Knowledge is Power

We need to agree on a common pool of information, in order to have a sensible discussion about the future.
Without a common pool of information, there can be no meaningful Democracy.

Free Lesson Plans

The lesson plans below are designed to be used with students following any Politics or Citizenship course, as well as students on any General Studies course.

They are most suitable for 16-18 year old students, but are also very valuable for 1st and 2nd year undergraduate students.

It would be possible to use the materials for students aged 14-16, but they might require additional background and support, to provide them with suitable context before engaging with the content.


There are many problems with our political system, and with our politicians.

A quick example might be that we are trying to achieve too many things with just one vote every 5 years -

  1. select a good local representative,
  2. select a party which seems as though it could govern competently,
  3. select a manifesto of what we want to happen.

Taking the Party out of Politics is a new podcast from Talk Together, exploring WHY the problems are problematic, and HOW things could be different.

The Impossible Puzzles of Political Participation

Lesson Plan to accompany the 5 short podcasts on The Impossible Puzzles of Political Participation (example in the box, above).

This lesson (normally staged over two classes, with an opportunity for independent study between the two classes) invites students working in groups to explore why some of the structures of our political system lead to paradoxes, or impossible puzzles. After an introduction, students work independently on an impossible puzzle, then present their impossible puzzle to their group, and finally work as a group to try to work out how the impossible puzzle might be resolved.
The two-stage challenge (first to explain to their peers why something is a problem, and then to work with their peers to try to resolve the problem) means that students really engage with the basic political structures in the UK, in a truly meaningful way. Rather than expecting the students to be passive recipients of information, the students are empowered to work out - and then to try to resolve - the problems in their own way(s). This process not only means that they really understand how the systems are supposed to work, but also means that they have engaged with the structures in a way which is more memorable, and which will enable them to discuss the structures (and the shortcomings of the structures) in the future.

The lesson plan includes hand outs (or materials which can be displayed through a data projector), background summaries for the teacher, and links and QR codes for the students to use to access the podcasts.

What does my Local Authority do?

Lesson Plan to support the Democracy Classroom drive to engage students with the local elections in May 2022, by supporting understanding about what Local Authorites are responsible for.

This is a discussion worksheet, to engage students could involve students (anywhere from KS2 upwards) in ideas about local elections. The worksheet provides an introduction for students about what the Local Authority does, before leading into ways in which students could decide on an issue which is important to them (e.g. litter outside their school), and interact with their local authority (e.g. to write a letter to their local councillor, or even invite candidates to come to school to be questionned about the issue).

The initial discussion about what a Local Authority does, and about issues which might be important to the students, might only take one class, but the follow up into letter writing or inviting candidates for questionning could continue into later classes.


Worksheet to accompany the podcast on Protest is a way of raising issues.

This is a discussion worksheet, with an introduction for students to read before listening to the podcast. The podcast includes extracts from an interview with two XR UK coordinators, discussing why XR is using protest to try to raise awareness of the Climate Emergency. After listening, there are some questions for students to think about (perhaps to discuss in small groups, before conducting a whole class discussion).


Rather than concentrating on the problems, we need to focus on creating solutions.
We need to work together to use our electoral and political systems better.

Listen to Taking the Party out of Politics, and be ready to contribute your ideas about how things could be different.

No one is as clever as everyone, working and thinking together.


If you would like to learn more, to ask a question, to make a suggestion, or to contact us for any other reason, please email us.
© 2018 Talk Together