As the crisis in the Eurozone leaves economic turbulence in its wake, this is a perfect time to introduce pupils to the history of conflict and co- operation that has shaped the continent over the last two centuries. A great way to do this is by creating a storybook of maps that show how Europe has looked through history.
Start the journey by comparing the political and geographical landscape of the continent in the 1500s and now. Try a resource from alana852 on Europe in 1500, which will give the pupils an excellent overview with which to make general statements about the changes over the last 500 years. To build up their skills in working with maps, use elements of an excellent series of lessons called Introduction to Geography from emmajaneball13.
From here we can dig deeper. Use tafkam's card-sort resource to explore how the political landscape looked before the First World War. Students can then create another map, shading in the alliances that had begun to develop and explore the bigger questions such as "Was the First World War inevitable?"
The next two maps should focus on how Europe was shaped by the Second World War and the Cold War. Use a resource from BiltonStilton to show how Nazi Germany managed to gobble up nations on the continent. Then, as Europe was engulfed by the Cold War, show pupils the division of the continent for much of the second half of the 20th century with a resource from EwanCruz.
Yet out of the decades of conflict and division came the European Union. The penultimate map could show the steady increase in size of the EU by shading in countries that joined at various times. Pjtaylor's resource on the EU will help pupils complete their map.
Finally, a prediction: get pupils to analyse recent news stories and create their final map, which shows how Europe could look by 2050.
Those resources in full:
- Europe in 1500 (alana852)
- Introduction to Geography (emmajaneball13)
- Causes of the First World War - card sort (tafkam)
- Causes of the Second World War and reactions (BiltonStilton)
- The Cold War (EwanCruz)
- European Union (Pjtaylor)