Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

On the democracy road

Learning Outcomes | Teaching and Learning | Assessment and Evaluation | Printing Version

Writers: Sylvia Insley and Cheryl Hardie
Send feedback about this resource
Overview This unit is written for secondary English language learners to develop their reading and inquiry skills as a scaffold to NZ Curriculum learning area achievement objectives. It focuses on developing topic-specific vocabulary, reading for information and questioning skills.

Learning Outcomes

(What do my students need to learn?)

What are my students’ current strengths and learning needs?

Use previous reading assessments (e.g. asTTle or PAT scores, ESOL unit standard assessments, PROBE assessments, vocabulary levels tests, formative assessments) alongside The English Language Learning Progressions (ELLP) reading matrix to establish the level at which students are working and their current strengths and needs. The unit includes activities designed to ascertain what learners already know about the topic.

Curriculum Links Assessment Links
Learning area: English (ESOL)

Students are formatively and summatively assessed using a short answer vocabulary and knowledge test.

Reading skills could be linked to

Unit standard 27983: Read and understand simple texts on familiar topics (expired)

Focus: Written language 

English: Reading

AO L3:


Show a developing understanding of ideas within, across and beyond texts

English Language Learning Progressions:

Students will be working at ELLP stage 2.

English Language Intensive Programme:

The language features and text complexity focused on relate most closely to ELIP stage 2.

Learning area achievement objectives:

Social Sciences: Identity, Culture and Organisation

AO L3 : Understand how groups make and implement rules and laws

Also some basic understandings preparatory to:
AO L5: Understand how systems of government operate


Key Competencies: all five with particular emphasis on:

Using language, symbols and text: to ask questions and use ICT to access, interpret and record written information

Thinking: to actively seek knowledge and develop understanding and reflect on their own learning


Specific learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • understand some basic facts about the NZ system of government
  • identify the political parties in NZ
  • identify current leaders in key positions in NZ
  • know how to vote in NZ.
Language learning outcomes

Key vocabulary:

democracy, parliament, the government, political parties, Members of Parliament (MPs), opposition, to vote, a vote, a polling booth, election day, an election / to elect, a ballot box, to represent, an electorate, a list MP, a general election, a coalition government, the Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition


understanding keyword definitions reading for information

identifying closed and open questions

asking open questions to access information

using question forms

Suggested Duration 2-3 weeks

Teaching and Learning

(What do I need to know and do?)

Teacher background reading:

Effective teaching in social studies

Vote! The NZ Electoral System

Select from, adapt and supplement the teaching and learning tasks below to meet your students’ identified learning needs.

Learning task 1

Learning task 2

Learning task 3

Assessment and Evaluation

(What is the impact of my teaching and learning?)

To demonstrate understanding of key vocabulary and basic facts about the NZ Government, students could complete the following formative assessment tasks.

Formative Assessment Task 1

Students complete the structured overview (Word 672KB) to assess their understanding of key vocabulary. Students must not use class notes or dictionaries.

Formative Assessment Task 2

Students complete the cloze exercise (Word 23KB) about the NZ Government. Students must not use class notes or dictionaries.

After these formative assessments, students should check their answers using class notes and/or dictionaries to self-assess and identify areas they need more help in. Teachers can use students’ responses in formative assessment to identify where further teaching and learning are required and to provide specific feedback.

To provide an opportunity for students to transfer their learning to written and oral language, students could write or present their own information report about the NZ government and write or present a procedural text about how to vote or how a law is made.

Students who need increased challenge could work in groups to find out about the system of government in their own countries and compare and contrast this with the NZ system. This could be summarized in a Venn diagram and/or communicated to the class as an oral presentation.

Having identified evidence of students’ learning progress, reflect on how effective the chosen teaching approaches and strategies have been. Plan to build on what worked well and to address any less effective areas.

Summative Assessment

When students are ready, they can be summatively assessed by completing the short answer test (Word 39KB) . Question 2 could be adapted to make it more specific and relevant to the political context at the time of the assessment, for example, by using the names and and/or photographs of current political leaders for students to match with party names.

Note that answers to Question 2 in the assessment schedule (Word 47KB) need to be inserted for the current political situation in NZ.

Printing this unit:

If you are not able to access the zipped files, please download the following individual files:

Published on: 09 Jan 2018