Working together: parliaments and the community


Working together: parliaments and the community

Resources you'll need for this lesson:

A day in the life Penelope Primrose (resource one); Inquiry process and class discussion points (resource two); Committee inquiry teacher guide (resource three); Committee inquiry role-play scripts (resource four).

The lesson plans are designed to be completed after students have read A day in the life of Penelope Primrose as they will need to be familiar with the characters and plot to understand and complete the activities.


Lesson orientation

This lesson focuses on how the Assembly’s committee system is an important way for the Assembly to learn more about the views of the community. It is also an opportunity to look at how students’ own efforts to learn about an issue follow a similar process.

Through individual or group reading, watching a video, structured discussion, and a role play activity, students will explore the committee inquiry process and how issues can be analysed and different views can be listened to as part of a public inquiry. Activities can be done over two or more lessons.

In addition to the attached resources, see also the Assembly fact-sheet on committees and the Committee snapshots short video series.


Lesson body

The HASS inquiry and skills strand methodology is remarkably similar to the committee inquiry process and can be used as a basis for exploring the underlying concepts of both students’ own learning and that of committees (i.e. questioning, researching, analysing, evaluating and reflecting, and communicating). See resource two for discussion points.

Committee inquiry role-play

Public hearing role play on footpath safety aims to take students through a committee inquiry process. It can be scaled up or down to cater for class size so that all students are able to participate (resource four).

Create your own committee public hearing into an inquiry question (this may require a couple of lessons to complete the entire process). To complete the inquiry students will need to determine the terms of reference to guide the inquiry, form a committee and identify witness groups to answer the inquiry question. Committee members create their own questions for the witnesses. Witnesses would not traditionally have written answers, answers at a public hearing are given in response to questions as they are asked (questions without notice).

Alternatively if the witnesses are given the questions prior to the hearing they could prepare answers (questions on notice). Each witness group usually provides an opening statement that is prepared prior to the hearing.


Lesson reflection

Students to reflect on how the community can raise issues and have their voices heard by Members of the Legislative Assembly through the committee process. This includes participation by making a submission and appearing before a committee as a witness.


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