BBC Home
Explore the BBC


Teachers: Citizenship:

Last Updated: Tuesday January 22 2008 10:07 GMT

European Capital of Culture 2008

Citizenship: KS2 + KS3 National and regional diversity

Liverpool launches its year as Europe's "Capital of Culture"


Liverpool is the European Capital of Culture 2008.

Students design and make a campaign poster to show why their local area should be considered as a centre of culture.

Learning aims
  • Understand the meaning of 'culture'.

  • Design and create a poster that argues in favour of their local area becoming a centre of culture.

Read the story

City celebrates culture capital

Ask the class:

  • How valuable would the title European Capital of Culture be to an area?

  • What gives a place culture?

  • What would you do in your local area to improve its chances of winning?

  • Who should choose the winner?

  • How much of an honour for an area do you think it is?

Main activity

Culture - the traditions, techniques, language and other symbolism of a body of people.

Ask the group for their definition of 'culture'.

Students design and create a campaign poster with images and text that demonstrates why where they live should be known as a place of culture.

They should remember the following:

  • Their poster needs to stand out from the rest.

  • Include photographs or illustrations so that people can see what the place looks like.

  • Add a catchy slogan, that will stick in people's minds.

  • Leave space around the edges of the poster for banners. These can be used to carry slogans or small pictures/logos. They are attractive and in some cases may be all that a viewer will look at.

  • Use plenty of bullet points. They break up the text and people like sound bites.
Points you may want students to consider:
  • Traditions
  • Historical sites
  • Cultural diversity
  • Local foods
  • Local dialect or slang
  • Music venues
  • Local sporting activity
  • Important buildings
  • Local talent and famous people
  • Concert halls and theatres
  • Local parks and open spaces
  • Museums and galleries
  • Other local entertainments

Extension activity

Write letters encouraging people to consider their area for the next European City of Culture competition.

Online game

If the whole class has web access, our online Nervy Navigator game will help rehearse their knowledge of UK cities.


Recap on the main teaching points.

The class provide constructive feedback on the design and content of their posters.

Which areas of culture do students consider more important?

Teachers' Background

  • Started as a means of bringing the population of the European Union closer together, the European City of Culture was launched on June 13, 1985.

  • Cork City, in Ireland, was the first city in Europe to hold the prestigious Capital of Culture title. The European Parliament and Council Decision of May 25, 1999 integrates this event into the Community framework and introduces a new selection procedure for the Capitals for the 20052019 period. This was done to avoid overly fierce competition to win the accolade; each EU member nation will be given the opportunity to "host" the capital in turn. Starting in 2005, two cities will now share this status each year.(Wikipedia).
    For all links and resources click at top right.

  • Most recent lesson plan

    Video clips for teachers
    Student quizzes
    Educational games
    Citizenship guides