Having your say

Learning objective

Learn how you can have your say in getting things changed for the better in your community

Key question

How straightforward is it for citizens to get their voice heard and changes made?

Success criteria

    Describe how you can use the democratic process to get your voice heard
    Identify some of the channels you can use to present your case
    List some of the actions you would take to get started

Lesson plan - Having your say

Introduction to the learning 

Revise as a class by question and answer:

   Elections: local, general,
   Who can vote; secret ballots; voting systems

Main body of lesson 

In small groups decide on some change they want made, at school, in the community, in the country.

Get the groups to work in pairs and defend their ideas or accept the other group’s ideas and agree on one thing to change.

The combined group to elect a spokesman.  Spokesman presents the arguments for the change.

The class debates each proposal.  A vote is taken by a show of hands (vote for only one proposal) or if time permits, by ballot box.

Challenge and extension activities

Choose as a topic for a change in the law affecting the whole country, and describe the channels you will use to try and get the change made.

Discuss the impact of demonstrations such as 'Extinction Rebellion' against climate change that held up traffic in central London in April 2019. Or the Peoples Vote march in London on October 19, 2019 that attracted over one million campaigning for a second referendum on leaving the EU.

Did either of the two demonstrations get politicians' attention? Do marches in major citites of whatever kind achieve anything?

Support activities 

Match the proposal with the organisation that will make the change if it can be persuaded to.

    Change the voting age to 16
    Get your household waste bins emptied every week
    Take only five subjects at GCSE

      Increase the number of charging points in your town for electric vehicles 
    Get airlines to pay a tax on air pollution


Organisation responsible for change

  • School governing body
  • Local council
  • Central government
  • United Nations
Silent work
Write down in a few words what you have learnt about getting laws changed.  And guess what success you might have with your topic and how long it might take.
Feedback and assessment 

Teacher questioning to individuals and groups.
Presentation of ideas to (groups) the class followed by debate.
Answers in writing.

References Citizenship Education for KS3
Hodder Education 2014

Lesson plan KS3 - Having your say