Quick summary: In this Finding Out lesson, students will learn about the process of making changes to the Australian Constitution. They will consider the importance of consultation when changes that have a far-reaching impact are made. Using the ‘Think-Pair-Share’ visible thinking routine, students will consider a scenario in which the hours of a school day are changed without consultation of stakeholders and relate their understanding to the Australian Constitution. In a sorting activity, students will learn about the process for constitutional change through referenda. They will read and understand Chapter VIII of the Constitution, which details constitutional change.
- Students will understand the process involved in changing the Australian Constitution.
- Students will understand the motivation behind making changes to the Australian Constitution.
21st Century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 7 Civics and Citizenship:
- The process for constitutional change through a referendum (ACHCK049)
- The key features of government under the Australian Constitution with a focus on: the separation of powers, the roles of the Executive, the Houses of Parliament, and the division of powers (ACHCK048)
- Identify, gather and sort information and ideas from a range of sources (ACHCS055)
- Develop a range of questions to investigate Australia’s political and legal systems (ACHCS054)
- Critically analyse information and ideas from a range of sources in relation to civics and citizenship topics and issues (ACHCS056)
General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking
Relevant parts of year 7 achievement standards: Students explain features of Australia’s Constitution, including the process for constitutional change. When researching, students develop a range of questions and gather and analyse information from different sources to investigate Australia’s political and legal systems. They consider different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. Students develop and present arguments on civics and citizenship issues using appropriate texts, terms and concepts. They identify ways they can be active and informed citizens.
Topic: Human Rights.
Unit of work: Story of Our Rights and Freedoms – Year 7.
Time required: 60 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – guide student discussion.
Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of audio/visual presentation to present a website to the class. Closer Look: The Australian Constitution (produced by the Parliamentary Education Office), printed or accessed online via student devices. Referendum Process Cards (cut out and mixed up before the lesson; enough for groups of 3-4 to share). ‘Referendum’ presentation. ‘Double Majority’ AEC poster.
Keywords: Australian Constitution, rights and freedoms, referendum.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.