Social Studies 5: Kind of Sort of Independent: Commonwealth Countries
Over time, the British Empire has certainly gotten around. Hope it's got a license to colonize.
|5th Grade||Social Studies|
|Elementary and Middle School||5th Grade|
No, the saying referred to the fact that in its heyday, England had colonies all over [Old British colonies are highlighted on a globe]
the world, so chances were it was always daylight in some part of the British Empire.
But over time, these colonies decided they needed some space, and many left the British
You’re probably familiar with some of those colonies.
But even as countries broke up with the British Empire… [Canada and Britain crying at a table]
… some still wanted to stay friends.
Guess they changed their relationship status to "it's complicated." [Canada changing its relationship status]
That friendship became the British Commonwealth, later changed to The Commonwealth of Nations.
Or sometimes, just simply The Commonwealth.
We wonder if The Commonwealth also changed their Facebook name to "it's complicated."
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of countries, meaning member nations are free [Coop pointing at a blackboard]
to come and go as they please.
They are united by things like a common language, shared values such as holding fair and open" [Dino pointing at a blackboard]
elections, and respecting human rights.
Not too shabby...
They probably also had matching bro tanks, or something… [Two athletes called Britain and Kenya high five]
The Commonwealth is made up of 53 countries ranging from some of the richest to some of
the poorest in the world.
It includes Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and a whole bunch more, [The countries are circled]
comprising different types of governments.
Now you may be wondering, what about the British Queen? [The queen appears]
Does Her Majesty get to rule the Commonwealth with an iron fist? [The queen holding up Iron Man's fist]
After all, it was King George’s ability to do whatever he wanted to his colonies that
led to the American Revolution. [George Washington rips up King George's map]
Well, as of 2016, Queen Elizabeth II is technically the Head of the Commonwealth.
She also rules supreme over 15 of the countries in the Commonwealth. [The queen wearing 15 crowns]
But when it comes to her actual power, it’s largely symbolic.
No matter what, the Queen has to respect the laws of the individual nations in the Commonwealth. [The queen falls over from the weight of the crowns]
So even if she wanted to, she doesn’t have the power to pass some crazy law that everyone
in the Commonwealth has to obey… [Queen holds up 'mandatory corgi ownership' law]
Which means that unfortunately, mandatory corgi ownership will never be a law. [Men look scared of the corgis]
And actually, all major decisions for the Commonwealth are made at meetings that occur
bi-annually – that’s every two years – where a bunch of heads of Commonwealth Governments [A commonwealth meeting]
The group has a really original name, too.
They’re known as…
The Commonwealth Head of Governments.
…Okay, so they're not super creative.
The Commonwealth also hosts its own Olympics-style sporting event every four years. [Pictures of the commonwealth games]
To date, Australia leads the countries in wins, with over 700 medals. [A kangaroo on top of the podium]
No word yet on those vicious accusations about wallaby steroid use... [A wallaby's arms get muscly]