Create your own country in your classroom

Who’s Running the Country?
by Kerrie Sharron

Who’s Running the Country? is a major cross-curricular ‘Democracy Project’ on politics, democracy and power, suitable for those teaching Citizenship, English, PSHE, Geography and/or Social Studies at Key Stage 3, but adaptable for use at both KS2 and KS4.

Real life events witnessed by the ‘Arab Spring’ and its aftermath, are an ideal opportunity to engage and start children thinking about power and democracy. Using debate, scenario-based role-play and problem solving, students are able to empathise with the experience of different types of government. This process helps them to develop the necessary tools to debate issues arising in the political sphere.

Who’s Running the Country? introduces students to:

  • Different forms of government and the values underlying them
  • The ‘big’ themes of politics through an experiential, talk-based approach

The project is based around the class initially creating its own country and through newspaper articles and leaflets, they live a story of events that happen to their country and find that they are part of an ever evolving story of change. Their country goes through a period of anarchy, a coup, and a dictatorship, the growth of a revolutionary movement, a revolution and ends in democracy and elections. Students need to use their imaginations to be a part of this world and to participate in the changes happening to them.

The final project involves students creating their own ‘ideal’ government and gives the opportunity for them to apply their learning about values, processes and concepts from previous lessons and develop their own beliefs. This pack is successful in its simplicity. By focusing on basic concepts students can take away firmer and deeper understandings of meanings.

Emphasis on talk is intended to increase confidence and the ability to use political language, developing a wide range of speaking skills including, explorative, collaborative, combative, and persuasive speaking as well as presentation skills. An assessment criteria for assessing speaking skills is also included.

Students write a weekly diary for homework, which is a great way of distilling often largely talk-based learning. It ties them into the experience and can form an excellent form of emotional continuity, when a diary entry is read out at the beginning of each lesson.

The pack comprises of:
Teacher’s Manual
Book of photocopiable resources and activity sheets
2 x A3 full colour posters
CD of Powerpoint slides to accompany the lesson plans detailed in the manual, plus other resources

Pack price: £60.00

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