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  The Commonwealth - members and structure
Updated 31 January 2002, 14.04

Citizenship 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
The Commonwealth and its role

Students are members of a growing range of communities.

The Commonwealth is an example of a global community that students may not be aware that they are part of.

Learning aims

  • Learn about the member countries that make up the Commonwealth
  • Develop research skills using atlases
Ask the class for a definition of 'community'.

Can they give examples of communities or groups they are part of?
Town, county, country etc.

Make the point that the Commonwealth is a global community that they are all part of.

Secretary-General Don McKinnon
Main activity
Display a map of the world and give out atlases.

Print and give out the

Challenge the students to find answers to the

Answers for the quizsheet:

1. Canada

2. Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea

3. Australia and Canberra, Dominica and Roseau, Sri Lanka and Colombo, Jamaica and Kingston

4. Tuvalu with 11,000 people

5. India with approximately 1 billion

Extension activity
Students can use their research skills to find the answer to this question:

"Which two cities have each hosted the Commonwealth Games twice?"

Answer: Auckland, New Zealand (1950 and 1990) and Edinburgh, Scotland (1970 and 1986)

(Note that in the past the Games have also been called the British Empire Games amongst others.)

Recap on the main teaching points and discuss the class' answers to the questions.

Teachers' Background

  • The XVII Commonwealth Games will be held from 25th July to 4th August 2002 in Manchester.

  • The Commonwealth is made from 54 independent countries.

  • The Head of the Commonwealth is HM Queen Elizabeth II.

  • Headquarters are at Marlborough House in London.

  • 1.7 billion people in the Commonwealth (29.8% of the world's population).

  • About half of this population are less than 25 years old.

  • The member with the biggest population is India (one billion) and the smallest are Nauru and Tuvalu in the Pacific ocean (11,000 people each).

  • The richest are Australia, Canada, Singapore and the UK.

  • Some of the poorest are Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.

  • Commonwealth countries work together to make their economies stronger, to improve their systems of government and to improve the skills of their people.

  • The Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) takes place every two years.

  • The next CHOGM is scheduled to take place in Brisbane in March 2002.
Turn this into an assembly
  • Ask volunteers to 'represent' a continent and display their list of member countries.

  • Hold a small scale 'demonstration' of some of the Commonwealth Games' athletic events.

  • Combine with an assembly based on community with the Commonwealth being an example of a global community.

For all links and resources click at top right.

More InfoBORDER=0
TeachersQuizsheet: The Commonwealth


Web Links
The Commonwealth Institute's CommonLink
List of the Commonwealth countries
Note: You will leave CBBC. We are not responsible for other websites.



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