Quick summary: Students will explore the evolution of democratic ideas and principles stemming from Magna Carta. They will understand how these ideas have shaped key features of Australian democracy, such as the values of freedom, equality, fairness and justice.
To mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the Australian Human Rights Commission has partnered with Cool Australia to help students develop their understanding about the evolution of human rights since 1215 and the impact that Magna Carta has had on our human rights and freedoms in Australia today.
- Students explore the historical concept of Absolute Monarchy through role-play.
- Students identify the ideas about rights and freedoms that emerged during the Age of Enlightenment.
- Students undertake research about one of three groups in Australia who historically have struggled to receive recognition of their rights: women, migrants and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.
- Students explore rights and freedoms in Australia today.
- Students create a Classroom Charter of Rights and Responsibilities.
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 5 Humanities and Social Sciences
- The key values that underpin Australia’s democracy (ACHASSK115)
- Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions (ACHASSI105)
Year 6 Humanities and Social Sciences
- Key figures, events and ideas that led to Australia’s Federation and Constitution (ACHASSK134)
- Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, migrants, women and children (ACHASSK135)
- The key institutions of Australia’s democratic system of government and how it is based on the Westminster system (ACHASSK143)
- Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions (ACHASSI133)
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Personal and social capability
Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture OI.9
Syllabus Outcomes: HT3-3, HT3-4, HT3-5.
Topic: Human rights.
Time required: 4 x 60 mins, plus 20 mins homework reflection activity.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – facilitate student activities.
- Video: Magna Carta – the story of our freedom by the Australian Human Rights Commission
- Infographic: Magna Carta interactive infographic by the Australian Human Rights Commission
- Poster: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights by Zen Pencils
- Website: Racism. It stops with me
- Website: Close the Gap: Indigenous Health Campaign
Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.
Homework and extension opportunities: The research task and reflection activities provide opportunities for extension and homework.
Keywords: Magna Carta, human rights, freedom, justice, equality, fairness, democracy, citizenship, constitution, federalism, constitutional monarchy, the Westminster system.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.