EFL / ESL Lesson Plan: Mock Election
I often teach groups visiting The UK about different aspects of British culture. The political system is central to any country's culture. This dynamic group activity gets students communicating in English whilst learning about the electoral system of the country they are studying in or that their teacher is from. The lesson takes about 90 minutes though you should spend one or two lessons before learning about the electoral system in your country, government and the issues they're responsible for such as health, education and the environment.
This lesson plan is based on the British electoral system but can be adapted for other countries.
At the start of the lesson divide the class into small groups of 3-5. Explain that they are each a party running in an election. List the following tasks on the board and go through them giving any explanations necessary.
- Choose a party name
- Choose a candidate
- Write a manifesto
- Write a speech for the candidate
Teach 'manifesto' and give some examples of things that a party might promise in their manifesto. Brainstorm areas that government are responsible for e.g.: health, environment, education, transport, taxes, the economy, immigration...
Explain they should write what they promise to do about these areas in their manifesto which should be written neatly on one side of A4.
Explain that the candidate will make a 3-minute speech to the rest of the class telling them why they should be elected. They should give a persuasive speech and be prepared to answer questions from voters. You could provide phrases for students to use in their speeches, e.g.:
- Good morning/afternoon I'm .... From the ... party.
- If elected I will ...
- An important issue today is ... . I will address this by ... .
- I promise I will ...
- Thank you for listening today. I hope I can count on your vote.
You may want to move onto this after groups have completed the other tasks.
Circulate as groups are completing the tasks making sure they are making progress and giving help as necessary. After 30 minutes they should have their manifestos and speeches written and be ready for the next stage.
Collect the manifestos and stick them up around the room. Give students time to read other party's manifestos and read through them yourself. Encourage them to write questions to ask the candidates. They want their candidate to win so they should challenge their opponents as much as possible!
Next it's time for the speeches or 'hustings.' Give each candidate 3 minutes to speak then invite questions from the rest of the class. Ensure every student asks at least one question during the session and note errors for correction at a later stage as well as good points for positive feedback.
After all candidates have spoken students vote. Hand out ballot papers and they each vote for one candidate (not the one from their own party!) Count up the votes and declare the winner elected to parliament.