Introducing the Empire through coins

Lesson Plan

By Jacqui Dean, published 16th January 2011

This coins lesson introduces children to the complex and controversial subject of the British Empire in a practical, hands-on way.

(These resources are attached below)

The lesson can stand alone or form an introduction to an in-depth study of empire, immigration and emigration. It overlaps usefully with geography and citizenship.

You will need a variety of coins for the session. They can usually be picked up for modest sums in second-hand shops. My local Oxfam sells world coins by the bag. A request to friends, family and neighbours should also yield silver and copper aplenty. Alternatively, you could photocopy, cut out and glue pictures of coins from a book for the children to examine.


Teaching methods


Maps and Plans

Learning about Time

History study unit

Britain since 1930

See also a variant on this lesson
World War II medals

Teaching Britain since 1930