Passing a law in the ACT

Passing a law in the ACT

Resources you'll need for this lesson:

Penelope Primrose story (resource one); The legislative process in the ACT (resource two); Role-play teacher's guide (resource three); Role-play script (resource four); Standing orders (resource five); Division result sheet (resource six).

Lesson orientation

Focus for the lesson is the passage of a law through the Legislative Assembly. Whole class discussion—suggested prompt questions:

Lesson body

Read the Penelope Primrose story (resource one),  either individually or as a class.

All laws start as a bill, it is debated in the Assembly and once it passes in the Assembly it becomes an act (law).

Organise students into their respective roles of Speaker, Clerk, government, opposition and cross bench members. Organise the space so it represents a parliamentary chamber.

Teacher outlines the background to the bill in the role play, Domestic Animals (Cat Registration) Amendment Bill. The Government members will support the bill, the opposition members will be opposing the bill and cross bench members will determine their own position on the bill. Allow students time (government, opposition and cross bench) to discuss why they will/will not support this bill, they could discuss quietly between themselves.

Each student should write a couples of sentences on why they support/don’t support the bill that they can present as part of the role play. The Speaker and the Clerks are the only students who will not write a speech for the debate. The Speaker votes, Clerks are not members so do not vote, they are responsible for counting the votes at the end of the debate.

Conduct the role play (resource four, resource five and resource six).

Lesson extension

Students could develop their own law that they could debate (rather than the prescribed cat registration bill).

Lesson reflection

Review the steps for a law to be created by questioning the students, they should be able to identify the following features:

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