British Studies Web Pages

The Countryside


The Countryside - Present, Past and Future

This set of activities, produced by Eliza Jasinska, Ilona Samsonowicz and Ewa Raszkiewicz, suggests ways of exploring the present, past and future of the countryside through discussion, songs, and vocabulary games.

Discussion questions

  1. What do you associate the Polish countryside with?
  2. Do you think that other people’s associations are the same? What would they depend on (age, sex, place of living...)? Share your opinion with other students in class. Click here to find out what the participants on the summer school associated the countryside with.
  3. Do you think that people living in Britain would have similar associations with their countryside?
  4. We asked Francis Eaves-Walton, who lives in Cambridgeshire, to give us his impressions of the countryside in Cambridgeshire today. Click here to read them.
  5. Francis grew up on a Scottish farm thirty years ago. In what ways do you think country life was different then? Click here to read what Francis said.
  6. Are you interested in learning more about life in the country in the past? List five different sources of information you might use for this purpose.

Using traditional songs

Folk songs are often a very valuable historical record. Complete the table below using Polish folk songs relating to the countryside. The first one has been done as an example.

Title of song

Season of the year


Kukuleczka kuka




The following set of activities is based on a traditional Irish folk song, Hills of Connemara.

Stage 1: In this matching quiz you can listen to the music from the song while matching phrases from the lyrics. Click here to do the matching activity. The complete lyrics of the song can be found here.

Stage 2: Click here for some follow-up questions on the song.

Vocabulary practice

In the tasks above you will have come across a lot of vocabulary connected with the countryside. One way to both introduce and practise vocabulary connected with a particular topic area is to use some form of visual representation. Click here to see an example.

Crosswords are another good way to practise vocabulary. Test yourself on our crossword by clicking here. Students might wish to make their own crosswords.

The countryside of the future

Think of somewhere in the countryside you know well. Imagine that you do not visit this place for another twenty years. What changes are likely to take place during this time? Discuss it with your partner.

If you want to read more impressions of the British and Polish countryside, click here.

Produced in Poland by British Council © 2003. The United Kingdom's international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.