Enjoy this blog post sharing some New Zealand Election Activities for use in your classroom. Civics education is so underplayed in the New Zealand primary and intermediate school system. This is a pity as I think it can be a very interesting topic! Politics and the workings of parliament is also something that directly impacts on them now and as they become adults. It is important for students to see that politics is not something to only think about as adults, but something that they can understand, form opinions, and share their voice on right now! Look at Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg, as examples.
New Zealand Election Activities for your Classroom
To begin, let me hit you with some links to interesting activities and lesson plans that I have sourced for you – you know I am here to save you time!
- Kids Voting – Te Pōti a Ngā Tamariki is a programme run by www.elections.nz that culminates in a school or class mock election. They provide everything you need, but you need to sign up quick. Find all the information you need here. I also found this handy resource that looks at how one school used this resource in the past.
- Have Your Say teaching units. The Electoral Commission have put out unit plans for Level 3 and 4 of the curriculum that are worth checking out here. I’m not going to lie, it is quite text-heavy, but you could mine it for gold, for sure.
- Tūranga Mua, Tūranga Tika teaching units. The Electoral Commission have also put out units for use in Māori-medium classrooms to explore the role of Māori in decision-making in the past, present and future. You can find them here.
- Votes for Women Teaching Units. While looking at the current General Election, it is also important to look at New Zealand’s unique place in history with kiwi women being the first in the world to get the right to vote. Check out this teaching unit from Elections.nz here.
- Explore NZ’s parliament through virtual reality! Click here to learn more.
- Save the Children have a fantastic resource providing students with an opportunity to share with New Zealand what really matters to them this election and for their future! There is also an excellent teacher guide for you to check out.
- A useful resource for parents is The Parenting Place’s How to talk to your kids about the election.
I also found a couple of short videos that explain more about parliament.
Parliament 101 – Running time: 3.04
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How Parliament Works – Running time: 8.13
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Our New Zealand Election and Parliament Activity
Engage your students in the upcoming general elections and civics education with our New Zealand Parliament and the 2020 General Election interactive scavenger hunt. Your students will learn about New Zealand’s parliament, the role of parliament, Members of Parliament and their roles, the MMP system of voting, how a General Election works, the New Zealand Parliament Buildings, the 2020 General Election, New Zealand political parties and more! Get our New Zealand Election and Parliament resource here.
Learn about New Zealand Political Heroes
Kate Sheppard’s significant achievements certainly come to light in an election year! With our resource, your students can earn about Sheppard, the leader of the suffrage movement to get women the right to vote. See more of this resource by clicking here.
On the show, That’s a Bit Racist, students were asked why they could name Sir Edmund Hillary on NZ’s $5 note, but couldn’t name Sir Āpirana Ngata on the NZ $50 note. Their answer? “We were taught about Sir Edmund Hillary”. Āpirana Ngata is on our $50 note and he is important enough to be taught about in school! I think election season is a great opportunity to learn about Sir Āpirana Ngata, one of the most influential Māori politicians from New Zealand’s history. Learn more with this reading resource.