Representation: Activity 1

Representation - identifying need for representation and types of representation

  1. Divide the class into groups of 4-5 students and present them with the following scenario.


    You are all friends and have been to the movies together. You are now hungry and need to agree on a place to eat. Where will you go? Instruct one student in each group to time how long it takes for their group to come up with a decision. Draw the class together and record each group’s answer and the time they took to give it.

  2. Pose a second question to the whole class. Ask the class where they would like to go for a class excursion. Say that, as a class, they have to choose just one destination/venue. Observe students making the decision and record the time taken by class to make the decision.

  3. Compare group times and class times in decision-making. Facilitate a brief discussion about the ease of making a decision.

    Is it easier with more or less people?

    What are the respective advantages and disadvantages of making decisions in small groups versus making decisions as a class? Share teacher observations as well.

  4. Provide students with an atlas or map of Australia. Explain to the students that Australia is a country of over 21 million people and around 7,686,830 square kilometres.

    Instruct students to use either a SWOT or PMI  graphic organiser (BLM 1 or 2) to help them to answer the following questions.

    • Can we all be directly involved in decision-making processes for Australia?
    • Why or why not?
    • What would be the benefits?
    • What could be the problems?
    • Do we have the same interests?








  5. Ask students to either work in pairs or small groups to critically evaluate the benefits/ disadvantages of all Australians making decisions. Students could use an organising tool such as a PMI or SWOT analysis to assist them.

  6. Draw class together and discuss each group or pair responses.

  7. Create a class summary using a T chart (BLM 5) of the advantages and disadvantages of direct representation.   



  8. Ask students when they think it is appropriate to use direct representation and indirect representation. Ask them to provide examples.

    Record responses on large poster paper and display.

Introduction | Activity One | Activity Two | Activity Three | Activity Four