The accompanying powerpoint presentation contains pictures of currencies around the world that show Queen Elizabeth.
1) Ask students, "Who are some people shown on coins and bills in the USA? Why do you think we chose those people?" Because they are national heroes and important figures from our history.
2) Show the first slide, British Currency showing Queen Elizabeth. It's not too suprising that the British put Elizabeth on their money.
3) Then go through the rest of the slideshow, which shows currencies from around that world that depict Queen Elizabeth. (Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Australia, and Canada) With each slide, point out or mark on a classrom map the country that the currency comes from. Let the students look at each slide for a minute. They love to look at them and usually notice that the coins with earlier dates show a younger Elizabeth.)
4) "It makes sense that the UK would have Queen Elizabeth on their money, but why would so many other places around the world have her picture on theirs?" Discuss. If no one gets the right answer, tell them, "During the 1700s and 1800s, Britain conquered or colonized many places around the world, including the countries marked on the map, plus countries like New Zealand, India, and South Africa. Together, these places were called the British Empire. Some places, like the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar are still part of Britain. Others, like Canada and Australia, govern themselves now, but still consider the Queen of England to be their Queen. The United States was part of the Empire, too, but because we fought a war to break away, we don't call Elizabeth our Queen.
5) Give a reading assignment on either imperialism in general or the British Empire in particular.
6) Closing--There was a saying meant to show how big the British Empire was. People said, "The sun never sets on the British Empire." What do you think that means?