Subject guides and links

'New Palace of Westminster, 1851' Colour lithograph by E Walker after Charles Barry, 1851. © Palace of Westminster Collection 2010, WOA 742

overview


Great citizenship resources, organised by subject or theme.

Subject guides are designed to support teaching, lessons and learning in citizenship, modern studies and political literacy.


What's in a subject guide?

  • An overview of resources related to a theme or topic
    Find out which articles, games, video and other online content by Parliament's Education Service relate to key concepts and subjects.
  • Useful links and content from www.parliament.uk
    Selected content and resources for teachers and students from Parliament's main website.
  • A selection of good resources elsewhere on the web
    Useful sites we've found that also support the citizenship, modern studies and political literacy strands of the national curricula.

Watch this space for more subject guides in the future.


Elections

imageEngaging online resources that explore general elections, voting, electoral systems and the history and development of universal suffrage.

 

Making laws

Citizenship learning resources and interactive activities to help you explore how laws are made in Parliament.

 

Other useful links

imageMore links to free online resources supporting lessons and teaching in citizenship, modern studies and political literacy.

 

elections


Our best online elections resources - in one place.

Explore general elections, voting, electoral systems and the history and development of universal suffrage.


Our elections resources online

You can access a range of different types of content exploring elections and voting.


Parliament explained articles

Copyright: iStock images
Get the basics about elections and Parliament - in plain English. This section of our site is aimed at 11-16 year olds.


  • Popvox: A first time voter's guide - Explores the general election, the voting process and gives young voters useful tips for making up their minds about how to vote.
  • General elections and voting - A good basic overview of parliamentary elections.
  • Referendums - Looks at the place of referendums in our democracy and gives examples from UK history, including the recent Alternative Vote referendum.


Online games

MP for a weekBecoming an MP - it's what all the candidates are fighting for. MP For A Week is a multi-level game aimed at 11-16 year olds. The resource lets students step into the shoes of a backbench MP.

  • Play MP For A Week - Can you keep your party and voters happy? And what about the media? A special menu lets teachers jump straight to any individual activity or video in the game.
  • MP For A Week: Teachers' guide - Here's some help for teachers wanting to get the most out of this flexible resource.


Film and video

Comedian Jay Foreman presenting The General Election XplainedIn the award-winning film The General Election Xplained, comedian Jay Foreman explains the election process in a fun and accessible way, and takes a look at the outcome in 2010. Separate versions are available for key stage three and key stages four to five. There's also an eight minute cut if you're short of time.

You can also browse our video bank and find a number of short clips and films covering voting and elections. Suitable for 11-18 year olds.

 

Interactive whiteboard resources

Full of animations, quizzes and other activities, Elections and Voting is an engaging, interactive presentation tool to help students put the UK voting system into context.

 

Lesson plans

copyright: PA photosCheck out these lesson plans for exploring elections, voting and the history of the suffragette movement.

  • KS2: Suffragettes - Students are asked to think about the inequalities faced by women in the past.
  • KS3: Suffragettes - Students consider the methods and effectiveness of action undertaken by suffragettes.
  • KS3: People and Parliament - Two sessions look at how people become MPs and peers and the democratic process.
  • KS4: Suffragettes - Students create a balanced newspaper article discussing topics such as militant action and imprisonment.
  • KS4: Voting - Two sessions on voting rights of UK citizens today and how these developed over time.


 

From www.parliament.uk

Elections content for teachers and students from www.parliament.uk


Living Heritage resources

imageKS3 and KS4 citizenship teachers and students may find the Living Heritage collections of articles, timelines, podcasts and other sources useful for exploring voting rights and the development of universal suffrage.

  • Women and the vote - Get to grips with the suffragettes and the barriers they overcame to win the right to vote.
  • Chartist movement - Investigate the 19th-century struggle to extend the vote to everyone over 18.
  • The Reform Acts - Examine how representative government was extended in the 18th century.


Video and audio
copyright: iStock imagesThis podcast on the suffragette movement makes use of interviews with a number of players in Parliament.


House of Commons Library
Experts in the House of Commons Library frequently research and report on topics to support the work of MPs. Well researched, library papers are often a good place to find interesting data and credible secondary sources.


Art in Parliament
art in ParliamentElections and electioneering in the past have frequently provided artists with lively colourful subjects. Check out dozens of election-inspired paintings and works of art from Parliament's rich collection.

 

Best of the web

We've chosen some free online education resources useful for supporting teaching and learning in citizenship, modern studies and political literacy.


Electoral Commission
'Do Politics' is a resource hub with case studies, practical materials, advice and guidance for all practitioners - including youth workers and teachers - aiming to increase voter awareness and registration.


Electoral systems
Information about a range of voting systems, including first past the post and proportional systems. Resources include voting system summaries, animations, lesson plans, and a chance to explore the arguments for and against each one.


BBC Scotland: Modern Studies revision
Standard grade Bitesize and Higher Bitesize are the easy-to-use revision websites from BBC Scotland.


In the media: General Election 2010
The major media outlets provide analysis, stories and a few pretty powerful interactive resources. Interactive election maps are all the rage in 2010.

 

Parliament is not responsible for the content of external links.
 

making laws


Our best online resources for explaining how laws are made in the UK.

 

How laws are made: online resources


Parliament explained articles

Get the basics about Parliament and what goes on there with these introductions to the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the role of the government.


Resources for KS4 students

Map of UK (iStock photos)For older students who want more detail, these resources provide a gateway into learning about real-world UK lawmaking.

 

Online games


MP For A Week

MPs play a big part in making laws for the UK. MP For A Week is a multi-level game aimed at 11-16 year olds. It lets students step into the shoes of a backbench MP.

  • Play MP For A Week - Can you keep your party and voters happy? A special menu lets teachers jump straight to any individual activity or video in the game.
  • Teachers' guide - Help to get the most out of this flexible resource.


MyUK

Play MyUK at createmyuk.orgMyUK lets students take charge of Britain, choose and pass new laws, customise their country and create their very own version of the UK.

 

Snakes and Maces

Guide your bill through the different lawmaking stages in Parliament.


Lawmaker

Think you'd make a good lawmaker? Choose from five bills, each with their own challenges and problems.

 

Film and video 

Frank DoranYou can browse our video bank and find a number of short film clips. Suitable for 11-18 year olds.

 

Interactive activities


Interactive whiteboard resources

Full of animations, quizzes and other activities, these interactive presentation tools will help students understand how laws are made.


Houses of History timeline
Houses of History tells the fascinating story of the Westminster Parliament, including many of the most important and influential laws passed by its members.

 

Lesson plans

A collection of resources for teaching in the classroom about lawmaking and the roles of Parliament and government.

  • KS3: DIY Laws - A two-part lesson where students explore the process of a bill going through Parliament.
  • KS4: Parliament and Government - Students explore the differences between the two institutions.
  • KS4: How laws are made - Following on from Parliament and government students get to explore in more detail the law making process.

 

From parliament.uk

There are a range of resources across www.parliament.uk for finding out about lawmaking.


How lawmaking works

A selection of articles and explanations about how laws are made. Suitable for older students and those who want to know what goes on in a bit more detail.

  • Making laws - A good overview of how law making works
  • The passage of a bill (flash) - Animated diagram of how a bill moves through the Houses of Parliament to become a law.


Living Heritage resources
History-focused articles showing how Parliament and our system of lawmaking developed.

  • The Commons as lawmakers - An overview of the birth of Parliament and how the House of Commons developed its role in lawmaking.

 

Best of the web

Free online education resources useful for supporting teaching and learning in citizenship, modern studies and political literacy.


Channel 4 education
A selection of fun articles, games and quizzes about lawmaking – the process and the concept including why we need laws, rights and responsibilities and emergency laws.


BBC: Democracy Live
The BBC Democracy Live website has a large pool of resources about what's happening in Parliament and how laws are made in each of the UK legislatures and assemblies.


National Assembly for Wales
A guide to how laws are made in the Welsh National Assembly.


Nort
hern Ireland Assembly education resources
A good set of resources about the work of the Northern Ireland Assembly, including legislation and lawmaking. 


Scottish Parliament

An easy-to-read guide about how the Parliament in Edinburgh works, including how laws are made.


Open University modules

Online modules covering the theory of rulemaking, as well as lawmaking in Parliament. Suitable for teachers and older students.


Parliament is not responsible for the content of external links.   
  

other links


More links to free online resources supporting lessons and teaching in citizenship, modern studies and political literacy.


Organisations


Useful resources for teaching citizenship

 

Devolved parliaments and assemblies


Curriculum links

 

More subject links


Westminster Parliament

  • BBC: Westminster Guide - The BBC College of Journalism's guide to Westminster is a fantastic introduction to the work of Parliament that includes video clips and useful links. 


Devolution

  • BBC: A brief history of devolution - This comprehensive guide introduces BBC journalists to how power was passed from the Westminster Parliament to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

 

Parliament is not responsible for the content of external links.
 

Printed resources

View our range of free printed resources for key stages 2 to 4, available in English and Welsh to download from our website or order for your students.

Booking and enquiries

Education Service
Houses of Parliament
London SW1A 2TT
020 7219 4496
education@parliament.uk

Updates for teachers