Quick summary: In this Finding Out lesson, students will explore the concept of the balance of power and the three arms of government that maintain this balance: The Legislature, The Executive and The Judiciary. Students will work in teams to research articles of the Constitution, and will use a graphic organiser to illustrate their understanding of the connection between the three arms of government, the Australian Constitution and our rights and freedoms.
- How is governmental power is kept in check?
- What happens if governmental power is not kept in check?
- What is the connection between the balance of power and rights and freedoms?
21st Century skills:
Critical thinking, team work, communicating, ethical behaviour.
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 7 Civics and Citizenship:
- 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 and how Australia’s legal system is based on the principle of justice. Students explain the diverse nature of Australian society and identify the importance of shared values in promoting a cohesive society. 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: 140 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – provide instructions and lead class discussion.
Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Inflated balloons (one per group of eight). UDHR articles (cut up and distribute one to each student). The Executive, The Judiciary, The Legislature Factsheets (one copy of each per student). Separation of Powers Flow Diagram (six copies), Separation of Powers Flow Diagram teacher guide. First Three Chapters of the Australian Constitution (three copies). Power Grab scenarios (three copies).
Keywords: Balance of power, Australian Constitution, government, legislature, parliament, judiciary, courts, executive, human rights.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.