Lesson: Rewrite the Script of Imperialism: Ideas as Consequences of Imperialism

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Lesson Objective

Students will understand the philosophical/mental impact of colonization on colonized countries, leading to their understanding of ways the era of imperialism changed the world.

Lesson Plan


-       LCD projector

-       Computer

-       Printed images from Concept Images (attached) on cardstock

-       Avatar movie disc


Anticipatory Set:

            Remind students that at the outset of this project, we said that imperialism has changed the world. Today we are going to look at some of the most complicated ways in which the world is different because of imperialism. To start out with, we will read a blog entry written by someone in a formerly colonized country, discussing current (present day) examples of how people in less powerful countries are influenced in their thinking by more powerful countries. Students will relate to the specifics of this, and it will help make sense of things that happened in the past. BEWARE: there are references to cuss words and nudity in this blog entry, but they are critical and not at all vulgar in intent. I believe this is appropriate for high school aged students, but each teacher should decide independently.


Read the blog post as a class, discuss the following questions somewhat briefly.

  1. The author starts out by talking about her own writing. What do you notice about the writing? What effect does the writing style have?
  2. List the ways “Sandra” is trying to appear American.
  3. Where is Sandra getting her ideas about America?
  4. What does Sandra think she gains by appearing in this way?
  5. Why does the author disagree with Sandra’s point of view?


So, this is an example of how a more powerful country can affect a less powerful country. Let’s look at some of the early ways that this happened right during and after imperialism was being widely practiced.


Guided Practice:

            Cut up ideas, definitions and pictures and distribute in sets to groups. If there are too few students, assign them several ideas. Allow time for them to discuss the ideas and prepare to explain them to the class. Emphasize the use of their own words.



            Lead students through the attached PowerPoint presentation, presenting the example slide after each group presents the matching definition. For example, students present on what national identity refers to, they show their visual, then you present the corresponding example before the next group presents. Words in red are given vocabulary words. Words in blue are words that should be checked with class for comprehension, and might be chosen as additional vocabulary words if they are unknown. Engage students in generating ideas where there are question marks in text (NOT in headings).


Independent Practice:

  • · Students read Heart of Darkness pp.51-69
  • · Students create Project Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles (possibly while watching movie)



Show the movie “Avatar” using a disc from a rental store or Netflix, and ask students to identify mechanisms of control and imperialist ideas that appear in the film.


Lesson Resources

Ideas Consequences Imperialism.pptx  
Mental Colonialism - Nigerian Village Square.pdf  


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