Run an election campaign

Experience a modern social media election campaign in your classroom with this classroom activity.

Years 5 to 12
1 to 2 lessons
Related Resource
Create political parties

This lesson plan works well with the Create political parties Classroom activity. It does not including holding an election. For information and resources on class elections please go to the Australian Electoral Commission's Get Voting website.


  1. As a class, decide on 4 or 5 issues that are important to the students. For example, you may like to look at issues related to the health or education of rural and remote youth, or environmental issues that impact upon your local area.
  2. Ask students to work individually or in small groups to develop a policy platform to address 2 or 3 of the chosen issues. For example, they may decide to increase funding for sports programs in rural schools, or to ban fishing in marine parks.
  3. The next step is for students to choose a platform to advertise their policy message to the people of Australia. Many candidates and parliamentarians use social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Ask the students to choose one or two social media platforms.
  4. Messages need to be shaped and edited to fit the chosen social media platform. For example, tweets must be no longer than 280 characters, and Instagram posts require a picture or video. Ask students to design between 3 and 5 posts for each social media platform they have chosen, and publish them using the templates provided.
  5. Ask students to present printed copies of their social media posts. Put the posts on a wall in the classroom. Give each student three to five post-it notes to ‘like' and comment on other students' posts.

What happened?

As a class, discuss the following questions:

  1. Why did the students choose the platforms they did? Who was their intended audience?
  2. How effective is social media as a tool for political messages? Who does it reach? Who does it leave out? If there are people it doesn't reach, how might a candidate or parliamentarian reach those people?
  3. What are the risks to candidates and parliamentarians when using social media platforms?
  4. How can students and other members of the community find out who their representatives are, at the local, state and federal levels of government?
  5. How can the students use social media to engage with their representatives and with their community? Discuss examples of social media campaigns which have had an impact on the community or the world.