With of events described in a text;

With this lesson plan, students will learn about the history of the Partition of India. Students will be introduced to various perspectives of this moment and will contextualize and summarize each.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

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  • Appreciate the historic relationship between India and Pakistan
  • Explain the Partition of India
  • Summarize and Contextualize the events and opinions surrounding the Partition of India


45 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.


Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.


Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

  • CCSS.


Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.


  • Map of India
  • Printed copies of Muslim and Hindu Conflict in India and the Partition of India and Pakistan and Lesson Quiz


  • Pull up a map of India. Ask students what they know about life in India.
    • What are the major religions of India? How does India get along with its neighbors?
    • What is the main religion of Pakistan? What is the relationship like between India and Pakistan?
  • Begin video lesson Muslim and Hindu Conflict in India and the Partition of India and Pakistan.

    Pause video at 1:57 and discuss as a class.

    • What are all the major religions that interact in Pakistan and India? Does it sound like these interactions are always amicable?
    • What are some of the key ideas in Hinduism? What are the main beliefs of Islam?
  • Resume video. Pause at 4:05 and discuss as a class.
    • What was the relationship like between Muslims and Hindus in Indian society up through the early 20th century? Why do you think this tension existed? How did class and wealth play into this?
    • Where did most of the Muslims live in India? Why do you think they were so concentrated? Why do you think they mainly resided in this region?
    • What were the Muslim League, the Indian National Congress, and the British Raj? How did all three of these interact?
  • Resume and finish video. Discuss it as a class.

    • Have you heard of Gandhi? What did Gandhi do?
    • What was the Mountbatten Plan?
    • How did colonialism/imperialism play into the creation of India and Pakistan’s national borders?
  • You may test student understanding with Lesson Quiz.

Debating-India’s-Future Activity

  • Divide the class into three groups. Tell students they are going to pretend it’s 1946, and the people of India are debating their future. One group will represent the Indian National Congress, one group will represent the Muslim League, and one group will represent the British colonial authorities of the British Raj. They will research and present their side, which may require additional group research on the Internet.
  • Give each group 15-20 minutes to prepare a speech in which they present the following:
    • The history of their group.

    • What does your group think is the best plan for India’s future, and why do you feel this way. What are your group’s top goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
    • Why are other plans for India’s future inferior to yours? What don’t you like about other the other plans?
  • Give each group a chance to present, and then debate their viewpoints against the other groups.
  • Introduce the Mountbatten Plan, and ask each group to talk about it as a group. Finally, have each group present the reasons that they support this plan.


  • As an extension, ask students to create a visual timeline of India’s history.

    Their visual timeline must include 5 maps of India/Pakistan from different points in time. On each map, students must roughly outline the size of the regions housing India’s Muslim and Hindu populations. Students should also complete a brief paper, explaining the maps with roughly one paragraph per map.

Related Lessons

Islamic Expansion ; Influence in IndiaBritish Rule ; Nationalism in IndiaIndian Independence: History, Timeline ; Movement


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