Northern Ireland

The UK , Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

Today you will learn about Northern Ireland’s present and past, and we will start by looking at some tragic, recent news from the country:

Recent news

Northern Ireland has a history of religious and political conflict. On April 18, the young 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee was shot and killed during a riot in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. McKee was killed on the 21st anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement that ended decades of sectarian conflict.



In groups, discuss:

Why was she killed? And what are the concerns of Northern Ireland today?

Research. Find out: Who are the new IRA?

Read this text (either online or on paper):


For those of you who want to know more about Brexit and the border issue:

Write: In a blog post, sum up what you have learned about Northern Ireland and what sort of challenges the country faces today.

The UK and the War on Terror

After 9/11, the US and the UK initiated the War on Terror, represented by the US President George Bush jr. and the British  PM Tony Blair. The US and the UK became close allies during this time and both parts argued that Iraq had to be invaded to not only remove the country’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, but to overthrow the dictator Saddam Hussein as well. Other countries such as Canada, France, Germany, Russia and China opposed the invasion of Iraq and in the aftermath of the war, it became clear that Iraq did not have any weapons of mass destruction. Intelligence reports were mistaken. However, the dictator Hussein was removed, but at the same time, thousands of innocent civilians were killed in the war in addition to British personnel. Tony Blair has apologized for relying on incorrect intelligence reports.

Assignment: Do some research on the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the UK involvement. What were the consequences of British involvement in the wars? List your sources.  Wikipedia could be a good starting point, but you should find other sources that are reliable and trustworthy.

war on terror

Immigration and multiculturalism

Between 1948 and 1962 Britain had an open door policy in terms of immigration. After WWII, Britain turned to the colonies for workforce and people from the Caribbean were invited to come and work in Britain in exchange for British citizenship. The arrival of the Empire Windrush has been considered the beginning of immigration and contemporary multiculturalism. Many immigrants faced challenges, which you can read about here.

The British poet John Agard has written a poem called “Remember the Ship”. Write a blog post where you comment on:

-the speaker of the poem

-the references to ships and journeys

– why we must “remember the ship”

-locate references to race and discuss how this term is used in the poem

-why do you think this poem is relevant today?

the windrush

The UK, Great Britain and Britishness

keep calm

It is easy to confuse the various names used to explain the countries comprising the British Isles. Here you can watch a video explaining what the UK is, Great Britain and the British Isles.

In order to get a better understanding of the British, you are going to answer these questions:

  • Explain the term “devolution”
  • What is The Irish Problem?
  • Explain what Britishness and the different identities within the UK is
  • What role does the monarchy play in the UK? What power does it have?