Parliament Week

Why do we have laws? Who decides them? Why should people vote? Who were the suffragettes? What goes on in the House of Lords? In short: what does Parliament do? Explore these questions and more with your class during Parliament Week, a national initiative that aims to help people engage with parliamentary democracy here in the UK, running from 19 to 25 November 2012.

Parliament Week will highlight the work and history of the UK Parliament, how it is relevant to UK citizens and how you can get involved in the democratic process.

To help you in the classroom, we’ve put together a fantastic selection of resources, many from the Parliament Education Service and others from teachers on TES, all designed with teachers in mind.

Create the debate

  • Mimic parliament with your own class debates with Parliament Education Service’s “create the debate” lesson plan and resource pack.

An introduction to Parliament

  • Introduce your pupils to the UK parliament in a fun and engaging way with this fabulous whiteboard resource. Help them unpack the three parts of Parliament, the work of MPs and Lords and explore the differences between Parliament and the government.

How does the House of Lords work?

  • How the House of Lords works is a fascinating topic for any class. Download this animation to explore the roles, responsibilities and processes of the House with your class.

Elections and voting

  • Compare the main features of major voting systems in elected bodies around the UK with this interactive whiteboard resource. Introduce your pupils to first past the post, the alternative vote, the party list system, single transferable vote and the additional member system.

The history of Parliament: a timeline

  • Take your pupils on a journey through time with this playful, animated and interactive timeline that tells the fascinating story of the Westminster Parliament.

Referendums

  • Help your class to understand parliamentary referendums with this web article from the Parliament Education Service which explains everything in a clear and accessible way with links to relevant resources and classroom activities.

Get the Houses in order!

  • This fast-paced memory game uses the Palace of Westminster’s iconic buildings to help Key Stage 2 students learn about Parliament.

Suffragettes Lesson Plan

  • Encourage pupils to consider the inequalities faced by women in the past and to be aware that action can bring about change.

My Parliamentary scrapbook

  • Pupils in Key Stage 3 can explore Parliament with this colourful scrap book full of notes, images, activities and fun facts about the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Art House Lesson Plan

  • The Art House teachers’ pack is a standalone resource to help you explore different parliamentary artworks in the classroom.

Top-tips for running a school council

  • Why not use this resource from the Parliament Education Service to inspire your school council to take part in the Speaker’s School Council Awards – and learn some top-tips for running a school council!

The Coalition

  • This extensive lesson material examines the formation of the Coalition since the 2010 General Election, using the 5 Days That Changed Britain documentary to give pupils an insight into the process behind the formation of the Coalition and the Coalition agreement.

Governing Britain – starter quiz

  • A great introductory starter quiz on the British political system aimed at facilitating discussion among pupils.

Virtual tour of Parliament

  • Explore Parliament from your classroom with this interactive, virtual tour which takes you and your pupils inside Parliament. Find out about Prime Minister’s Questions Time, how MPs vote, how to contact your MP – and why the Queen comes to Parliament once a year.

Sources of authority balloon debate

  • Pictures of many different types of authority figures - including the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister – with a suggested starter activity and main balloon debate activity. Perfect for introducing Key Stage 2 pupils to ideas around rules and laws in a fun and accessible way.

MP For A Week

  • Do your pupils think they could do a better job than Parliament? Put them to the test with this fun role-playing game where their own political skills are assessed.

Democracy on film

  • From V for Vendetta to The Hunger Games, FILMCLUB UK shares screening suggestions and viewing questions for films that tackle issues of democracy.

Lights, camera, parliament!

  • A Parliament Education Service resource pack encouraging students to make a film about making up a new law.

Parliamentary art

  • Discover the artworks of parliament with this series of videos from Parliament Education Service:
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