Lesson 5: UK Politics, Class, and Race
Students identify reasons and debate whether to abolish or keep the UK monarchy, discuss characteristics of the UK political parties, and debate the ideas of the Labour and Conservative parties.
Topic: UK politics
Time: 90 minutes
- Identify reasons to abolish or keep the UK monarchy.
- Debate ideas about the UK monarchy.
- Identify the characteristics of the 3 political parties in the UK.
- Debate the ideas of the Labour and Conservative parties.
- Students summarize the reasons and report to the class.
- Students participate in the debate.
- Students work in groups to discuss characteristics and report to the class what they found.
- Observe the debates.
- Make one copy of the UK Monarchy Debate, and cut into 6 strips for the teacher.
- Make one copy of the UK Political Parties for the teacher.
- Make one copy of the Labour vs Conservative Debate, and cut into 6 strips for the teacher.
Warm up (15 minutes)
- Ask students to get a partner and discuss the topic for about 5 minutes.
- What role does the Queen and the Prime Minister play in British government?
- Do you think the UK should abolish the monarchy? Why or why not?
- Ask the students to volunteer answers and discuss the first question as a class.
Reasons to Abolish or Keep the UK Monarchy (20 minutes)
- Ask students to get into 6 groups. Each person in the group should take a role. If there are only 4 people in a group, then the Facilitator can also keep track of time.
- Facilitator: leads the group discussion
- Note-taker: write things down as needed
- Reporter: presents information to the class
- English monitor: makes sure everyone is speaking English
- Time keeper: keeps track of how much time is remaining for an activity
- Explain to the students that around 70% of the public supports the British monarchy, but there are opinions on both sides. We are going to look at different opinions that the British have about their monarchy.
- Pass out one opinion from the UK Monarchy Debate document to each group.
- Ask students to summarize the opinion from the paper and decide if the opinion is for abolishing or keeping the monarchy.
- Ask groups to report their findings. Write answers on the board.
Do you think the UK should abolish the monarchy?
|It is too expensive.
||It is cost-effective.
|The scandals have become an embarrassement.
||They are not affiliated with a political party, so they have the power to unite the nation.
|There are many religions in the UK, and many don’t believe the royal family has a divine right from God.
||They can shift public opinion about unpopular issues such as the environment.
UK Monarchy Debate (10 minutes)
- Ask the students to form their own opinion about the monarchy and move to the side they support.
- Conduct a Tennis Debate. One side of the room represents YES, the other NO. Decide which side to start the debate. The opposing side must respond within 15 seconds or the other team gets a point.
Political Parties (20 minutes)
- “What are the 3 political parties in the UK? Describe characteristics of each party.”
- Give the students around 10 minutes to list characteristics.
- Elicit answers from the groups to fill in a chart on the board (see UK Political Parties document).
Labour vs. Conservative Debate (15 minutes)
- Give each group one piece from the Labour vs. Conservative Debate document.
- Ask students to brainstorm their topic and come up with reasons to support their argument.
- Ask students to find their counterpart and debate the issues.
Q&A (10 minutes)
- Ask the students to look at their homework questions and/or responses to ask additional questions about the unit.
- Read unit 5 and write 3 questions and/or responses.
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