Discovering Democracy Units
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Focus question 1: Who rules?

ESL activities

Handouts 2-4

Teacher instructions

Conduct both activities.
Handouts 2, 3, 4.

Activity 1 | Activity 2

Activity 1: Ruler for a day

Conduct Activity 1 as a whole-class exercise and role-play.

Note: This activity provides an opportunity to focus on the use and meaning of some useful language forms, for example, like/dislike, would/could/must.

Vocabulary: total power, tasks, rule, obey, rights.

  • Ask the class the first 3 questions in 1b. List responses on the board.
  • Select a group of five students to be 'The Rulers'. Where possible, include a confident ESL learner in this group. Otherwise assign the ESL learner a manageable role (ie. one of the ruled) to avoid the demands required of oral public performance.
  • Call the small group aside and explain their role as rulers.
  • Inform the rest of the class that they are going to be ruled by the group for the day. (Tell them this even if you are planning to do it for just one hour). The class must do whatever the rulers tell them.
  • Conduct the role-play for a limited time (use teacher judgement).
  • Discuss with the class:
    • how they felt about having to do whatever they were told;
    • how they felt about not having any say in what happened;
    • the fairness of the situation.

Activity 2: Who rules elsewhere?

Vocabulary: title, decision, decision-making, friendship group, involved, fair/unfair.

  • Conduct as described.

Note: This activity involves decision-making, an important part of working in groups. The activity provides teachers with an opportunity to introduce the language required for this.

Back to 'Stories of the People and Rulers - At a glance'

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