Quick summary: This Finding Out lesson follows on from Story of Our Rights and Freedoms – Changing the Australian Constitution – Year 7 Civics. In a role play activity, students will gain a deeper understanding of the process of a constitutional referendum. They will learn about making changes to the Australian Constitution: from when a concern is raised by a citizen; to when a change to the Constitution is considered by both levels of federal parliament; to when the change is voted on in a referendum of Australian citizens. Students will work in groups to consider ‘yes’ and ‘no’ arguments for change to the Constitution, and then reflect on the connection between the process for constitutional change and human rights.
- How are changes to the Australian Constitution made?
- Why would changes to the Australian Constitution be made?
- What is the connection between changes to the Australian Constitution and access to human rights for all people living in Australia?
21st Century skills:
Critical thinking, team work, communicating, creative thinking, empathy.
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 7 Civics and Citizenship:
- The process for constitutional change through a referendum (ACHCK049)
- 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. 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: 90 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – lead students through a role play activity.
Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student. Device capable of audio/visual presentation to present a website to the class. Referendum Role Play Running Sheet (one per student). Blank ‘petition to change the constitution’, Yes/No Posters. Referendum Voting Slip, ‘Double Majority’ AEC Poster, ballot box.
Keywords: Australian Constitution, rights, freedoms, referendum, equality, direct democracy.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.