HomeThe UnitsTeachers NotesState & Territory LinksKey TermsA Guide to Government & Law in AustraliaSelected SourcesESL InformationCivics and Citizenship Education About DDUDownloadsSitemapSearchHelpDiscovering Democracy Banner

Focus question 3: Should the people rule?

ESL activities

Teacher instructions

Handouts 5-10

Conduct all activities.
Handouts 5, 6, 7, 8 (OHT), 9, 10 (adapted).

Activity 1 | Activity 2 | Activity 3 | Activity 4 | Activity 5 | Activity 6 | Assessment | Activity 7 | Assessment

Activity 1: Majority rules?

Vocabulary: vote, outvoted, majority.

  • Conduct this activity as described.

Activity 2: Direct democracy for a day

Vocabulary: government, the Pnyx.

  • Introduce Ancient Athens. Show students pictures of readily recognised features such as the Parthenon, statues, figures from friezes. Some are available on Stories of Democracy CD ROM. Locate Greece on the wall map or globe.
  • Ask students to imagine Athens of 2500 years ago.
  • Write the headings: citizen, metic, woman, slave on the board. Explain metics and citizens and write the definitions on the board.
  • Explain that, unlike in Egypt, in Ancient Athens some people did have a say in the way the city-state was ruled. They did this by voting at a gathering called an Assembly. (Refer to text for explanations of 'city-state' and 'Assembly'.)
  • Continue with 2c to 2f as described.

Activity 3: Direct Democracy in Ancient Athens

Vocabulary: direct democracy, citizen, Assembly, freeborn, duty, volunteer, judge, jury, Council, metics, political rights, social class, court of law.

Note: The discussion of problems and good points in 3a can provide opportunities to model how to give a point of view and how to back it up with evidence.

  • For 3a work through Handout 6 with the group, discussing as you go.
    ESL learners work in pairs to list the three things.
  • Conduct 3b as described.

Activity 4: Using representatives to make law

Vocabulary: representative.

  • Ask the question: Who made the laws in Ancient Athens? (The Council of 500) Assist students to find this information using Handout 6.
  • Explain the Council members.
  • Demonstrate the numerical construction of the Council of 500 on the board.
  • Continue with 4b, listing the positive and negative aspects of 500 people making a decision.
  • Continue with 4c as described.
  • Add the information relating to Ancient Athens to the wall chart.

Activity 5: Time travel report number 2

  • Conduct as for Time travel report number 1, assisting ESL learners to understand the different types of texts used for different purposes, for example, fax, voice mail.
  • For 5b, provide ESL learners with opportunities to practise before presentation to a small group, or consider an alternative to oral presentation.

Activity 6: Compare and contrast

Vocabulary: pros, cons.

Note: This activity can provide opportunities to model language of comparison, for example, more/less/no, have/don't have.

  • Students complete 6a in pairs.
  • Conduct 6b as a whole-class exercise listing pros and cons on the board.
  • 6c is adapted and used for assessment as described below.


  • Adapt Handout 10 as follows:

    Provide a list of labels showing the positions and locations of the six people. Prepare also a jumbled list of short statements each might have spoken about their rights or lack of them. Ensure students understand the statements. Students draw the faces or bodies as instructed, then select and copy an appropriate label and statement for each. Complete one example for students.

Activity 7: Who would you be?

Note: This activity can provide an opportunity to model an example of an argument. Provide a framework with headings for support.

  • ESL learners work with partners who have better spoken English to prepare the report. Provide opportunity to practise presentation. Partners may share presenting the report to the class.


  • Adapt criteria according to tasks completed.

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

AcknowledgementsLegal Information