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United Kingdom

Simple Science for Kids on United Kingdom - Image of London the Capital of United Kingdom - United Kingdom Worksheet
Simple Science for Kids on United Kingdom - Image of London the Capital of United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a small group of islands that has played a big role in world history. At one time, the United Kingdom ruled colonies in Africa, the West Indies, China, India and, of course, the United States. Because of this, the English language is spoken all over the world.

United Kingdom Facts For Kids

  • Made up of 4 countries.
  • The King is the head of state.
  • They drive on the left.
  • English is the main language.
  • Has a red, white, and blue flag.
  • Known for tea and biscuits.
  • Big Ben is a famous clock.
  • The currency is the pound (£).
  • They invented football (soccer).
  • Scotland has a monster myth.

Brexit

Brexit, a term frequently heard by children in the United Kingdom, fuses ‘Britain’ and ‘Exit’ together, symbolizing the UK’s decision to depart from a collective of 27 nations known as the European Union (EU).

The EU was established to simplify trade, travel, and living across these nations, however, the UK believed it would fare better independently. This decision was confirmed through a public referendum in June 2016 where a majority of 52% voted in favour of leaving the EU.

The UK formally detached from the EU on January 31, 2020, leading to significant alterations in its trade relations and interactions with other nations, particularly those within the EU.

London

As the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom, London holds a prominent place in world history and is packed with interesting trivia for young learners. The city’s history traces back approximately two millennia to when it was initially established by the Romans and named ‘Londinium.’

One of London’s most recognizable landmarks, the clock tower widely referred to as ‘Big Ben,’ is surprisingly named after its internal bell, rather than the tower itself. Another intriguing aspect of London is its long-standing transport system, the London Underground or ‘the Tube,’ which holds the distinction of being the oldest underground railway system globally since it was inaugurated in 1863.

In addition, London is renowned for its impressive array of world-famous attractions, including the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and the British Museum.

English Language

The United Kingdom holds significant importance in the sphere of the English language, serving as its birthplace over 1,400 years ago, specifically in England. Today, the majority of UK inhabitants speak English, but languages like Welsh and Gaelic also have a presence in Wales and Scotland respectively.

English from the UK, often referred to as ‘British English’, carries a distinctive sound, setting it apart from ‘American English’ used in the United States. The UK also fosters a rich literary tradition, being home to renowned English authors such as William Shakespeare, J.K. Rowling, and Charles Dickens.

British Culture

The British culture, a captivating fusion of age-old traditions and contemporary influences, is renowned globally for several distinctive characteristics. Amongst the most notable is the nation’s fondness for tea, with the average Brit consuming approximately three and a half cups daily. Moreover, the United Kingdom’s iconic landmarks, including the Big Ben, London Eye, and Buckingham Palace, the residence of the King, add to its rich cultural heritage.

In addition to these, the British cultural scene boasts of a prolific literary tradition, with globally acclaimed authors like J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series, hailing from the UK. The country has also made significant contributions to the global music industry, producing legendary bands such as

The Beatles and One Direction. Furthermore, the British people’s passion for sports, particularly football, is well-known, with the UK being the proud birthplace of the internationally popular Premier League.

The British Empire

The British Empire, once the world’s largest, is a significant chapter in the United Kingdom’s history. Its origin can be traced back to the late 16th and early 17th centuries, spreading its influence across continents including countries like India, Australia, parts of Africa, the Caribbean and North America.

This global dominance gave rise to the phrase ‘the sun never sets on the British Empire’, indicating its vastness as there was always daylight somewhere within its territories. This era had a profound impact on the culture, language, and traditions of numerous countries, leading to the widespread usage of English and the adoption of British customs.

Despite its dissolution, the Empire’s influence remains palpable in the present day, with the Commonwealth of Nations symbolizing the continuing connection between the UK and its former colonies.

UK Parliament

Dating back over 700 years, the UK Parliament, one of the world’s oldest, consists of two sections: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It serves as the nation’s decision-making hub, legislating and amending laws, and ensuring the government’s proper function.

The House of Commons comprises Members of Parliament, elected by the public in general elections. Conversely, the House of Lords is populated by appointed individuals, including life peers, Bishops, and hereditary peers. Interestingly, the Queen also forms part of the Parliament, performing a ceremonial role.

The Commonwealth

The United Kingdom holds a significant position in the Commonwealth, an intergovernmental organisation consisting of 54 member states, the majority of which were former territories of the British Empire. As the symbolic head of the Commonwealth, the current Queen of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II, epitomizes the unity of these diverse nations.

Despite varying social, political, and economic backgrounds, all member countries are considered equal within the Commonwealth. This association provides a platform for mutual collaboration and support, contributing to global betterment.

Additionally, the United Kingdom frequently serves as the host for the Commonwealth Games, a prominent international multi-sport event featuring athletes from across the Commonwealth nations.

British Economy

Boasting one of the globe’s largest and most influential economic systems, the British Economy is recognized as a ‘developed’ economy, signifying its high degree of wealth and industrialization.

A substantial portion of this economy is propelled by its service sector, comprising industries such as banking, education, healthcare, and retail, which contributes to approximately 80% of the UK’s total economic yield.

As one of the world’s primary trading powers, the UK exports its goods and services worldwide. Furthermore, despite the scale of its economy, the UK maintains a robust commitment to environmental sustainability, striving to lower carbon emissions and foster green industries.

Scottish Independence

The United Kingdom, comprising of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, is currently embroiled in a complex debate over the unique relationship of Scotland to the rest of the UK. Over the years, the discourse surrounding Scottish independence has been intensifying, a notion that implies Scotland severing ties with the UK to become a separate, autonomous country.

This matter carries significant weight as it harbors potential to alter the UK’s entire structure and geographical configuration. The call for independence is primarily driven by a deep-seated sense of national identity among numerous Scots who advocate for their right to self-determination.

On the other hand, concerns are being raised about the possible economic and political challenges that could surface post-independence. The issue is intricately woven with layers of historical context and emotional resonance, making it a complex subject of discussion.

 

Simple Science for Kids on the United Kingdom - Image of London the Capital of United Kingdom
Simple Science for Kids on the United Kingdom – Image of London the Capital of United Kingdom

Wales, to the north of England, supplied coal to the UK for many years. Men and boys worked in coal mines. Today most of the coal mines have closed. People in Wales are having trouble finding new jobs.

For many years, people in Northern Ireland have been fighting. The Protestant people want to stay connected to the United Kingdom. The Catholics want to be independent. The Irish and British governments are trying to find a solution.

All about the United Kingdom for Kids - Image of the United Kingdom Street at Epcot
All about the United Kingdom for Kids – Image of the United Kingdom Street at Epcot

Fun Facts about the United Kingdom for Kids

  • England has been ruled by kings and queens for thousands of years. Today, the monarchy doesn’t make political decisions. The UK has a multiparty, democratic government.
  • Many great writers came from the UK. William Shakespeare, Jane Austin and Charles Dickens, considered some of the greatest writers of all time, lived in England. You might have read Roald Dahl’s books. Dahl wrote “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach.” And of course, don’t forget J.K. Rowling, author of the “Harry Potter” series.
  • The capital city is London.
  • The UK includes 93,282 square miles.
  • The population is 64,231,000.
  • 61 percent of the people in the UK are Christian; 3 percent are Muslim, while 36 percent are other.
  • 99 percent of adults can read.
  • People in the UK can expect to live 78 years.
All about the United Kingdom for Kids - National Flag of the United Kingdom
All about the United Kingdom for Kids – National Flag of the United Kingdom

United Kingdom Vocabulary

  1. Colony: an area settled by colonists, or people who have come from somewhere else
  2. Independent: separate, free
  3. Monarchy: kings and queens
  4. Coal mine: a mine that produces coal

All About the United Kingdom Video for Kids

Watch this awesome United Kingdom video for kids:

This is a video discussion of the history, the present UK and the people of UK.

United Kingdom Q&A

Question: What sports do people play in the UK?

Answer: Rugby, cricket and golf were started in the UK and are still loved here. The rules for soccer are based on games played at boys’ schools.

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Question: What do people do for jobs in the UK?

Answer: Some of the first factories in the world were started in the UK. Today most people work in a service industry, such as banking, insurance and education. London is the largest financial center in the world.

Map of the United Kingdom

Here’s a map of the country of the United Kingdom and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around the United Kingdom! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of the United Kingdom, as though you are actually there!

 

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