Primary Years Units of Work
What is Local Government? Exercise
Primary Years Unit of Work
Resource Based Learning Methodology
Brighton Primary School
By Julie Murray (Teacher/Librarian)
Relevant for Year 3/4
(but also can be modified and adapted for Year 2 or Year 5.)
- To develop students' understandings of how Local Government forms an integral part of Australia's democratic process.
- To develop students' understandings of the workings of Local Government in terms of the mechanics of Council elections and Council meetings.
- To assist students to an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of Local Government.
- To have students gain an appreciation of the work of Local Government and an understanding of how they, as citizens, can undertake an active role in the work of Local Government.
This unit explores and develops the students' concept of "neighbourhood" or "local area" and then continues to examine the instrumentalities and processes that care for the local area and its people. It integrates the development and use of Information and Communication Technologies as well as incorporating where possible, the application of Bloom's, Gardner's and de Bono's learning theories. Resource Based Learning Methodology underpins the entire unit and develops students' skills and knowledge in a very experiential, active and fun way, allowing students to make a variety of guided choices about the types of learning experiences in which they will engage.
For Year 2 and 3 the Learning Outcomes as described in SACSAF may be:
1.4 - Explains and communicates how people interact and identify with environments.
1.6 - Participates actively in projects to show understanding of the importance of caring for local places and natural environments.
1.7 - Understands that, although all people are unique, they also have characteristics in common, and contribute in a variety of ways to their local and wider communities.
1. 9 - Demonstrates a capability to see and value points of view other than their own.
1.10 - Describes the meaning of "needs" and "wants", and identifies how people co-operate in society to meet current and future needs.
1.11 - Identifies the sources of some goods and services and can explain the ways our daily living depends on them.
1.12 - Takes an active part in making decisions to achieve goals while listening to, negotiating, and co-operating with others and showing awareness of rights, responsibilities and rules.
For Year 4 and 5 the Learning Outcomes described in SACSAF may be:
2.4 - Shows and reports an understanding of the interrelationships between natural and built environments, resources and systems.
2.10 - Describes examples of the provision of goods and services in societies, past and present, and proposes alternatives for the future.
2.11 - Identifies and critically examines work, paid and unpaid, of people whose roles involve providing goods or services for a community.
2.12 - Describes and participates in decision making processes and interprets the effects of decisions on people.
3.5 - Interprets and represents data about natural and built environments, resources, systems and interactions, both global and local, using maps, graphs and texts.
3.7 - Considers factors which contribute to personal and group identity and social cohesion, and values cultural diversity within and outside Australia.
3.9 - Demonstrates responsible and respectful participation in group discussion and, in a team, plans and negotiates social action to enhance human rights in community contexts.
3.10 - Describes examples of forms and structures of Australian and other governments over time in terms of how they impact on people's lives.
3.11 - Analyses an example of the flows in provision of a product or service, including links to resources, money, transport, technology and communication, considering fairness for human and environmental sustainability.
3.12 - Recognizes that individuals, groups or systems hold different views, values and beliefs, and identifies those which contribute to the common good.
Relationship to the South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability Framework
The SACSA Framework lists and explains the Essential Learnings and the Key Competencies. These are listed here, along with their abbreviations which are noted by the appropriate Key Ideas.
- Futures (F)
- Identity (Id)
- Interdependence (In)
- Thinking (Th)
- Communication (C)
- Collecting, analyzing and organising information (KC1)
- Communicating ideas and information (KC2)
- Planning and organising activities (KC3)
- Working with others in a team (KC4)
- Using mathematical ideas and techniques (KC5)
- Solving problems (KC6)
- Using technology (KC7)
Within the SACSA Framework, the Society and Environment component promotes three clusters of shared values which are reflected in this unit of work. They are:
- "Democratic processes such as: commitment to individual freedom and the rights and responsibilities associated with participating in a democracy, respect for law and authority, respect for viewpoints and ways of living and commitment to ethical behaviour and equitable participation in decision making. These values contribute to learners' understanding of what constitutes a fair and just society."
- Social justice- "developing an understanding of what is involved in achieving a fair and just society."
- "Ecological Sustainability such as: environmental stewardship and conservation."
(From SACSA Framework page 292)
This unit of work is relevant to the Strands, Essential Learnings and Key Competencies mentioned below: (NB: Early years band Key Ideas are in bold type)
Place, Space and Environment - Children develop and show their understandings of the significance of places and resources. They examine different ways in which places and resources are used to satisfy needs and wants. (Id In C - KC1 KC6)
Children develop skills to represent real and virtual place and space as they discuss interactions between people and their environments. (C - KC2)
Children develop an understanding of the concepts of sustainability, conservation and care of resources and places, and take action consistent with these. They assess the ways in which values affect behaviour. (F In T - KC1 KC6)
Students access, investigate, interpret and represent information from field work, electronic systems and other research, in order to explain local and global interactions and relationships between people and environments.
(In T C - KC1 KC2)
Students discuss environmental conservation or resource issues and individually and/or in teams, collaboratively develop strategies to bring about change in the local community. (F In T - KC2 KC4 KC6)
Societies and Cultures - Children explore, identify, recognise and learn to respect and value, the shared and unique characteristics of individuals, developing an understanding of the diverse values, beliefs and practices of groups of people. (Id In - KC1)
Children identify, respect and value positive aspects of their culture and beliefs and identity and develop understandings of those of others. (F In C - KC1 KC6)
Students analyse critically the ways in which communities in Australia and other countries seek to both maintain social cohesion and foster cultural diversity. Using these insights, they consider and develop strategies for preferred futures. (F Id T - KC1 KC6)
Students analyse situations and act responsibly to enhance the democratic and human rights of individuals and groups, and to counter prejudice, racism, harassment or oppression. (In T C - KC1)
Social Systems - Children examine and discuss how communities are organized to provide goods and services for people to meet their current and future needs. (F In T - KC1)
Children investigate and communicate understandings of the variety of ways communities and societies meet people's needs for goods and services. (In T C - KC1 KC2)
Children participate in appropriate decision making and negotiation. They recognize that rules affect aspects of life. (In T - KC2 KC3 KC4)
Students recognize connection between roles, structures, functions and limits of various political, legal and economic systems over time. (F In T - KC1)
Students work co-operatively to collect, analyse and describe information about particular issues which have social, economic and environmental dimensions. They identify Key Ideas, justify positions, predict outcomes and suggest enterprising solutions. (In T C - KC1 KC4 KC6)
Students negotiate and agree on roles, responsibilities and alternative courses of action in order to achieve goals relating to human rights, democracy, equity, social justice and sustainable environments, at school and in the wider community. (In T C - KC2 KC3 KC6)
The SACSA Framework describes the importance of Community Based Learning where students are afforded the opportunity to learn from individuals other than teachers and encourages the integration of community activities with class room experiences which address problems, issues or practices negotiated with the community that affect them. This unit of work lends itself very effectively to support this notion.
What is Local Government?
Primary Years Unit of Work
Download the Unit of Work as a PDF version - Primary Years Unit of Work (66 kb)
Useful Resources (for Teachers and Students)
Barwick, J. and Barwick, J. 1999 Local Government Heinemann Library, Australia
Department of Education and Children's Services, 2001, South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability Framework Gillingham Printers et al, Adelaide
Kelly, A. 1999, Australian Knowledge Series: Local Government Franklin Watts, Hong Kong
http://www.lga.sa.gov.au Local Government Association of South Australia
McNab, N. 1999, Focus on Australia Series: Government MacMillan, Australia
McNab, N. 1999, Macmillan Highlights Series: Government in Australia MacMillan, Australia
Meehan, C and Sydenham, S. 2003, Civics Australia Series: Australian Governance Macmillan, Australia
Meehan, C. and Sydenham, S. 2003 Civics Australia Series: Federal, State and Local Government MacMillan, Australia
Ryan, J. and Capra, S. 1999, Information Literacy Planning Extra Teaching Support (Book 1 and 2) CRA Publishing, Australia
Sydneham, S. 1994, Local Government in Australia MacMillan, Australia
Wheatley, N. and Rawlins, D. 1987, My Place Collins Dove, Melbourne, Australia