Year 3 Rules and democratic decision making


Rules and democratic decision making

Resources you'll need for this unit:

Multiple copies of Mr Stink by David Walliams, HarperCollins, London, 2010 or a copy of Mr Stink (2012), dir. Declan Lowney, BBC One; worksheets (provided in the downloadable unit above, or within each lesson below.)


Unit body

The lesson plans are designed to be completed after students have read the story (or viewed the film/play) as they will need to be familiar with the characters and plot to understand and complete the activities.

Click on any of the lesson titles below to expand each lesson plan.

Lesson one: What is a rule?

Lesson information

Learning objective: By the end of the lesson the students will have identified what a rule is.

Curriculum links: ACHASSK071, ACHASSI058, ACHASSI059

Resources: Crumb house rules (resource one); All about rules (worksheet one); All about rules Crumb house example (worksheet one).


Lesson orientation

  • Imagine you are a friend of Chloe Crumb and you are going to visit her house for a weekend in the holidays. Have a look at the rules for the Crumb household (resource one).
  • Class discussion about some of the rules the students experience in their own homes, identify differences and similarities between rules that students have in their homes.
  • Where else do students encounter rules—some examples include—classroom, school, board games, sport, clubs/groups and locations such as libraries, swimming pools, or other. Teacher to record the examples of where you find rules provided by the students.

Lesson body

Students to complete the All about rules worksheet—group discussion—each group to focus on a different example of where you find rules (identified as part of the earlier class discussion eg. classroom, school, board games, sport and clubs/groups, locations such as libraries, pools, or other). Teacher could also model an example using the Crumb household (worksheet one).

Students will need to answer:

  • Where do you find rules?
  • Can you identify two rules that apply to this situation?
  • Who makes the rules?
  • Who has to obey the rules?
  • What happens if you break the rules?

At the conclusion of the group discussion each group to report back on where the rules were that they had discussed, what were the two rules they identified, who made them and who has to obey them.


Lesson reflection

After hearing about rules from their own and other groups, what do they think a rule is? Students should be able to identify that a rule is an accepted instruction that sets out the way things are done, and tells you what you are allowed or not allowed to do in an activity. Keep information on worksheet 1 for next lesson.

Lesson two: Why are rules important?

Lesson information

Learning objective: By the end of the lesson the students will have identified why rules are important and the consequences of not following rules.

Curriculum links: ACHASSK071, ACHASSI058, ACHASSI059

Resources: Previously completed All about rules (worksheet one).


Lesson orientation

  • Review of previous lesson, what is a rule? Where do we find rules?
  • Lesson focus is on other areas of worksheet 1—Who makes the rules, who obeys the rules and what happens if you break the rules.

Lesson body

Class discussion including, but not limited to, worksheet 1. Who makes the rules and who do they make the rules for: try to cover a few different examples that students have identified on worksheet 1, these might include classroom (usually students participate in making rules at commencement of each year—rules are for them), school (principals and teachers—usually rules are for the students), sport (game creators /organisers—rules are for the players, umpires enforce), swimming pools (business running the pool—rules can be for the people swimming, workers and spectators), etc.

Examples of places, rules, and consequence links could include the following:

  • Classroom — what if you don’t put up your hand to speak? (you may lose some class free time, you are interrupting others);
  • School — what if you don’t wear your hat outside? (you have to stay inside during breaks, you could get sunburnt);
  • Sport — what if you argue with the umpire? (not respecting rules, possible penalty or sent off), and
  • Swimming pool — what if you run around the pool? (you could slip and get hurt).

Note: there are lots of written rules, students should also consider unwritten rules that they might know (some examples):

  • Home — why they cannot eat or drink things with lots of sugar? (you could get holes in your teeth);
  • Social — why do we say please and thank you (respect, politeness to other people); and
  • Environment — what if we chop trees down (no shade, animals can lose their homes).

Lesson reflection

Students have identified where we have rules and what can happen if we break rules in various places/situations so why do they think we have all these rules? Discussion prompt what happens if we break rules? After discussion students should identify that rules:

  • keep us safe;
  • build social behaviour such as respect for other people, environment, belongings, etc;
  • teach fairness and participation for example when playing games; and
  • equality, rules apply to everyone in that place or activity;
Lesson three: How can rules be changed?

Lesson information

Learning objective: By the end of the lesson the students will have an understanding of how rules can be changed and introduce the concept of change through democratic processes.

Curriculum links: ACHASSK071, ACHASSI061

Resources: Crumb house rules (resource one).


Lesson orientation

Class has been discussing rules, what they are, who makes them and consequences of breaking them. Focus for this lesson is how rules can be changed.

  • Teacher to model how a rule can be changed. This could be done using a real school rule or alternatively using a rule from the Crumb household (resource 1) as an example.
  • Teacher should outline the rule that they would like changed, why they want it changed, what it should be changed to and who they think can help them to get the rule changed.
  • Mr Stink example—Resource 1 rule 8—Homework must be done between 4 and 6pm every day, even in school holidays. This rule should be changed because homework is not usually given to students in school holidays. The rule could be changed to—If you have homework, it must be done between 4 and 6pm. One way to change the rule might be to talk to Mr and Mrs Crumb asking for the rule to be changed, why and what the new rule could be.

Lesson body

Students given time to decide on a rule that impacts their lives that they would like changed (eg a home, classroom or school rule). They should write down the rule, why they want it changed, what they want it changed to and who they think will be able to help them change the rule. This information can then be used by the student to complete one of the proposed activities (student choice, teacher will need to outline the activity options). This can be done either in class or as a possible homework item and could also be used as an assessment item.

Suggested Activity 1: Speech

Student to write a short speech on the rule that they would like to change that could be given to the person/people they think can help them get the rule changed. Outline the current rule, what do they want it changed to and why they want it changed. Speech could be presented to the class.

Suggested Activity 2: Letter

Student to write a short letter on the rule that they would like to change that could be given to the person/people they think can help them get the rule changed. Outline the current rule, what do they want it changed to and why they want it changed. These could be shared with classmates or displayed in the classroom.

Suggested Activity 3: Poster

Student to create a poster on the rule that they would like to change that could be used to help persuade people to change the rule. Outline the current rule, why they want it changed and what they would like it changed to. These could be displayed in the classroom.


Lesson reflection

At the conclusion of the activity discuss as a class some of the rules they wished to change and what they did to try and change the rule. How difficult is it to change rules? (This may be done at a later date if activity has been done outside of the classroom). Students could identify:

  • rules can be changed informally within a group and agreed to, the change would only happen in that groups of people playing the game (scenario 1);
  • requests often need to be made to change rules (scenario 1 & 2);
  • letters, speeches and/or posters can all help to persuade people to change rules (scenario 2 & 3);
  • changing rules is easier if it only affects a small group; and
  • the more people it affects the harder it can be to change rules eg classroom rules vs school rules.

Note: the suggested focus for future lessons would be on the inquiry question: How are decisions made democratically?


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