Lesson: Australian Government v. United States Government

Author: Marc Sheehan

Grade Level: Fourth

Purpose: This lesson will have the students compare and contrast the histories and governments of Australia and the United States.

Goal: The students will name and describe the system of government in Australia. The students will list similarities and differences between the Australian and American governments. The students will briefly describe the colonial and national origins of Australia and compare and contrast them to the origins of the United States. The students will also make the flag of Australia.

Lesson Design: The students will briefly review the colonial development of the United States and how the system of government was developed. Once the summary is done, the students will be divided into groups of three and visit the following Internet sites about Australia: the federal government's site (http://www.fed.gov.au), the Prime Minister's site (http://www.pm.gov.au), the Parliament's site (http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard), and the National Archives (http://www.archivenet.gov.au). After 30-40 minutes, the class will reconvene to share what they learned (e.g. how is the government set up, how did Australia develop as a colony and a nation, how is Australia like/not like the United States). The answers will be recorded onto worksheets. Once that process is done, the students will be given time to draw the flag of Australia.

Worksheet Sample Items:
Who colonized Australia? Who colonized the United States? How was the colonization process the same and how was it different in both countries?
What is the elected leader of Australia called? What is the elected leader of the United States called? Are there similarities and differences between the two positions?
What is the main legislative body in Australia called? What is the main legislative body in the United States called? How are both organizations the same and how are they different?
What other similarities exist between Australia and the United States?
What other differences exist between both nations?

Assessment: The worksheets will be checked for accuracy, neatness, and to see if the objectives were met. The worksheets will then be saved for the mini-books.

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