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Democracy in the Classroom: A Parliamentary Committee Simulation

Step Seven: Post-simulation Activities and Assessment

  1. Group presentations on current parliamentary committees
  2. Class case study of a bill in committee stage
  3. Letter writing
  4. Guest speaker
  5. Essay or persuasive speech
  6. Reflecting on the simulation
  7. Assessing the performance

If students wish to study the work of parliamentary committees further after the simulation, select any of the assignments or activities listed below.

Group presentations on current parliamentary committees

Time required: research time plus one class period for presentations

Direct students to conduct research and then brief one another on the work of current committees. Assign pairs or small groups of students to research one Senate or House of Commons Committee. They should report on the balance of membership in the committee, the issues the committee has been investigating in the most recent session and the bills that the committee has examined and reported on.

Class case study of a bill in committee stage

Time required: periodic class time over a period of weeks or months

As a class, follow the progress of a bill through the committee stage of the Senate or House of Commons. Find a schedule of upcoming meetings on the ParlVU or CPAC websites (see teacher resources). Select a committee and issue that might be of interest to students. Watch the committee hear and question witnesses, and have students discuss the merits and drawbacks of the bill. Return to watch clause-by-clause examination of the bill. Where it is not possible to watch streamed or recorded video of the committee meeting, there will also be a transcript of proceedings on that committee’s website.

Letter writing

Time required: 30 minutes direct instruction, followed by a written assignment

Invite students to write a letter or email to parliamentarians who are members of a committee that is studying an issue of interest and importance to the students. Class time may also be devoted to peer-review of the letters before they are sent. Share any responses that students receive to their letters.

Guest speaker

Time required: 20 minutes to prepare questions for the guest speaker, and one class period for the presentation

Invite a Senator or Member of Parliament to class to discuss his or her job, including committee responsibilities.

Essay or persuasive speech

Time required: class time to assist students in formulating and structuring arguments

Prepare an essay or speech on the value of parliamentary committees to Canadian government and democracy.

Essays and speeches are written at home. You may also include class time to present speeches or to peer review essays.

Reflecting on the simulation

Reflecting on the lessons learned through participation in the simulation (for modified version click here)

Assessing the performance

An assessment rubric for student and teacher use to assess student preparation, understanding and role portrayal

Simulation Setup Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7