Class: Stage 3 Date: Time: Start

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Democracy in Ancient Greece role-play

Class: Stage 3


Time: Start: 2:15

Finish: 3:15

Key Learning Area: HSIE, Drama

Lesson Topic: Democracy

Recent Prior Experience:

  • Ss have prior experience in skills and elements of drama such as improvisation, space, facial expressions, and interaction with other performers.

  • Ss can define the term democracy and identify its significant development in the Australian government.

  • Ss can identify significant people and recognise their contribution to Australia as a democratic nation.

Syllabus Outcome(s):
- DRAS3.2: Interprets and conveys dramatic meaning by using the elements of drama and a range of movement and voice skills in a variety of drama forms.
- CCS3.2: Explains the development of the principles of Australian democracy.

- CCS3.1: Explains the significance of particular people, groups, places, actions and events in the past in developing Australian identities and heritage.

Indicators of Learning for this lesson:
By the end of this lesson, the students will:

- Work effectively in group activities as an active participant.
- Be able to explain democracy and its birth.
- Examine how Australian democracy originated in ancient Greece.

- Be able to differentiate between the two types of democracy, Direct and representative.

Assessment strategies:

Observe student’s ability to communicate ideas in role in collaboration with others.

Analyse student responses to making and presenting their drama work.
Assessment criteria:
The student:

  • Conveys ideas and fictional contexts using elements of drama.

  • Contributes ideas to support the making of drama.

Any safety issues to be considered:

Space availability during activity

  • Furniture must be re-arranged

Prior to the lesson.


  • NSW Board of Studies (2012). “Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus”

  • NSW Board of Studies (2012) “HSIE K-6 Syllabus”

  • IWB, Internet.

  • Reflection worksheet.


Lesson Content / Indicators of Learning (What is Taught):



Teaching Strategies / Learning Experiences:

(How it is taught)

Resources and Organisation:


T Outlines lesson.
Warm up game- space jump:

PowerPoint on democracy in ancient Greece:

  • Ss will develop an understanding of the origins of democracy.

  • Ss will be able to differentiate between the two types of democracy: Direct democracy and a representative democracy.

  • Ss will be able to identify what type of democracy there is in Australia.


Explain to Ss what we are doing this lesson- a role-play on the birth of democracy in ancient Greece.
Inform Ss that skills that they learnt in last weeks drama lesson will be very useful in the role-play.
Drama warm up game- Space jump.
T calls Ss back onto floor and shows Ss power point explaining the Greek origins of democracy.
The word “democracy” has its origins in the Greek language. It combines two shorter words: “demos” meaning whole citizen living within a particular city-state and “kratos” meaning power or rule. Effectively, the word ‘democracy’ means ‘people power’ – the right of the people of a nation to make decisions about how they are governed.

T describes and illustrates the Greek Assembly in ancient Athens.

T introduces Ss to the two types of democracy:

Direct democracy: A government in which people vote to make their own rules and laws. This form of democracy was practiced in Athens.

In a direct democracy there is a continuous participation of the citizens in the direct exercise of power.

All citizens of Athens were required to vote on any new law. One man, one vote, majority ruled. Women, children, and slaves were not citizens, and thus could not vote.

A Representative Democracy: A government in which people vote for representatives. The representatives make rules and laws that govern themselves and the people. 


  • What is Australia? (Representative democracy)


  • IWB

  • PowerPoint


  • Ss will be seated on the floor in front of IWB and T.

  • Space jump- Ss will be seated on floor in front of the stage.


Role play activity:

  • Ss will be able to use skills they have previously learnt in drama in the role-play.

  • Through the group roles, Ss will be able to see what it felt like to be in their particular role.

  • Ss learn how the democratic process works.


T – Divides class into two groups.

T explains that in their groups Ss will be acting out a role-play on the Greek democratic process, where:

  • Ss vote on a agenda decided by the ‘Greek council’.

  • Slaves, men and women whose parents were not born in Athens and Athenian-born women could not vote.

  • As students move through the agenda, progressively eliminate each of these groups, explaining why. This leaves men of Athenian-born parents as the only participating group.

T selects two Ss from each group to be the ‘Greek council’. The council decides on the agenda that Ss will be voting on in their role-play.

Within their groups Ss have to assign 6 roles for the role play:

  • Male slaves

  • Female slaves

  • Men born in Athens of Athenian-born parents

  • Women born in Athens of Athenian born parents

  • Men whose parents were not Athenian-born,

  • Women whose parents were not Athenian-born.

Each group has 10 minutes to organise their role-play sequence, including the allocation of props.

T calls class back to sit on the floor and one at a time each group presents their role-play to the rest of the class.

Ss perform role-play while the audience appreciates their performers.

When each group is finished performing the audience group will tell the group some positives about their performance.

Extension activity (Only if time permits):

Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting the democratic process between ancient Athens and Australia today.


  • Barrel or hat to draw names.

  • Props.


  • Ss will be seated on the floor while T organises groups.

  • Ss will be seated on the floor as the audience while each group performs.



  • Ss are now to reflect on the activity, and the roles they were given.

  • Ss can decide whether this type of democratic process was fair to people living in Athens at this time? Why/why not?

T asks for Ss feedback on lesson.



  • Discuss how students in each group felt about their role.

  • What would students think if this system operated in their classroom?

  • Should all students be allowed to vote? Why? Why not?

  • Are decisions being made fairly?

Ss are to return to their desks and complete reflection worksheet.

T calls Ss attention back, and asks for their feedback on the activities completed in the lesson. What they liked and disliked.

Pack up time:

  • Ask Ss to clean up their areas.

  • Dismissal.


  • Reflection worksheet.

  • IWB


  • Discussion of reflection questions will be completed with Ss seated on the floor.

  • Worksheet activity will be completed at Ss desks.

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