Partition of India Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

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:

  • 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


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.


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.



  • 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.

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