These activities have been adapted from materials created by the UK Parliament Learning Team. You can find much more on their website by clicking here!
In this session you will get to know the UK Parliament, and you will learn about some ways in which you can get involved. We will start by learning about Parliament and its history, then you will have the chance to get involved in some debating exercises. Finally, we have some fun interactive activities lined up about women’s suffrage and what it means to be an MP.
Introduction to Parliament
History of Parliament
Explore fascinating moments from the history of Parliament, or learn about some issues that are particularly relevant today! Click each link below to learn more about that topic.
A debate is a formal argument with agreed rules on a specific topic. A debate usually has a way to decide which side of the argument has won, such as a vote.
Pick a side
When MPs vote on laws, they vote either ‘Aye’ (yes) or ‘No’ by walking through the corresponding lobby door. What do you think about the following issues?
- Public transport should be free of charge to everyone.
- Online advertising for unhealthy foods should be banned.
- Everybody over the age of 16 should be allowed to vote in elections.
- Social media companies should ban false or misleading statements made by users on their platforms.
Choose one of the statements above to focus on for the following exercises. For a greater challenge, you can complete the following exercises for both the “for” and “against” sides of the statement, regardless of which side you voted.
Prepare your side
Take a look at some examples of formal debates from the House of Commons or the House of Lords. You can find these online at www.parliamentlive.tv or on the UK Parliament YouTube channel. As you watch, try to pay attention to the following points:
- The style, rules and language of the debate
- The role of the Speaker in the House of Commons, or the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords
- The techniques used by those speaking
Your task: Considering one of the statements you looked at above, prepare your side of a debate on this topic. Spend some time researching any relevant supporting points. Then present your side of the debate to a family member.
Online games from the UK Parliament
Choose one of the two activities below from the UK Parliament website to complete (each activity will take you 1-1.5 hours to complete). If you have extra time you can try both!
MP for a week
Survive a week in politics and keep your party, your voters and the media happy in this online game!
First mass petition: Votes for women
This interactive resource follows the women’s suffrage campaign through video, audio and quizzes. We recommend completing the worksheet for your local area at the end – you’ll be able to relate the campaign to specific local history!
Share with us!
We would love to see any examples of work that you do during your Inspire Summer School. This can be a photo of something you have made, a picture you have drawn, some written work (e.g. the start of a speech, or the answer to a question we asked), or some thoughts you have about what you have learnt! Submit your work to us through this form.
All pupils who share their work with us by August 31 2021 will receive a certificate of participation in the summer school and will be entered into a prize draw! A £10 Amazon voucher will be awarded to each winning entry, selected randomly from all submissions. If you give us permission, your entry may be shared on Inspire Digital and our social media alongside your first name.