Information for Schools and Colleges

HSS

Gertrude Bell - An extraordinary life

Return to Teachers Toolkit Search

Teaching resources for primary and secondary schools about the life and achievements of the Victorian explorer and archaeologist Gertrude Bell.

Gertrude Bell (1868 – 1926) was a truly extraordinary woman. She was born into a wealthy and privileged family in the North East of England but chose to spend much of her life far from home as a traveller, explorer, and archaeologist.

During and after WWI her extensive knowledge of the Middle East as well as Arabic language and culture led to her working for the British Government. She was a key figure in the discussions that led to the creation of the state of Iraq following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire.

Frequently she was the only woman contributing to decisions that shaped the political map of the Middle East. Towards the end of her life she devoted herself to the heritage of Iraq, setting up the National Museum in Baghdad and writing the country’s first antiquities laws.

Her legacy as a diplomat, archaeologist and writer is still of great significance today, not least in the political situation in the Middle East.

Event/Resource Main Content

KEY STAGE 1/2 TEACHING RESOURCES
As a Primary School teacher, you can use the Gertrude Bell Archive and our teaching resources for cross curricular activities and for teaching literacy, history, geography, art, architecture, and design.
• The story of your adventure
• Follow Gertrude Bell on an adventure
• Gertrude Bell the explorer
• Save Red Barns
• Letters home
• Housing around the world
• Gertrude Bell: Exhibition follow up


KEY STAGE 3/4 RESOURCES
As a Secondary School teacher, you can use the Gertrude Bell Archive and our teaching resources for cross curricular activities and for teaching literacy (poetry, non-narrative texts), history (British Empire, WWI, Women suffrage), geography (Middle East, hot deserts), art and design (Islamic Art, Arts and Crafts), architecture (Islamic architecture, Arts and Crafts), Citizenship (Women suffrage).
• Gertrude Bell and the Islamic world
• The Arts and Crafts at Red Barns
• Gertrude Bell and women suffrage
• Gertrude Bell and the British Empire
• Travelling in the Victorian Era. The Geography of the Middle East
• Gertrude Bell: Exhibition follow up

To find out more and to access the resources please visit the Gertrude Bell Research website

Relevant subjects Type of activity Suitable audiences
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • History
  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Politics
  • Geography
  • Resources
  • KS 2
  • KS 3
  • All Years
  • KS 4
  • KS 5
  • Parents and Carers
  • Teachers