We begin this lesson with a whole class brainstorming session of what we know about the structure of government in Australia. Students were first asked to tell us what they knew about the three levels of government in Australia. Once we had identified the three levels of government as federal, state and local we then continued with brainstorming about the roles in each of these levels, for example “Who is the leader?” ” How did they become leader?” “What is this level of government responsible for?”.
Along the way we also asked students to note definitions for important terms such as representational democracy, federation, constitutional democracy, jurisdiction etc.
A class discussion ensued asking for students to look at the cartoons and classify them as representing a jurisdiction of either federal, state or local government.
For more cartoons from Nicholson, the cartoonist for The Australian, open this link http://www.nicholsoncartoons.com.au/
For cartoons from The Sydney Morning Herald and syndicated newspapers see Sydney Morning Herald cartoons
The National Museum of Australia presents what they rate as the best political cartoons Australian Political cartoons
The class then proceeded to work in groups to design a poster of one tier of government. The posters would then be voted on by peers according to the following criteria: best overall look of poster, definition of key terms, diagrammatic display of structure of government, highlighting of government responsibilities.
The election of the best poster was a major element of the future lesson on Voting in Australian Government Elections.