Empire and migration overview: Forging identities

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Contributor: Teachit Author
Empire and migration overview: Forging identities
Main Subject
Key stage
Exam board
Thematic studies: Migration
Includes answers
Resource type
Complete lesson
Concepts and methods
Cause and consequence

This resource can be used to either introduce or recap the theme of establishing identities (with a focus on English and British identities from the Middle Ages to the present day). It was written for AQA’s ‘Migration, empires and the people’ thematic study, but it could be used for other similar units, or for non-examination content at key stage 3.

Students are given examples of AQA's seven factors that can contribute to the growth of identities. They place the examples on a Venn diagram according to whether each shows identities as being 'internal' or as being formed with reference to an other which is not English or not British.

They then plan a response to the following exam-style essay question and write their conclusion:

‘Ideas have been the main factor behind the establishment of a British identity since the year 790.’ To what extent do you agree?

The PowerPoint slide can be used as a starter. It shows a map of the British Isles, a map of the United Kingdom and a map of Britain / Great Britain and asks students to identify which is which.

This resource is part of a mini scheme of work on the Teachit site. The others are as follows:

An extract from the resource:

  • Does this example show identity being formed by building something ‘internal’ which is identified as being English or British?
  • Does this example show identity being formed by establishing something ‘external’ which is not English or British? (This is sometimes called ‘defining against’.)
  • Does the example do both?

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