit – that have challenged the monarchy during Elizabeth’s time on the throne.
5. Balmoral Castle & Royal Residences: Introduce students to the various royal residences where she spends time with her family. Discuss the traditional public roles she carried out at Buckingham Palace such as State Banquets and the ceremonial “Changing of the Guard.”
6. Personal Life: Give context to her relationships with her husband, Prince Philip, and their four children – Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward – as well as her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
7. The Monarchy in Modern Times: Touch on how the monarchy has adapted during her reign and discuss public opinion regarding its relevance in the 21st century.
8. Philanthropy: Discuss the Queen’s commitment to supporting over 600 charitable organizations, focusing on veterans, education, the environment, and medical research.
Teaching Resources and Tools:
1. Biographies and Documentaries: Use age-appropriate biographies, documentaries, or movies to engage students with visual representations of Queen Elizabeth II’s life.
2. Primary Sources: Examine letters, newspaper articles, speeches, photographs, or video clips from key moments in her reign.
3. Royal Family Tree: Assign a research project where students are tasked with creating a family tree to better understand the line of succession and connections to other European monarchies.
4. Engaging Activities: Organize group activities such as debates around the monarchy’s role in modern society or multicultural activities that connect British traditions with those of Commonwealth countries.