Number one for English language teachers

Historical topics

Reading, speaking and vocabulary activities that introduce EFL students to the past. Take your students on a journey into the past while learning English at the same time!

From the mysteries of ancient civilizations to the history of tea these resources combine communicative-style activities with stimulating historical topics.

Inside Historical topics

  • Ancient Egypt

    Author: Adrian Tennant

    Cross-curricular materials for teaching English through the topic of Ancient Egypt

  • Marco Polo

    Author: Adrian Tennant

    Cross-curricular materials for teaching English through the topic of Marco Polo

  • The History of Chocolate

    Author: Adrian Tennant Type: General lesson plan Staff Room

    A topic-based lesson about the history and manufacture of chocolate.

  • The History of Basketball

    Author: Adrian Tennant Staff Room

    When a Canadian teacher was trying to think of a way to keep his students fit during the winter months little did he know that he was about to invent the most popular indoor sport in the world: basketball, now played in over 150 countries. In this worksheet students learn all about the history of the game, when it was invented and the rules of play. Comprehension-check questions, project ideas and useful websites help students consolidate their knowledge and learn new sports vocabulary.

  • The History of the UK Parliament

    Staff Room

    In this lesson plan, students read about the history of the Houses of Parliament and find out more about the two assemblies at the heart of the UK political system: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Includes vocabulary exercises, true/false questions and related websites to explore.

  • The History of Money

    Level: Intermediate, Upper intermediate Staff Room

    Did you know that historians believe the Chinese were the first to use paper money, or that cocoa beans served as currency in ancient Mexico? In this lesson plan, students work in pairs to learn about money, from its earliest forms to the bank cards we use today, including the origin of the word itself.

  • Inventions

    Staff Room

    Who invented the teabag? When was the paperclip invented? Which invention might you find in a kitchen and a church? This series of activities gets students in teams to find out the answers to these questions while learning all sorts of fascinating facts! A follow-up activity focuses on past tenses used in the inventions texts provided.

  • The History and Science of Tea Webquest

    Staff Room

    In nine webquest worksheets students explore the fascinating history and science behind one of the world’s most popular beverages. Includes a class project where students prepare a presentation on an aspect of tea.

  • Ancient Monuments Webquest

    Staff Room

    Students explore the history and mystery of six of the world’s greatest ancient monuments. These exciting webquest worksheets cross the globe from England to China, Egypt, Cambodia, and Central America. Includes fun educational links and a class project where students prepare a presentation on a monument of their choice.

  • Blackbeard the pirate

    Level: Upper intermediate Staff Room

    In this lesson plan, students read about Blackbeard and then ask a partner questions about him.

  • Christopher Columbus

    Author: Adrian Tennant Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate Staff Room

    In this lesson plan, a fun multiple-choice quiz tests students’ knowledge of Christopher Columbus. An information-gap reading activity gets them to check their answers to the quiz. Students then read an article on Columbus and correct the factual mistakes. A vocabulary activity asks students to focus on words such as ‘navigation’, ‘voyage’ ‘route’ and the verb ‘to set sail’. Full teacher’s notes provided.

  • Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railway

    Level: Intermediate Staff Room

    In this lesson plan, students work in pairs to put sentences in the correct order to tell the story of Harriet Tubman.

  • Mayans and Incas

    Level: Pre-intermediate, Intermediate Staff Room

    In this lesson plan, students work in pairs to read about two ancient civilizations and identify differences between the two.

  • Mysteries of lost worlds

    Level: Intermediate Staff Room

    In this group activity, students discuss the mysterious monuments of lost civilizations and speculate how and why they were built.

  • The Romans

    Author: Adrian Tennant Level: Elementary, Pre-intermediate Staff Room

    What did the ancient Romans eat? What games did Roman children play? How many people could attend chariot race? In this lesson plan, students learn about this ancient civilization and strengthen their vocabulary with words such as aqueduct, lavish and enable.

  • World Trivia Quiz

    Staff Room

    How much do your students know about the modern and ancient world? Find out with this true/false quiz.

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