This article picks up on a selection of other themes that we know schools have used as a focus for cross-curricular work and recommends resources and websites to support planning.

Click on a heading below to view recommended resources on that theme.

Controversial Issues

Teaching Emotive and Controversial History 3-19
An excellent resource that shares case studies and frameworks for teaching sensitive issues through history. Can be downloaded from the Historical Association website.

What do we tell the children? ~ Confusion, conflict and complexity
Angela Gluck Wood

This timely book recognises that the world is a complex and confusing place for children and teachers alike. It supports and enables teachers to talk with children about difficult and sensitive issues. It has much to reflect on and useful activities and techniques.  Trentham Books 

The Challenge of Teaching controversial issues
Ed. Hilary Claire and Cathie Holden
Each chapter in this collection, unpicks the nature of a specific controversy and offers practical strategies for helping students work through possible solutions. Includes sections on teaching controversial issues through the curriculum and whole school values and action.
Trentham Books

Three Faiths Forum

The aim of this organisation is to build dialogue and lasting relationships between people of different faiths and beliefs. The teaching resources for teaching about the conflict in Gaza and Israel are useful for exploring other controversial issues and can be downloaded from the website.

Teaching Controversial Issues

This leaflet gives some practical strategies for introducing and managing controversial issues in the classroom in the context of Education for Global Citizenship. Available as a download from

See also links to Tide~ support material

Teaching about controversial issues.
Using fiction to explore identity and diversity issues at KS3
Starter activities for exploring controversial issues in citizenship.

Critically engaging with the media

British Film Institute

The BFI has useful teaching resources including A Window on the World ~ A teachers guide to studying television in the citizenship curriculum and Images & Reality, a video pack to explore how the developing world is portrayed through film and TV.

International Broadcasting Trust - reports

The IBT has produced three valuable reports looking at how UK television and new media portray developing countries. Screening the World has a chapter entitled Constructing Kenya: How the UK broadcast media covered the post-election violence in Kenya. This would provide an excellent stimulus for discussion in Geography, English, Citizenship or Media Studies. Can be downloaded from the IBT website. 


This website for English teachers has a number of downloadable resources for exploring newspapers and headlines. 

See also links to Tide~ support material

Using newspapers ~ generic ideas and activities to support global learning at KS3
Using the web ~ web-card activity

Refugee issues

Refugees: We left because we had to
Jill Rutter
This is a substantial and practical resource to support teaching about refugee issues to KS3 and 4. It draws on personal experiences and testimonies, and uses tried and tested activities to discuss the issues in a sensitive way. Also explores the history of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.  Refugee Council

Global Communities: Learning about refugee issues
This resource can be downloaded from the Refugee Week website. It contains practical activities, case studies and sources of further information. 


There are some excellent books for exploring refugee issues. The titles below are highly recommended. See also Using fiction to explore identity and diversity.

Refugee Boy
Benjamin Zephaniah
Alem is brought to the UK for refuge against the war raging between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Bloomsbury Publishing

The Other Side of Truth
Beverley Naidoo
Sade and Femi escape from Nigeria, where their father, a journalist, is being persecuted.

Puffin Books

Boy Overboard
Morris Gleitzman
Jamal and his family flee Afghanistan and make an intrepid journey to Australia, after their mother’s illegal school is discovered.

Puffin Books


What is development?
A comprehensive pack to support enquiry about development issues at KS3. Includes an extensive range of stimulus material such as photos, cartoons, world maps and web-cards.  Tide~ global learning  Click here for further information.

80:20 ~ Development in an unequal world
This publication introduces some of the major development, human rights and justice issues affecting the world today. It includes contributions from a range of authors offering diverse viewpoints, supported by photographs, statistics, quotes and cartoons. 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World.  Click here for further information. 

Development issues on the web
Click here for weblinks to support investigation of the Millennium Development Goals.

The website below also offers maps and graphs for exploring the state of the world.

State of the world atlas
Earthscan have produced a range of atlases on a variety of themes including The State of the World, The Atlas of Water, The Atlas of War and Peace and many others. The atlases contains statistics, use a variety of mapping techniques and give a visual portrayal of the state of our world.  Earthscan


Making sense of world conflict

This is an online resource to support investigation, drawing on case studies from Sierra Leone, Cambodia, Manchester and Liberia. There are 8 downloadable lesson plans offering opportunities to explore this issue through music and art as well as Citizenship, Geography and PSHE.

WMD Awareness Programme

The WMD Awareness Programme dedicated to providing trustworthy, and up to date information on Weapons of Mass Destruction, has produced a resource to support the Citizenship curriculum. It supports discussion around conflict, using the internet, the role of the media and participation. Includes cartoons. Some of the resources are on the accompanying CDs.

Iraq: War and peace

An online resource from Oxfam for teaching about the Iraq conflict. The activities allow students to explore questions about the conflict, discuss the effect the war has had on this country, examine techniques for resolving conflicts and debate whether wars can ever be just.

Three wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak
Deborah Ellis
Here children talk about their own experiences of growing up in the Middle East, their fears and their hopes for the future. Hearing these children’s stories will raise many questions among young people and adults alike.

“Now and again, a book will open a door that is usually shut. Three Wishes is like that. It lets you hear the voices of young people who live in one of the tensest places in the world.”  Beverley Naidoo

Building new citizenship ~ Learning from change in Derry/Londonderry

What can we learn about ‘building citizenship’ in our own locality by exploring another place, particularly a place that has seen conflict? This comprehensive resource pack enables students to explore their own sense of citizenship, identity and participation.  Tide~ global learning  Click here for further information.