The First Opium War

Last updated: 15/11/2023
The First Opium War
Main Subject
Key stage
History: World history
Includes answers
Resource type
Student activity

This free EAL resource pack focuses on the First Opium War, fought between the British Empire and China's Qing Dynasty. It includes work on key vocabulary items, a reading text which summarises the cause and results of the First Opium War, and discussion questions which encourage learners to think critically about the impact of British imperialism.

It is suitable for KS3 and KS4 learners who are at least at the Early Acquisition stage of English language development (i.e. not suitable for those who are New to English). This pack includes three collaborative activities, jigsaw activities and flashcards.

For more free resources for secondary-aged learners using EAL, please visit The Bell Foundation’s Teaching Resources section. To download, create a free account and log in.

Some of the questions from the jigsaw reading activity:

Student A

Ask your partner the questions to find out the missing words in your text.

  1. What goods did China have in the 1700s?
  2. Who paid a lot of silver for Chinese goods?
  3. Where did British traders sell Chinese goods for more money?
  4. What was the name of the company that Britain used to control India economically?
  5. What did the British Royal Navy attack?
  6. In the Nanking Treaty, how many more ports did China have to open to British trade?
  7. What was another name for the Treaty of Nanking?

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