Subject Material

Introduction to the UK - Text in Brief

Published: 18.11.2010, Updated: 04.03.2017
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Try the UK Quiz - General Knowledge  before reading the text.

The Different Parts of the British Isles

Introduction to the UK 

The British Isles consists of two large islands and many small ones. The largest island is Great Britain and the second largest is Ireland. Scotland, England and Wales are the countries which make up Great Britain. Ireland consists of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Great Britain and Northern Ireland, together, make up the United Kingdom.

Scotland + Wales + England = Great Britain
Great Britain + Northern Ireland = the United Kingdom (the UK)
The United Kingdom + the Republic of Ireland = the British Isles
The island of Ireland is made up of the Republic of Ireland + Northern Ireland

Map over The British Isles. Illustration.The British Isles 

The UK is governed from London, but Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland also have their own governments for domestic affairs. The government in London deals with external affairs and defence. The Republic of Ireland is an independent country.

Geography

Great Britain is about 1000 km from north to south and about 500 km from east to west at the widest part. The landscape of the British Isles is varied. Scotland has most mountains, but there are also mountains in northern Wales. Ben Nevis (1,343 m) in Scotland is the highest mountain in the British Isles. Northern England has some hills but they are not as high as those in Scotland and Wales. Southern England is relatively flat and suitable for agriculture. Ireland is commonly called the Emerald Isle due to the green countryside

 

Tasks and Activities

Vocabulary

Copy these words into your text editor and use the dictionary on the right to translate them into Norwegian.

  • consist of
  • government
  • domestic
  • external
  • independent
  • suitable
  • agriculture
  • commonly

Comprehension

Which of these statements are true and which are false?

  1. The British Isles and the United Kingdom are synonyms.
  2. Ireland is part of the British Isles.
  3. Great Britain consists of Scotland, England and Wales.
  4. The UK government looks after Scotland's domestic affairs.
  5. The Republic of Ireland is an independent country.
  6. Wales has the highest mountains in the British Isles.

Discuss

  1. Do you think the fact that the British are islanders has had an effect on the people and their values?
  2. In which part of the UK would you have preferred to live? Why?

Flags

Have you ever watched a football match and wondered about the different flags you see there? Try to match the flags correctly in the British Isles Flags - Drag and Drop task.

Suggested Further Activity

Tasks
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