India 1857

This is one of a series of resources, produced using documents from our collections, by teachers taking our MA module.

This lesson sequence for key stage 5 students was written by Helen Hedges. Helen teaches in an 11-18 selective grammar school.

Overall enquiry question

How can we explain why so many Indian people decided to fight against the British in 1857?

Learning objectives

  • understand that evidence strengthens an argument
  • be able to identify claims and supporting evidence, and analyse the relationship between claim and evidence
  • use provenance to understand the context in which a document was written, and use this to draw secure inferences
  • be able to make inferences about the actions, beliefs and aims of the Indian ‘mutineers’ based on a piece of primary evidence
  • understand that the level of certainty about a claim can change depending on the type of claim being made and the evidence available
  • use provenance to help build certainty about claims and understand how use of multiple sources can be used to increase and decrease certainty of claims
  • construct an argument about the motives of the Indian ‘mutineers’ based on claims from various sources of evidence
  • test a controversial statement based on evidence and claims from multiple sources


Teacher’s notes (PDF, 3.92Mb)

Powerpoints and worksheets (ZIP, 1.26Mb)