An Introduction to Parliament - whiteboard resource

An Introduction to Parliament - whiteboard resource

This teaching resource is a front-of-the-classroom guide to the House of Commons, House of Lords and monarch. It explores how the UK is governed and how Parliament works and presents the difference between Parliament and government.

Resources quick links

Description

The resource includes a short introductory quiz followed by four activities:

 

  • Parliament and government – use the interactive tool to build a diagram showing the difference
  • Look inside the House of Commons chamber and take the quiz
  • Visit the House of Lords chamber and take the quiz
  • Take the quiz about the monarch’s role in Parliament

Three levels of difficulty allow you to tailor the activities to suit your students.

Learning outcomes

At level 1, students will:

 

  • Gain an overview of the structure of Parliament, and the role of the House of Commons, House of Lords, and the monarch
  • Learn basic information about politics today including the name of the current Prime Minister, governing parties and government departments, with an overview of their role
  • Learn to understand key terms including government, opposition, constituency, Member of Parliament (MP), Lord and Peer
  • Recognise the difference between Parliament and government

At level 2, students will also:

 

  • Learn more about Parliament’s legislative role and how the three parts of Parliament contribute to making laws
  • Find out more about the composition of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, including ministers and shadow ministers, the cabinet, cross benchers, and the role of the bishops
  • Find out more about the role of the monarchy during events such as the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament

At level 3, students will also:

 

  • Understand further key terms including: legislature, scrutiny, voting systems (proportional representation, First Past the Post, the Single Transferable Vote) and the role of the whips
  • Be introduced to the work of Select Committees, with brief examples of recent prominent inquiries
  • Find out more detail about the monarch’s role, including appointing Members of the Lords and dissolving Parliament before an election

Practical information

This classroom presentation tool is optimised for use on interactive whiteboards. It requires Flash Player 9 or above and Javascript to be enabled. Walkthrough guides are available to download below, to help you make the most of the resource. Turn straight to section 5 in the PDF to find the relevant instructions.

Supporting resources

An Introduction to Parliament level 1

An Introduction to Parliament level 1

Launch the whiteboard resource at level 1.

An Introduction to Parliament level 2

An Introduction to Parliament level 2

Launch the whiteboard resource at level 2.

An Introduction to Parliament level 3

An Introduction to Parliament level 3

Launch the whiteboard resource at level 3.

Level 1 walkthrough

Level 1 walkthrough

A practical guide to the level 1 whiteboard resource for teachers.

pdf file - 891 KB
PDF download

Level 2 walkthrough

Level 2 walkthrough

A practical guide to the level 2 whiteboard resource for teachers.

pdf file - 982 KB
PDF download

Level 3 walkthrough

Level 3 walkthrough

A practical guide to the level 3 whiteboard resource for teachers.

pdf file - 958 KB
PDF download

Relating teaching resources

KS3-5, AUDIO, VIDEO, CITIZENSHIP

How Parliament works in nearly 60 seconds

Parliamentary business

Image slideshows

A slideshow of 11 images of the House of Lords chamber, illustrating how the House of Lords works and its role in the UK’s democracy.

What is the House of Commons? Find out with this short animation, an ideal starting point for introducing the House of Commons with key stage 3, 4 and A level students.