Students will familiarize themselves with key differences and similarities between the two countries, receive an overview of events leading to independence, and analyze the state of the issues facing the subcontinent today.

Materials Needed:

  1. Human Venn diagram instructions and facts for classroom distribution. Printer-friendly PDF
  2. Venn diagram handout for student completion. Printer-friendly PDF
  3. Venn diagram teacher key. Printer-friendly PDF
  4. Almanacs, atlas, or Internet sources for Venn diagram and issues research.
  5. Summary of key people involved with the independence and partition of the two countries and timeline of historical events. Printer-friendly PDF

Introducing India and Pakistan
Inform students of the significance of India and Pakistan at 60. In this activity, students will familiarize themselves with the two countries.

1. Human Venn diagram. 1 class period
(Human Venn diagram instructions and facts attached)

  1. Divide the classroom: one side represents India; opposite side of room represents Pakistan and the center pertains to both India and Pakistan.
    b. Each student receives a slip of paper containing a fact and allowed ten minutes to research the fact determining if the information pertains to India, Pakistan, or both.
    c. Students place themselves on the side of the room corresponding to if the fact pertains to India, Pakistan, or both.
    d. Each student shares fact while instructor verifies accuracy and writes on the board.
    e. Complete written Venn diagram at desk to review information and keep for notes. (Handout of Venn diagram provided)
Extension Activities Issues, timeline for additional class periods
Select one extension, or opt to complete all. Choose from Issues Debate, Human Timeline, Literature Selection, or Gandhi/Jinnah profile. Issues debate class period: 1-2 periods for research and preparation followed by 1 class period for the debate.

1. Issues of the subcontinent. Class Activity: South Asia Forum on Issues.
Each region of the world faces issues that must be given consideration. Governments and society determine which issues deserve attention and funding. Reflecting on sixty years of independence, the class will discuss and determine the most important issues facing South Asia.

a. Divide the class into groups and assign each group an issue facing South Asia.
b. The group will utilize research materials to convince the rest of the class, through debate, that their issue is the most important deserving the attention and funds.
c. Each group should provide ten researchable facts about their issue, a graph or chart displaying statistics, and a visual.
d. Each student will cast their vote for the issue they feel is most important. What group made the most convincing argument?
e. Then each student will write a paper ranking the issues in order of importance and explaining why they ranked the issue in a particular order. Each justification for the ranking should be one paragraph in length and give specific reasons for the ranking.
THE ISSUES: Pakistan and India Nuclear Armed, Population, Terrorism, Kashmir, Education, Environmental Pollution, Human Trafficking, Poverty

Discussion Idea: Discuss ranking the issues from the perspective of a historical figure who played a role in independence such as Gandhi. How would he rank the issues today? Would his ranking differ from Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

2. Timeline of historical events
(40 minute activity to reinforce historical events)

a. Each student will receive a historical event pertaining to the history of South Asia. Utilizing research materials, students create a placard containing the event, date, summary, and visual of the event.
b. Students may for human timeline sharing the historical event, placing themselves in historical order and display placard for historical reference.
3. Historical Fiction Literature Extension Option for Students
  1. Students may opt to read and respond to this piece of historical fiction, a love story between a Sikh boy and Muslim girl set against the backdrop of the partition of India during the summer of 1947. Originally published in 1956, this human story brings the tumultuous events of partition to life.
    Khushwant, Singh (1994). "Train to Pakistan." New York: Grove/Atlantic
4. Jinnah and Gandhi: Two Men, Two Nations A VISUAL BIOGRAPHY
Students create a visual biography using words and symbols for display. After completion, students "visit" each biography collecting information to write a summary of each historical figure.
  1. Student pairs research 15 facts about Mohandis Gandhi and 15 facts about Muhammad Ali Jinah utilizing research materials or the Internet
    b. Student pairs will create a VISUAL BIOGRAPHY of each man using words and symbols. For example, a picture of Gandhi and Jinnah may be drawn, cut-out, downloaded, or any other creative display. Around the picture of the men, students will identify attributes relating to each historical figure. The visual biography should be displayed on any size paper and include the following:

1. Identify the religion of Jinnah and Gandhi
2. Identify the time period they lived
3. How did each man die?
4. Identify the goals each man possessed for the India and Pakistan
5. Did the men achieve their goals?
6. Historically, how are they remembered?
7. How did each man impact history?
Visual Biograph Option: The instructor may assign a different historical figure to each student pair. After the visual biographies are complete, display the biographies and all students examine each biography and write a paragraph summary of each historical figure using the visual biography as a research tool.
Other Historical figure options: Earl Louis Mountbatten, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maharaja Hari Singh

Evaluation: Evaluation will be based on classroom participation in the human Venn diagram and the ranking paper students submit following the issues debate. Students may also be evaluated on the completion of their visual biographies and summaries of historical figures.

5. Visual Vocabulary: Draw a symbol/picture describing and showing your understanding of the following vocabulary terms. Or write a paragraph using the words correctly describing the key events leading to partition of the subcontinent.

Raj: rule, especially British rule prior to 1947
Subcontinent: a large, relatively self-contained landmass forming a subdivision of a continent
Viceroy: a governor of a country, province, or colony, ruling as the representative of a sovereign
Passive resistance: opposition to a government or to specific governmental laws by the use of non-cooperation and other nonviolent methods, such as economic boycotts and protest marches
Salt March: act of non-violent resistance to the British salt tax in 1930 led by Mahatma Gandhi

Connection to Standards of the National Council for Social Studies:

II. Time, Continuity, and Change
III. People, Places, and Environment
VI. Power, Authority, and Governance
IX. Global Connections

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