Parliamentary lesson plans

Parliamentary lesson plan – All [PDF 557kb, 34 pages]

The Parliamentary Lesson Plans encourage investigation of parliamentary principles, concepts and processes. They use highly interactive, student-focused activities such as parliamentary role-plays, teamwork, speeches and debate. They are designed to make teaching the core functions of federal Parliament an enjoyable and easy exercise. The series includes 12 lessons across five themes: Representation, Transparency, Executive government, Legislation and the Constitution.

Outcomes: These may be matched against state and territory curricula in Studies of Society and Environment, Human Society and Its Environment, Legal Studies, Civics Education, Politics, Commerce and History.

Duration: These lesson plans can be conducted over one to two lessons but are designed to be flexible to suit your needs.

Relevance: The lesson plans are designed to be topical and relevant to middle to upper secondary students. However, you may wish to modify aspects to take advantage of your students' particular interests and/or current political, community or school issues.


  • View Representation: Political parties

    Representation: Political parties

    Level: Less challenging
    Explore concepts of collective action and representation; identify issues of national concern; form parties; develop party platforms; and deliver an election speech.

  • View Representation: Elections

    Representation: Elections

    Level: Less challenging 
    Compare and utilise systems of voting: first-past-the-post and preferential voting. Proportional voting is also considered.
  • View Representation: Majority rule

    Representation: Majority rule

    Level: Less challenging  
    Explore various forms of decision making including majority rule, executive, consensus and autocracy (as well as exploring the power of veto), when they debate a bill in a class parliament.
  • View Executive government: Three levels of government

    Executive government: Three levels of government

    Level: Moderate 
    Investigate the three levels of executive government that operate in Australia and explore it through various disaster scenarios. Write and deliver a disaster relief plan utilising various federal, state and local emergency services.
  • View Executive government: Executive decision making

    Executive government: Executive decision making

    Level: Moderate 
    Identify situations where executive decision making is necessary and form ministries and a Cabinet to plan and present a proposal for a year-level formal.
  • View Executive government: Ministerial responsibility

    Executive government: Ministerial responsibility

    Level: Advanced
    Explore ministerial responsibility through Question Time in the Senate and an estimates committee role-play to demonstrate how committees and the federal executive operate.
  • View Transparency: Accountability

    Transparency: Accountability

    Level: Moderate 
    Use a Question Time role-play to pressure ministers to justify their actions and to investigate accountability in the federal Parliament. Other mechanisms of parliamentary accountability are also explored.
  • View images related to Transparency: Scrutiny

    Transparency: Scrutiny

    Level: Moderate
    Investigate parliamentary scrutiny (careful examination) through a committee role-play. Other means of scrutinising government actions and decisions such as Question Time, the media and Hansardare also dealt with.
  • View images related to Legislation: Passing a bill in the House of Representatives

    Legislation: Passing a bill in the House of Representatives

    Level: Advanced
    Explore how legislation is introduced to the House of Representatives with special emphasis on how issues of national importance arise and how bills move through the chamber. Debate an urgent bill and direct chamber proceedings.
  • View images related to Legislation: Passing a bill in the Senate

    Legislation: Passing a bill in the Senate

    Level: Advanced
    Explore how bills are modified and how compromises are made in the Senate. Debate a bill that has passed the House of Representatives and has now reached the amendment stage in the Senate. Examine how the Senate acts as a house of review and scrutinises the actions and decisions of the government. 

  • View images related to The Constitution: A new federation

    The Constitution: A new federation

    Level: Advanced
    Investigate possibilities for future representation. Develop and present proposals for a new division of powers within the Australian federation including new regional or state boundaries and conduct a quasi referendum to determine whether the proposal is supported or defeated.

  • View images related to The Constitution: The head of state

    The Constitution: The head of state

    Level: Advanced
    Explore constitutional monarchy and the two major republican models established in the 1990s leading up to the 1999 referendum. These models will be examined through a round-table debate which culminates in a class referendum.