MP For A Week

MP For A Week

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Overview

'The MP For A Week game is a great way to learn about the core work of a local MP.'
                                                    --Ed Balls MP


Play MP For A Week Winner of four major digital awards

MP For A Week drops you into the shoes of a backbench MP. And the job – as they say – is what you make of it.

Will you debate the government's controversial Homework Bill or help Mrs Billingsley sort her rubbish collection? Want to hear what a climate change lobbyist has to say, or ask the Environment Minister about electric cars? Vote on a video game ban, or hold a constituency surgery?

It's up to you, but to survive the week you'll need to keep your voters and party happy.

 

Awards for MP For A Week

 

Watch the trailer

The video trailer for MP For A Week is also available on YouTube for you to embed on your own site or blog.

 

Features

Key features

  • Age range - primarily aimed at 11-16 year olds
  • Curriculum - supports the political literacy strands within the UK curricula
  • Activities - eight types: votes, questions, debates, speech editing, press conferences, messages and meetings
  • Differentiation – three levels of difficulty, each with unique content
  • Re-playability – activities drawn from a large bank of content, allowing you to hone your skills over and over
  • Feedback - performance updates throughout the game
  • Help and support - real MPs explain how Parliament works and give players game tips throughout
  • Teacher controls – a special menu lets you jump straight to any individual game activity or video
  • Full-screen mode – ideal for use on interactive whiteboards or classroom projectors
  • Technology - uses version 10 or above of the free Flash plug-in (link opens in new window)

 

Play it now

 

Game guide

Getting started


Aim of the game
You’re a backbench MP. Your task is to:

  • represent your constituents (not just those people who voted you in, but all those who voted for someone else or didn’t vote at all)
  • check the work of the government
  • decide on new laws

Like most MPs, you also belong to a political party. Your party will expect you to hold (most of) the same views as they do – and a special MP called the party whip will encourage you to agree with the ‘party line’.

But the decisions can be difficult. You’ll need to consider carefully those situations where your party, your constituents or you don't see eye-to-eye.

Your aim in the game is to get to the end of the week without your party or voter support dropping too low.

You’ll also need to keep an eye on your media profile because the TV, radio and internet are some of the best ways to get your message across.


Set-up screens
Just like a real MP, there are a few things you’ll need to decide before you get to Parliament. Luckily for you, unlike a real MP, the first set-up screen in the game lets you decide the level of difficulty for the week ahead.

  • Tip: First time MP? Choose ‘easy’ to get the hang of the game.

On the second set-up screen, players can add their name and gender and most importantly, take a side: governing party or opposition party.

  • Tip: To maximise the amount of game play, once you've finished a level with one party, try the other side next time.

Next, players get to choose a location for their constituency – this is the area of the UK that you represent.

  • Tip: Think about how the location of your constituency might affect the game.

MPs all have personal interests. The next set-up screen lets you choose yours.

Finally, there's a reminder of the aim of the game. When you're ready, click 'Start' to begin the week.


The main game screen
The game starts on Monday morning in Parliament and it’s now up to you to make the most of the week.

The current day and time are displayed at the bottom left of the screen. The blue figure travels along the bars at the bottom to show your progress through the day. The bars fill up to show your current score after you complete activities.

The phone at the bottom right of the screen is your gateway to all activities in the game. Click on it to open the phone menu. From here you can check your messages and see what’s going on. You'll also receive calls on the phone from time to time. The number next to each menu item shows how many activities are currently available. You can choose any activities that are available with a single click.

  • Tip: Even the most hard-working MPs have more to do than can fit in the week, so choose your activities carefully.

 

Choose your activities

You're in control... most of the time. Choose which activities you want to attempt from the phone menu.

Messages
Click 'Pick up messages' from the phone menu to check your inbox.

Constituents, other MPs, ministers, businesses, charities, journalists... They’re all eager to talk to you, and all their messages will appear in your inbox. Choose a message to answer and click ‘reply’. This takes you from the inbox to the reply screen.

On the reply screen you can read the full message and decide the best response from the options available. Cycle through the options using the arrows on the screen.

Sometimes there’s only one response, but usually there’s two, three or maybe more. Think about what impact your response will have on your scores: party reputation, voter support and media profile. You may have to make a tough choice. Choose one of the replies, then hit ‘Send’.

  • Tip: You can get back to the inbox screen from the reply screen by clicking the button marked 'Messages'.


Meetings and events
Click 'Meetings and events' from the phone menu to see all of your meeting requests.

MPs are always on the move and attend a huge variety of meetings and events. These can be in Parliament or the constituency. All the requests you receive appear in the meetings list. The length and location of each meeting is also shown.

Click a meeting to read more information that will help you decide whether to attend or not. There are two buttons at the bottom: 'Accept' or 'Decline'. Consider how your choice will affect your scores, and also how much time it takes up.

  • Tip: Travelling between Parliament and your constituency takes up precious time, so think about how you can reduce the number of trips.

 

Speeches and debates
Click 'Attend a debate' from the phone menu to see the three topics scheduled for debate this week.

The House of Commons chamber is the main place for MPs to discuss important issues, get their views heard and attempt to persuade others. First, you must choose a debate to attend. There are three topics available over the course of the week. Click one of the three images to make your choice.

  • Tip: Carefully read the description for the debate you are going to choose. This will help you write your speech.

Next, you are taken to the speech editor where you put together your speech from a selection of clips. In this activity, a finished speech has five main points: an opening, three supporting points in the middle and a closing.

You can read and listen to each of the available clips and then decide which are the most appropriate. Choose five of the speech clips from those available at the top of the screen by dragging each clip into position at the bottom. Remind yourself of the topic for the debate by clicking on the button marked ‘i’.

  • Tip: Start with the clips marked ‘Opening’ and ‘Closing’ and choose a good start and end to your speech. Then you’ll have less to choose from when you pick your three middle points.
  • Tip: Good speeches are clear, entertaining and punchy. Avoid overly long sentences, jargon and confusing clips. Make sure all your points support the argument you are trying to make. Don’t forget you can check what argument you’ve been asked to make by clicking the button marked ‘i’.

Once you have five clips in place at the bottom, click the play button to hear your speech in full. Not happy with your speech? Remove clips by dragging them to the bin on the right, and re-arrange the others and add new ones simply by dragging. Happy with your speech? Click ‘Go to chamber’.

The final part of the activity is set in the House of Commons chamber. The debate is about to begin and you need to ‘catch the Speaker’s eye’ so that he can call you to make your speech.

This is a fun mini-game that gives you the chance to boost your speech score. If you like, you can skip it by clicking ‘Leave the chamber’. Otherwise, click ‘Start game’ and you’ll have just less than a minute to move your mouse from side-to-side as quickly as possible over the blue highlights as they move around the screen. Your progress is shown at the top right and the time remaining at the top left.

  • Tip: The faster you move your mouse pointer inside the blue highlights, the better your performance.

 

Committee inquiry
Click 'Committee inquiry' from the phone menu to see the three inquiries scheduled this week.

Many backbench MPs are members of select committees that check up on the work of the government. One way they do this is by conducting an inquiry. There are three inquiries in the game to choose from during the week. Choose one of the three topics available by clicking 'Start inquiry'.

Your next job is to choose witnesses that will give you their opinions (evidence) on that topic. Your phone on the left side of the screen shows a selection of possible witnesses.

You can see the name, job title, picture and description for each person. Cycle through them using the arrows on either side of the picture. Choose six of these to be witnesses by dragging them on to the clipboard on the right, or by clicking the ‘Choose’ button.

  • Tip: You’re looking for witnesses that will tell you as much as possible about the topic you have chosen. You need to collect a wide range of views and good quality evidence in order to write a good report on the topic.

Not happy with your witness selection? You can drag a witness away from the clipboard, or select the witness and then click ‘Remove’.

Once you’re happy, click ‘Gather evidence’. This is the moment of truth. The bars will reveal whether you really did get a wide range of views and good quality evidence. Finish off by clicking ‘Publish report’ to find out what impact your report made.

  • Tip: For more information about select committee inquiries, click the button marked ‘?’ in this activity to hear from MPs themselves.

 

Daily survival report
Click 'Daily survival report' from the phone menu to see a cartoon that shows how you're doing.

Every lunchtime your local newspaper prints a new cartoon that takes a light-hearted look at how you’re doing. This daily survival report is a good way to check on your overall score.

 

Parliament video hints
Click 'Parliament video hints' from the phone menu to hear tips and guidance from real MPs.

You can click the buttons marked ‘?’ during any part of the game to listen to real MPs explaining a particular activity. This option allows you to view all of the videos from around the game in one place.

 

Travel
Click 'Travel to Parliament/constituency' from the phone menu to change location.

An MP's time is split between the constituency (the area of the UK that the MP represents) and Parliament (in Westminster, London). Remember, though, that travel isn’t instantaneous.

Sometimes you will travel automatically. This happens when you choose an activity that requires you to be in a different location.

For example, votes, debates, committee inquiries and questions always take place in Parliament and you’ll be moved there automatically if you choose one of these activities while in the constituency.

  • Tip: You can check your current location by looking at the images on the main screen. These either show a behind-the-scenes tour of some of the buildings in Parliament or a journey along your constituency street.

 

Extra activities
You don't always get to choose when things happen. Some activities are only available at certain times. Watch out for a phone call to alert you to these.

Questions
An important part of being an MP is the ability to ask questions to government ministers in the House of Commons chamber.

You may have heard of Prime Minister's Questions (which takes place on a Wednesday) as it often makes the news headlines. But there are question sessions nearly every day in the House of Commons.

Government ministers take it in turns to answer these questions from other MPs. Watch out in the game for your chance to ask ministers, and even the Prime Minister, a question. It's a good chance to raise a local issue or check up on the work of the government.

Once in the question activity, simply look through the options and choose one of the questions to ask. There are notes to help you on the left. Once you have chosen a question, you are transported to the House of Commons chamber to ask your question to the minister, and get feedback on your performance.

  • Tip: If you’re a backbench MP on the government side, you might want to be careful that you don't upset the minister with your question, as your party might not be very pleased! If you're a backbench MP on the opposition side, the more tricky your question for the minister, the happier you'll make your party. But MPs on both sides need to tread carefully: there are strict rules on the types of question that can be asked: no personal opinions and stick to the facts. Also, don't waste your chance to ask a question with something obvious!

 

Voting in the House of Commons
A vote is held when a decision needs to be made in the House of Commons chamber. These votes are not scheduled in advance, so be prepared to drop what you’re doing and run to the chamber – you can’t vote without being there in person.

Your party whip will let you know about upcoming votes. The whip will also say how important it is that you should attend and whether you're expected to vote a particular way. Whether you choose to follow his or her advice is up to you...

In the game, votes are always held on ideas for a new law. An idea for a new law is called a bill and MPs are asked to vote on whether the bill should become an Act of Parliament and therefore a law.

If you have decided to attend a vote, the choice is simple: ‘aye’ (meaning yes, I agree) or ‘no’. There are two rooms (called lobbies) outside the Commons chamber and you must choose which door to go through by clicking on it. If more MPs vote 'aye' than 'no', the bill is passed. But if more MPs vote 'no' than 'aye', the bill fails. In the game, there are some notes on the voting screen to help you make a decision.

  • Tip: Most bills that are voted on are proposed by the government. So make sure you listen to the whip and read the notes to check how your party expects you to vote and to see what your constituents think.

 

Press conference
Be prepared at any point during the week to be asked to attend a press conference. The aim in this mini-game is to click on the journalists' speech bubbles that match the image at the bottom of the screen.

This image shows the message you want to get across. Keep clicking the matching speech bubble until the journalist sits down, or the bottom image changes. Your progress is shown in the top right and the time remaining in the top left.

 

Getting feedback

After you complete an activity you’ll see a feedback screen that displays:

  • your current scores: party reputation, voter support and media profile
  • arrows next to your scores showing how they were affected by the last activity
  • feedback on your last activity.

Click 'Replay' to animate the arrows again. Click 'Continue' to return to the main screen.

You can click on any of the completed bars at the bottom of the main screen to review your score at different points during the day and how it changed. The colour shows how well you're doing overall: green and blue is good, red is bad.

If you do especially well, or badly, you'll hear about it from the party whip...

Good luck!

 

Teachers

'MP For A Week is brilliant and most definitely the best internet resource for Citizenship out there.'

                               --Billy Crombie, education consultant


MP For A Week is a game for students, designed for use in the classroom and at home. You'll find these teaching notes helpful for getting the most out of the resource.


Educational aims

MP For A Week aims to help 11-16 year olds develop their political literacy, though it’s suitable for older students as well. The game has been designed with teachers in mind, and we hope you will find it an engaging and useful resource that forms the useful basis for discussing the democratic process.


Overall learning objectives

  • MPs represent their constituents in Parliament
  • Parliament checks the work of the government
  • Parliament makes new laws
  • Parliament and government are different


Specific learning objectives

  • An MP's time is split between Parliament and the constituency
  • MPs represent their constituents and can help deal with their issues and raise their concerns in Parliament and with the government
  • MPs are (usually) members of a political party
  • How an MP's decisions impact on party reputation, voter support and media profile
  • MPs face difficult decisions when there are conflicts between local issues and their party policies, or disagreements between groups of people in their constituency
  • The role of ministers, whips, journalists and lobbyists in the political process
  • The variety of work an MP undertakes on a daily basis, including: debating topical issues and new laws, voting on new laws, using select committees to scrutinise the work of the government, asking questions to government ministers, holding press conferences, being lobbied, attending meetings and events, and responding to messages


Skills

  • Decision making and judgment
  • Prioritisation
  • Critical thinking
  • Curriculum links

 

England > Key stage 3 > Citizenship

Key concepts

  • 1.1d Understanding and exploring the roles of citizens and Parliament in holding government and those in power to account
  • 1.2c Investigating ways in which rights can compete and conflict, and understanding that hard decisions have to be made to try to balance these

Key processes

  • 2.1a Engage with and reflect on different ideas, opinions, beliefs and values when exploring topical and controversial issues and problems
    Range and content
  • 3c Key features of parliamentary democracy and government in the constituent parts of the UK and at local level, including voting and elections
  • 3e Actions that individuals, groups and organisations can take to influence decisions affecting communities and the environment

 

Northern Ireland > Key stage 3 > Learning for life and work > Local and global citizenship

Key concepts
Democracy and active participation

  • Investigate the basic characteristics of democracy
  • Investigate various ways to participate in school and society
  • Investigate why rules and laws are needed, how they are enforced and how breaches of the law affect the community
  • Investigate an issue from a range of viewpoints and suggest action that might be taken to improve or resolve the situation

Learning outcomes

  • Show deeper understanding by thinking critically and flexibly, exploring problems and making informed decisions
  • Demonstrate self management by working systematically, persisting with tasks, evaluating and improving own performance

Thinking skills and personal capabilities

  • Managing information
  • Thinking, problem-solving and decision-making
  • Being creative
  • Working with others
  • Self management

 

Wales > Personal and social education (PSE) framework for 7-19 year olds > Key stage 3

Skills
Developing thinking, developing communication, working with others

  • Identify and assess bias and reliability, e.g. evaluate messages from the media
  • Consider others’ views to inform opinions and make informed decisions and choices effectively
  • Express opinions clearly and justify a personal standpoint*
  • Take part in debates and vote on issues*
  • Work both independently and cooperatively

Range
Active citizenship, sustainable development and global citizenship

  • The principles of democracy in Wales, the UK and the EU
  • How representatives are elected and understand their roles
  • How young people can have their views listened to and influence decision-making
  • Topical local and global issues
  • How conflict can arise from different views about global issues and be aware of the role of pressure groups.

* when game is used to facilitate classroom activities.

Scotland > 5 to 14 curriculum > Environmental studies > People in society > Levels D and E

Conflict and decision making in society

  • Developing an understanding of conflict and decision-making processes including the influence of the media
  • Level C: Describe ways people can participate in the decision-making process in various contexts - in school, work, community identify the main features of an election at local and national level, e.g. voters, campaigning, candidates, ballot box, etc.
  • Level D: Describe simply how representatives are chosen and the types of work they do, e.g. local councillors, members of Scottish, British and European Parliaments describe the ways in which the media can affect personal decision making
  • Level E: Identify the ways that citizens can participate in decision making through elections and pressure groups at local, national and international level; give examples of the ways in which local and national government make decisions that affect people's lives
  • Level F: Explain the ways in which campaigns, media and pressure group activities influence public opinion; [describe some of the main policies of political parties; describe ways of resolving selected national and international disputes]

 

Scotland > Curriculum for excellence > Social studies > Experiences and outcomes > Third and fourth levels (S1-S3)

People in society, economy and business

  • I can evaluate the role of the media in a democracy, assess its importance in informing and influencing citizens, and explain decisions made by those in power (SOC 4-17b)
  • I understand the arrangements for political decision making at different levels and the factors which shape these arrangements (SOC 3-18a)
  • I can evaluate the impact which decision making bodies have on the lives of people in Scotland or elsewhere (SOC 4-18a)
  • I can debate the reasons why some people participate less than others in the electoral process and can express informed views about the importance of participating in a democracy (SOC 4-18b)

 

Ways to use the game

In MP for a Week the player is in control. They can choose to take part in debates, vote on new laws and choose witnesses for committee inquiries. They’ll have to decide how to respond to lobbyists, ministers and the press, and how to represent their own constituents in Parliament.

There are several ways the game can be used:

  • By a student working individually as homework
    This could be set as an introduction before - or a summary after - a political literacy lesson or series of lessons.
  • As a whole-class activity on an interactive whiteboard or classroom projector
    Either the teacher takes the lead or students are invited to control the game at various points. In both cases the teacher must facilitate the class in discussing the various options and making group decisions.
  • As a whole-class activity on an interactive whiteboard or classroom projector using the special teaching mode
    Click 'Teacher controls' on the opening screen of the game to load a special menu that gives access to the full bank of content available and allows immediate play-out of a particular activity. Simply choose an activity type and then scroll to find the activity of your choice. All activities from all three levels are available. For example, this is a great way to access a particular speech-making activity or run through a series of class votes.
  • By individual students or in small groups during a lesson
    Pairs of students playing the same game on one computer will allow them to discuss and debate the options.
  • By a student in their own time


Click the 'full screen' button in the top right of the game to maximise the display area when using a classroom projector or interactive whiteboard. To exit full screen mode, press the escape button on your keyboard.

The game has been designed so that less experienced gamers and less confident readers are not disadvantaged. The only time-critical elements of the game are within the press conference and debate mini-games.

Neither of these activities affect the player's score dramatically. Also note that between activities, the clock does slowly tick and players will miss an activity slot if the game remains inactive for long enough. To avoid this, simply click the phone to bring up the activity menu and the game will pause.

Note that game progress cannot be saved. Navigating away from the game will lose your settings and you will need to start again.

 

Game settings

Note that comprehensive set-up instructions are found in the game guide; the section below provides extra information of use to teachers.

In game mode (as opposed to accessing the content through the teachers controls), there are several settings screens at the start of the game.

Choose a level: easy, medium or hard
The game is fully differentiated with three levels of unique content. Players progressing through the game will find that the options in ‘easy’ are fairly simple; in ‘medium’ there are less choices that are obviously wrong; and in ‘hard’ there are more dilemmas between the choices presented, requiring more critical thinking. Often in ‘hard’ there is no right answer, only different consequences to the player’s responses.

Take a side: government or opposition
Prior knowledge of the terms ‘government’, ‘opposition’ and 'backbenchers' would be useful here. Our 'Introduction to Parliament' whiteboard resource provides a good summary. Alternatively, to introduce these terms or to reinforce them at this point in the game, click the help button (marked ‘?’) to hear explanations from MPs themselves.

You may want to highlight to your students that ministers are part of the government but backbenchers are not. This is a common misunderstanding, but is important here because a player choosing the governing side is a backbencher in the governing party rather than a government minister. Similarly, a player choosing the opposition side is a backbencher in the opposition party rather than a shadow minister.

Also note that in our fictional game-world:

  • No mention is made of specific political parties.
  • Only two parties (governing and opposing) are referred to, and a distinction between the 'Official Opposition' (the second largest party in the Commons) and the smaller opposition parties is not made.
  • Independent MPs (those with no party) are referred to in the game, but are not dealt with specifically.
  • Political ideologies (the political left and right) are ignored to keep the resource simple and impartial.


Game activities

Note that comprehensive activity instructions are found in the game guide; the section below provides extra information of use to teachers.

Messages, meetings and events

Learning objectives

  • MPs receive a large quantity of correspondence and requests for meetings on a range of subjects from constituents and other groups
  • Good prioritisation skills: identifying what to deal with and what to delegate
  • The need to be polite and professional
  • How individuals, groups and organisations influence decisions
  • The roles of different people in Parliament
  • Correspondence is a valuable way to judge what's important to your constituents (but not the only way)
  • Recognising the types of issue MPs face (national and local)
  • Understanding what MPs have at their disposal for dealing with issues (for example: referring to local council, taking up with government department, tabling an early day motion (EDM), asking a Parliamentary question)
  • An MP's surgery is where constituents can meet their representative to get issues heard and possibly raised. It is core to the MP's work

Notes

  • Some of the messages are also used to introduce terms such as lobbying, early day motions, petitions and the press gallery.
  • To avoid this game being a diary-planning exercise, there are no set times associated with each meeting, and requests for meetings never ‘expire’. They remain in the list until they are accepted or declined.

Extension ideas

  • Literacy: students draft their own letters to MPs, or pretend to be MPs responding to constituents.

 

Speeches and debates

Learning objectives

  • Speeches during debates in the House of Commons chamber are a way of raising issues, representing interests (such as industry, constituents, campaign groups), and explaining, supporting or attacking policies
  • What makes a good speech
  • The impact that a speech can have

Notes

  • In harder levels, there are progressively more speech clips to choose from. In ‘easy’, it’s all about making a good speech, and the bad clips are more obvious. In ‘hard’, there are sometimes enough clips to allow the player to decide which side of the debate they sit on – so points from both sides of the argument are available. And of course, their score will reflect what they chose to argue.

Extension ideas

  • This activity is a good opportunity to explore speech making in more detail. What makes a good speech? Click the button marked ‘?’ in the speeches activity to reveal video hints from MPs themselves. Here are some more speech tips: get to the point quickly, employ the use of rhetoric and imagery, and be clear about your arguments.
  • We intend in the near future to upload worksheets containing transcripts from all of the speech activities. These can be used in the classroom either as part of the game or as an extension activity.
  • A further extension is to set students the task of writing their own speech from scratch on a topic using some of the tips above.

 

Select committee inquiry

Learning objectives

  • How MPs in Parliament check the work of the government
  • Comprehension and analytical skills to choose a selection of experts that provide a wide range of good quality evidence
  • Appreciating that there are many sides to an argument, that it is important to consider them all, and to make informed decisions based on the evidence

Notes

  • Select committees are an important part of holding the government to account. During a select committee inquiry, MPs ask a range of experts (called witnesses) to give evidence about the topic under investigation. The MPs then compile a report with recommendations to the government. The government must respond. A well-written report with good quality evidence from a range of witnesses can influence government policy.

Extension ideas

  • Either choose one of the committee inquiries from the game, think of your own or ask students to come up with a new topic.
  • Brainstorm a list of experts that could be called as witnesses. Here's a check-list of the type of witnesses that are often used: non-governmental organisations, academics (from universities or think tanks), ‘users’ (i.e. members of the public that are affected), international analogue (people from abroad with experience of a similar policy in another country or context), business and industry representatives, practitioners or service providers (e.g. nurses, doctors, teachers), campaign co-ordinators, unions, government ministers, civil servants, and even celebrities (for media impact).
  • Students discuss the experts and choose a shortlist of witnesses. Remember that you want a wide range of good quality views.
    Split students into groups, each representing one of the witnesses. In their groups, students brainstorm and/or research the possible evidence that the witness might want to make to the committee.
  • Groups present their evidence to each other.

 

Questions

Aims

  • Question Time sessions are a way of checking the work of the government
  • A good question must follow the rules and ask to obtain information or press for action
  • Government backbenchers will usually support the government minister and opposition backbenchers often attack

Notes

  • The questions activity can be further illustrated by watching the latest Prime Minister’s Question Time.
  • It's worth noting that Prime Minister's Question Time is not very representative of other departmental question sessions because it is often a chance for heated exchanges between the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition. Another key difference is that the Prime Minister does not know what the questions will be in advance. A minister in a standard departmental Question Time is aware of the questions and has time to prepare.

 

Voting

Learning objectives

  • MPs vote during debates to make decisions in a democratic way
    MPs vote either 'Aye' (yes) or 'No'. MPs can also choose not to vote
  • Each party has special MPs called whips that explain the party's position on the vote
  • A 'three-line whip' is a vote where the whip expects you to vote with the party
  • A 'free vote' is one where the whip does not try to control which way you vote
  • Some votes present difficult decisions for MPs where there are disagreements between the MP's party, constituents and even their own personal views

Notes

  • Votes are called 'divisions' because the MPs in the chamber physically divide by walking to one of two rooms called 'division lobbies' either side of the chamber. One side is for MPs who are voting 'Aye' (yes) and the other for 'No'. MPs on each side are appointed as tellers. They count the MPs through the lobbies and deliver the result to the Speaker.
  • In the game, votes are always held on whether a bill should proceed to the next stage in becoming a law. In reality, votes can also be held on whether there should be any changes (amendments) made to a law, and simply on expressing an opinion.

Extension ideas

  • Conduct your own House of Commons divisions by re-creating the chamber in your classroom and appointing tellers to count the students as they walk to either the 'Aye' or 'No' side of the room. If you need inspiration for vote topics, use the 'Teachers controls' on the opening screen of the game to access a list of votes.

 

Press conference

Learning objectives

  • Politicians can use the media to get their message across
  • Dealing with the media can be tricky

Notes

  • This activity is a fun mini-game. It can also be used as a basis to discuss the interesting dynamic between politicians and journalists. Each has something the other wants: information on one side, and a national or local platform on the other. Gaining good publicity in the local constituency or nationally is important for an MP, but dealing with the press can be tricky as good reporting demands that journalists take a critical view.

 

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Booking and enquiries

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

Updates for teachers

An award-winning game!