Activity Introduction

srf_y8_vote_photoframeQuick summary: In this Finding Out lesson, students will dive deeper into the democratic freedoms enjoyed in Australia. They will choose a specific democratic freedom and work in groups to conduct online research into the meaning of it. Students will display their findings for their classmates to read. Then, using a stacked Venn diagram, students will apply their understanding of democratic freedoms to imagine what they look like in action at different levels of society, starting with themselves. Students will then choose a minority group and in a circle-of-viewpoints activity, imagine the experience of democratic freedoms from a different perspective. Students will reflect on their learning through a ‘Connect-Extend-Challenge’ visible thinking routine.

Essential questions:

  • What democratic freedoms are we entitled to?
  • Why are democratic freedoms important?

21st Century skills:

Critical Thinking Communicating Creative Thinking Global Citizenship

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:
Year 8 Civics and Citizenship:

  • The freedoms that enable active participation in Australia’s democracy within the bounds of law, including freedom of speech, association, assembly, religion and movement (ACHCK061
  • Different perspectives about Australia’s national identity, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, and what it means to be Australian (ACHCK066

General capabilities: Literacy 

Relevant parts of year 8 achievement standards: Students analyse features of Australian democracy, and explain features of Australia’s democracy that enable active participation. They analyse issues about national identity in Australia and the factors that contribute to people’s sense of belonging. When researching, students develop a range of questions to investigate Australia’s political and legal systems and critically analyse information gathered from different sources for relevance. They explain different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. Students develop and present reasoned arguments on civics and citizenship issues using appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts. They identify ways they can be active and informed citizens in different contexts.

Topic: Human Rights

Unit of work: Story of Our Rights and Freedoms – Year 8

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – direct students through research tasks and coordinate student movement and participation for each activity.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Freedoms Research Topic PostersUniversal Declaration of Human Rights articles, ‘What do Democratic Freedoms look like?’ – stacked Venn diagram (print one copy per student), Poster making materials and Blu-Tack/tape (optional). Web-enabled devices (optional). 

Keywords: views, communicating, research, reflection, creating.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

srf_y8votingcitizens3_photoframeTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand several democratic freedoms. They will be able to apply their understanding to their own experiences and the experiences of other people. Students will consider the implications of when democratic freedoms are not enjoyed, and be able to formulate questions around concepts that they have not yet grasped.

Teacher content information:

To safeguard rights and freedoms, many countries include protections for basic human rights in national law. While the Australian government has been a longstanding supporter of the United Nations and was involved in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), not all Australian legislation is entirely compatible with the Declaration. However, many of our rights and freedoms are protected by court judgements, Federal, State and local government laws, regulations and in the Federal and State Constitutions.

Australia is a representative democracy, meaning that ci

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Australia’s democracy enables active participation.

1. Use the 'What do Democratic Freedoms look like?' - stacked Venn diagram (ask your teacher for a print-out) to help you think deeply about what our freedoms look like in real life.

2. Choose a perspective from the list below:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • Recent migrants
  • Women
  • Older people
  • Children and young people
  • LGBTI people
  • Prisoners
  • People with disability
  • People without citizenship

3. Complete the following sentence stems from the point of view you have selected:

  • I am thinking of democratic rights and freedoms in Australia from the point of view of…

  • In regards to democratic rights and freedoms, I think…

  • A question I have about democratic rights and freedoms from this viewpoint is…

Now share what you have written in a circle discussion with your group.

4. Once your group members have had an opportunity to share, ask each other the following q

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.