This unit of work contains 6 lessons aligned to the Year 10 Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum and explores 2 curriculum inquiry questions. It includes an informal assessment item, a formal assessment item with marking rubric, background information for teachers and a list of resources.
Before you begin
Background information for teachers
- Printed worksheets and assessment sheets available in the toolkit.
- Computers/devices for students to conduct research.
Lesson 1 – What are the key features of Australia's system of government?
Divide the class into small groups and allocate a different question from the following list to each group. Students can research the answers using the PEO website.
- What is Australia's system of government and how is the Australian Government formed?
- What are the levels of government in Australia and what are their roles and responsibilities?
- What does 'separation of powers' mean and how does it work in practice?
- Who is Australia's head of state and what is their role?
- What is the Australian Constitution and what is its role in our system of government?
- What is the Cabinet and what is its role in the Australian Government?
Ask each group to think of an additional question about Australia's system of government to research and answer.
As a class, discuss students' findings.
Lessons 2 to 3 – Comparing the key features of Australia's system of government with another system of government in the Asia region
Hand out and explain the Assessment. Students can be given 2 to 3 lessons to work on this and can complete it for homework. This project has differentiation options, including writing an essay or presenting a creative response with rationale. An essay and rationale planning sheet is included to help those students who require further scaffolding.
Lesson 4 – Australia's international responsibilities
Divide students into small groups and distribute Worksheet: Australia's global roles and responsibilities for group completion. Ask groups to share their decisions with the class, using a creative response. For example, students could explain their conclusions with a pie chart that shows how they would spend their budget or present a pitch which addresses the worksheet questions.
Lessons 5 to 6 – How international law shapes Australian law
Review the previous lesson about Australia's global role. Brainstorm with the class about some issues that the international community may need to cooperate on—for example, human rights, climate change, disease control, and use of nuclear weapons or drug smuggling.
Explain to students that the international community creates treaties, conventions and declarations to address human rights issues. Distribute the Information sheet: International law to students noting there are 2 differentiated options. Discuss how this international law system works.
As a class, using the Attorney-General's Department website page, ask students to 'think, pair, share' about why these international agreements were created and why Australia is a party to them. Use the page as an overview; it's not necessary for students to click on each link.
As a class, use the Information sheet: Extracts to explore sections of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Persons in more detail. What are the key requirements of both? Note: this extracts information sheet has 2 differentiated options.
Ask students to work in pairs to brainstorm the types of laws Australia might need to make to comply with this Convention and Declaration. Ask pairs to share with the whole class, writing ideas on the board.
Learning outcomes for assessments
Formal assessment—with curriculum aligned rubric
Students research and compare the key features of Australia's system of government with ONE other system of government in the Asia region.
- compare and evaluate the key features and values of systems of government
- evaluate a range of questions to investigate Australia's political system
- critically analyse information gathered from different sources for relevance and reliability
- use appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts.
Informal assessment—linked to curriculum content descriptions
'Australia's global roles and responsibilities'
Scaffolded small group discussion and presentation
- analyse the Australian Government's global roles and responsibilities
- explain how Australia's international legal obligations influence law and government policy
- take account of multiple perspectives and ambiguities, use democratic processes, and negotiate solutions to an issue.