Australian Government For Kids
When I first started looking for Civics and Citizenship resources I found it a challenge.
Civics and Citizenship Lessons
Australia is a place of compulsory voting and even if someone doesn’t care two hoots about who is in government they get to cast a vote. Today many young people are educated on politics by the media and their decisions are often based on popular political issues that fail to consider the big picture.
Educating your children on politics can seem like a daunting task because there is so much to learn. It is a good idea to educate them as the need arises
In the primary years Civics and Citizenship is a sub-strand of the Australian Curriculum’s Humanities and Social Science subject which also includes geography and history.
Approximately 6 -10% of school hours are allocated to Humanities and Social Science which works out to be around 1.5 – 2.5 hours per week.
During the year this subject is often rotated between the sub strands of history and geography or taught in blocks – a year of history or a year of geography.
Teaching civics and citizenship is part of the Australian curriculum from Year 3.
I have found a simple introduction to Australian Government for kids is a good place to start.
1. Learn About The Flags & Democracy
“In Years 3 and 4 children develop an understanding of democratic practices, government, roles and responsibilities, laws, rules and identity. ” Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship
The Australian Flag and what that means is an easy place to begin when teaching about civics and Australian government. The flag has within its symbols the roots of Australia’s British heritage of democracy through the Westminster system of Government.
What do you know about the Australian Flag? Do you know what the symbols mean? Do you know what the flags are for the states and territories? Do you know the rules for flying the flag? Do your kids know? This fun resource will help your children discover these facts and more in a fun hands on way.
2. Prime Ministers’ Biographies
“In Year 5 & 6, students develop knowledge and understanding of the key features and processes of Australia’s system of government and examine civic issues. Students develop their understanding of citizenship in the context of local, national, regional and global communities, and the skills that enable active citizenship.” Year 3-10 Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship
A good biography gives us the facts clothed with a story. Learning the stories of our Prime Ministers will help your child learn about the processes of government through the lives of Australia’s prime ministers. These resource will help you to understand how each prime minister worked in the period of history he lived in and what legacy he left.
“Over the years I’ve looked at ways to try to teach my children about government and politics. I’ve had a few attempts but the lack of resources always made my attempts a little ad hoc. However last term we were able to trial Margaret Taylor’s new ebook The Prime Ministers Notebook. It was such a fantastic way to introduce my kids to politics. As they studied each prime minister’s short biography, and looked at the times when they were in power, they began to understand a little about party politics and government. Last week’s change of prime ministers was not foreign to them and they were able to grasp some of the party politics. “Michelle July 2013
3. Research Government
“In Year 7 and 8 students develop understanding of Australia’s political system, with particular emphasis on the representative democracy, the role of the constitution, and the critical perspective on the influence of media, including social media, within society. They develop understanding of the key features of Australia’s legal system and the different sources of law used in Australia. Students should learn about the diversity of Australian society.” Year 3-10 Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship
What does a government do? Who is required to vote? Who is my local member? What are the roles of government? What is the Constitution?
Australian Parliament and Politics is an ebook that delves a little deeper into how government works and who does what. It guides you in your study of Australian Government.
4. Learn the History of Australia
“In Year 9 and 10 students develop their understanding of rights and liberties, how democracy operates and enables change, and the role and function of the court system and various decision-making processes. Increasingly a global perspective is evident, with opportunities to understand Australia’s role and responsibilities at a global level and its international obligations. Students learn about the values and practices that enable a civil society to be maintained.” Draft Year 3-10 Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship – May 2013
Learning history teaches many facts. Our Sunburnt Country will give you an overview of how Australia came to Federation and what happened after that. You can also delve deeper into specific issues of inequality and human rights.
5. Current Affairs
Keep up to date with what’s happening with local politics watching the news, Question Time, Q & A and one of my favourites Kitchen Cabinet with Annabelle Crabb.
At My Homeschool we include Civics and Citizenship lessons in each year. We use living books, world history, biographies of Prime Ministers and in the high school years we include environmental politics, legal studies and Plutarch.