Skip to main content
article icon

Curriculum - Geography - Lesson plan - Passage to India

Features | Published in TES Newspaper on 21 May, 2010

Secondary Bring pupils up to speed on the basics of life in India before introducing role-play exercises illustrating the differences between growing up there and in the UK

What the lesson is about

These are the first two of four lessons about India, focusing on child labour, and produced in association with Teachers TV. The four lessons are aimed at key stage 3 geography pupils, with links to citizenship.


  • To research and explore aspects of the physical geography of India.
  • To explore the life of children in India and discuss differences in life experiences there and in the UK.
  • To explore the issue of child labour.
  • To develop a sense of empathy.

Getting started

Before the lesson, collect a range of resources on the geography of India, such as magazine articles, textbooks, newspaper articles and information from the internet. If the class does not have access to the internet, print out web pages (links to recommended sites are included on the TES website).

Show the Teachers TV programme on India ( Ask the class what they know about India and make sure they can find it on a map - use a globe to show where it is in relation to the UK.

Ask the pupils, either in pairs or working on their own, to answer questions about the country. What is its capital city? Which other countries does it border? Who is the prime minister? Ask them to answer questions on life in India. What percentage of the population lives below the poverty line? What percentage is literate? What are its main industries?

Ask the class to report back. What surprised them about their findings? What is different from their own experience?

Taking it further

Begin the second lesson by asking children how they would feel about being treated differently because of a physical characteristic, such as the colour of their hair, or because of the order in which they arrived in the room.

Give out coloured sheets in the following proportions: 60 per cent of the class gets blue sheets, 30 per cent green sheets and 10 per cent red sheets, to reflect the populations in the developing and developed world. The sheets tell them when they can use the tuck shop and how often they have to complete homework. Those with red sheets can use the tuck shop whenever they like and never have to complete homework. Green sheets mean using the tuck shop only at lunchtimes and being excused homework once a week. Blue sheets mean no tuck shop and homework every night. How do they feel about this new rule? Would they feel differently if they had a differently coloured card?

Divide the class into groups of four. Read out questions about child labour. What percentage of the world’s children work? How many hours does an average child factory worker spend at work? What percentage of farm workers are children? Ask them to discuss their answers in groups. Which statistics surprised them the most?

Where to find it

The full four-part lesson plan and supporting materials, including links to useful websites, suggested questions on India, worksheets, coloured sheets and child labour statistics can be found at The lesson was originally uploaded by Plan UK, the international development charity.

More Geography in the TES Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine

as yet unrated

Add your comment

Subscribe to TES magazine
Join TES for free now

Join TES for free now

Four great reasons to join today...

1. Be part of the largest network of teachers in the world – over 2m members
2. Download over 600,000 free teaching resources
3. Get a personalized email of the most relevant resources for you delivered to your inbox.
4. Find out first about the latest jobs in education