How to Teach the Concepts of Invasion, Settlement and Migration

Written by Dan

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Teaching the complex themes of invasion, settlement, and migration can be a challenging task for educators. These concepts are intricately woven into the fabric of history and provide essential insights into the human condition and the transformation of societies.

Understanding migration involves grasping the reasons why people move, the impact of their movement on both the places they leave and the places they settle, and the cultural exchanges that result from these processes.

Related: For more, check out our article on How To Promote Diversity In History  here.

how to teach the concept of invasion, settlement and migration

The role of invasion and settlement is particularly prominent in British history, offering a rich array of case studies from the Roman conquests to the Norman Conquest and beyond.

When incorporating these themes into the curriculum, it’s important to engage with both the historical narratives and the societal changes they triggered.

Using a variety of teaching tools and resources, educators can create an immersive learning experience that enables students to better understand the continuous flow of human history through the lens of migration.

Key Takeaways

  • Educators must navigate the multifaceted concepts of migration, invasion, and settlement.
  • Historical invasions and settlements are pivotal in shaping British history and society.
  • A well-rounded curriculum includes diverse tools and narratives to illustrate migration’s impact.

Related: For more, check out our article on What Has To be Taught In The History National Curriculum here.

Understanding Migration: Concepts and Definitions

Teaching the complexities of migration involves a clear grasp of its patterns, the definitions of key terms, and the factors influencing migration rates and reasons.

This educational scaffold ensures a comprehensive understanding of how humans have moved and settled throughout history.

Historical Patterns of Migration

Migration has shaped societies and defined civilisations since time immemorial. Patterns of migration reveal the shifting dynamics of empire expansion, economies, and the search for resources.

Historical movements have included the great migrations of the Germanic tribes in the 4th to 6th centuries, the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th to 19th centuries, and the mass shifts during and after the two World Wars.

Key Terms: Migration, Immigration, Settlement

Migration is the movement of people from one place to another with the intention of settling, either temporarily or permanently in a new location.

The distinction between immigration and emigration hinges on perspective: immigration refers to arriving in a new country, while emigration emphasises leaving one’s country. Settlement implies establishing a stable community in a new region after migration.

Migration Rates and Reasons

The rate of migration can be indicative of wider socio-economic trends. Factors influencing migration are multifaceted; they include economic opportunities, political stability, environmental conditions, and personal safety.

Reasons for migration are often categorised as ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors, with push factors forcing individuals out of their home region, and pull factors attracting them to a new area.

Educators can draw upon a range of resources and activities to help learners contextualise these patterns and terms, thereby facilitating a more nuanced understanding of migration’s role in history and its ongoing impact on the world.

Related: For more, check out our article on The Top 10 History Online Games here.

The Role of Invasion and Settlement in British History

Invasions and settlements have played a critical role in shaping the cultural and political landscape of Britain.

From ancient times to the modern era, the incursions of various peoples, and the resulting migrations have profoundly influenced the development of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Viking Incursions

The Roman conquest of Britain began in 43 AD, marking the start of several hundred years of control, which left a lasting imprint on the region, from roads and towns to governance and language.

Following the retreat of the Romans came the waves of Anglo-Saxons, whose invasions commenced in the 5th century, forming the bedrock of English identity. These settlers established numerous kingdoms, and their influence is evident in many place names and aspects of British culture to this day.

The final significant wave of pre-Norman incursions came with the Vikings. They raided and settled throughout the 8th to 11th centuries, primarily affecting the north and east of England.

Their presence led to the creation of the Danelaw, a region of Viking control, which influenced the culture and language of that area.

Colonialism and the British Empire

The expansion of British influence through colonialism vastly altered global migration patterns.

Beginning in the 16th century and reaching a peak during the 18th and 19th centuries, Britain’s naval power enabled it to establish an empire that covered a quarter of the globe, encompassing parts of Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania.

This empire facilitated a two-way flow of people, wealth, and ideas between Britain and the colonies, with movements including the transportation of slaves, the migration of settlers, and the recruitment of colonial troops.

Timeline of The British Empire

The Effects of Industrialisation on Migration

Industrialisation in Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries transformed its society and economy, making it the world’s first industrialised nation.

This period saw a significant internal migration, with people moving from rural areas to cities in England, Scotland, and Wales to seek work in new factories.

The demand for labour led to the arrival of workers from Ireland and later, in the post-World War II era, from the Commonwealth countries, which significantly diversified the population.

Additionally, industrialisation spurred the movement of Britons overseas to the colonies, further expanding the empire’s cultural and economic reach.

Throughout British history, invasions, settlements, and migrations have been integral to its evolution, leaving indelible marks on the social fabric of the United Kingdom.

Migration Narratives and Effects on Societies

how to teach the concept of invasion

Migration narratives shape public perception and policy, reflecting personal experiences and impacting societies on both an individual and national level.

From Refugees to Migrants

Refugees are often compelled to leave their homes due to conflict or persecution, with their stories reflecting a narrative of survival and the search for safety.

In contrast, migrants may move for various reasons, including economic opportunities or family reunification.

Societal attitudes towards refugees and migrants can be significantly influenced by the dominant narratives that are shared and circulated, affecting how host communities view newcomers and the policies that govern their integration.

Our Migration Story: Individual and National Narratives

Each migrant and refugee carries an individual story that contributes to the complex tapestry of national migration narratives.

Websites dedicated to sharing migration stories, such as Our Migration Story, offer platforms for understanding the myriad experiences that form our collective history.

These narratives can vary widely, from hardship and oppression to hope and triumph, challenging stereotypes and influencing the broader discourse on migration and national identity.

Incorporating Migration into the Curriculum

map of the world

Incorporating the concepts of invasion, settlement, and migration into the curriculum requires well-structured lesson plans and imaginative classroom activities. Teachers serve as facilitators in helping students grasp these complex historical movements and their impact on society.

Lesson Plans and Teacher Resources

The British Red Cross offers comprehensive guidance for teaching young people about migration.

Their approach considers pre-existing knowledge, which is crucial for developing an effective learning trajectory.

Similarly, Oxford Education Blog provides a historical lens on the subject, discussing the integration of migration into the Key Stage 3 curriculum through Teaching migration in KS3 History.

  • Curriculum Adaptation: Adapt the existing curriculum to include migration as a key theme in teaching history.
  • Resource Compilation: Utilise free teaching materials from resources like the Free humanitarian materials by the Red Cross to aid lesson planning.
  • Teacher Training: Encourage professional development sessions focused on the latest pedagogical methods for teaching migration.

Suggested Activities for Engaging Students

Engaging students in the concepts of migration, invasion, and settlement can be achieved through a variety of suggested activities:

  1. Simulation Games: Conduct classroom activities that simulate the migration experience, helping students empathise with the challenges faced by migrants.
  2. Case Studies: Include case studies of historical migrations in the classroom to add depth to students’ understanding.
  3. Debates and Discussions: Encourage informed discussions based on materials like the History CPD article | Teachit, which proposes swapping traditional topics for migration themes to contextualise current events.

Engagement Approach:

  • Role-Play: Let students take on the roles of historical figures involved in migrations.
  • Visual timelines: Create visual timelines in class to trace migration patterns throughout history.
  • Group Projects: Facilitate group projects that research and present on different aspects of migration.

Teaching Tools and Resources

When educating students on the complex themes of invasion, settlement, and migration, teachers have a variety of tools and resources at their disposal to facilitate a comprehensive learning experience.

These materials aim to engage students with geographic data, historical narratives, and critical viewpoints on justice and persecution throughout history.

Geography and Migration Patterns

Utilising maps and geographic data is vital in teaching about migration patterns.

Teachers can provide students with resources that detail the movement of peoples, such as the Roma migrations across Europe. Interactive timeline tools can help students visualise these movements over time.

Additionally, curating a collection of maps that depict different periods can enable a grasp of the shifting borders and the geopolitical forces at play.

Migration, Memory, and Representation

Addressing how migration is remembered and represented calls for a mix of historical texts and visual media. Resources like films and PDF documents that include eye-witness accounts, photographs, and teacher notes can be used to discuss how memory shapes our understanding of past migrations.

This subsection should also encourage students to consider differing perspectives and how certain groups’ memories, such as those of Cornelia Sorabji’s contributions in India, are preserved or forgotten.

Addressing Justice and Persecution in History

The examination of justice and persecution in the context of historical migrations necessitates a sensitive approach.

Education resources might include case studies or curriculum notes on instances where groups faced injustice, such as during the Anglo-Saxon and Scottish settlements.

Resources could also include judicial documents and representations of legal challenges that outline historical injustices, providing a well-rounded perspective on the past and fostering a discussion on how history can be used to educate and prevent future persecution.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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