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mySociety lesson plans for active democratic participation

We have teamed up with mySociety to bring teachers quick and effective activities through which young people learn about democracy by actually taking part in the process.

London Sunset (by Nick Page: https://flic.kr/p/i6tSP8
The Houses of Parliament. Image by Nick Page.

2015 is the year of a major general election in the UK, yet hand-wringing about political apathy is as great as ever.

So, the Citizenship Foundation has teamed up with mySociety, the people behind civic tools such as fixmystreet.com, to offer quick classroom activities that teach young people about democracy by actually taking part in the process.

Help your students explore issues that matter to them locally: why the issues exist, how they are being dealt with and how they affect people differently; and help them work out how to change things for the better.

The twelve lesson plans give a broad introduction to the concepts of democracy, citizenship, and playing a part in the community. Several of the materials invite students to use mySociety web tools as a first access to democracy.

They fit into a wide variety of subject areas within the curriculum, and are free for teachers to download and use.

mySociety is best known for its web services FixMyStreet, WhatDoTheyKnow, TheyWorkForYou and WriteToThem, all designed to empower citizens by giving them easy access to democratic processes.

mySociety's tools are popular and influential, but this is the first time they have been positioned as educational resources.

The lesson plans

Download from mySociety's website
Primary and secondary

Animal Parliament
Years 1-8; 45-60 minutes.
Helps pupils acquire a sound knowledge and understanding of how citizens participate in the UK's democratic system of government.

Having an influence
Years 3-13; 30 minutes.
Develops an interest in responsible action; debating and evaluating viewpoints and presenting reasoned arguments.

Who can I tell?
Years 5-13; 40 minutes. Uses WriteToThem.com.
Teaches about how citizens participate actively in democratic systems of government and the roles played by public institutions in society.

Freedom and democracy
Years 6-13; 30 minutes plus homework.
Develops an understanding of democracy, and of the rights, responsibilities and liberties of citizens.

Secondary

My local area
Years 7-9; 1 hour plus homework. Uses FixMyStreet.com.
Develops students' interest in responsible action and their commitment to it.

My voice matters
Years 7-11; 40 minutes.
Prepares students to take their place as responsible citizens and equips them with skills and knowledge to debate and make reasoned arguments.

Being persuasive
Years 7-13; 1 hour. Uses WriteToThem.com.
Develops skills to take responsible informed action.

What's the problem?
Years 7-13; 20 minutes. Uses WriteToThem.com.
Equips pupils with skills and knowledge to explore social issues critically.

Should I vote?
Years 8-13; 30-45 minutes. Uses TheyWorkForYou.com.
Discusses how citizens participate actively in the UK's democratic systems of government and teaches about voting and elections.

Freedom of Information
Years 10-13; 30 minutes. Uses WhatDoTheyKnow.com.
Teaches about the precious liberties enjoyed by citizens of the United Kingdom.

Getting heard
Years 10-13; 35 minutes. Uses WriteToThem.com.
Teaches about how citizens participate actively and responsibly in the UK's democratic system of government and about the precious liberties enjoyed by the citizens of the UK.

Controversial issues
Years 10-13; 20-60 minutes.
Fosters an understanding of democracy. Enables students to apply knowledge and understanding while developing skills to debate and present reasoned arguments.

Download from mySociety's website

mySociety logo.

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