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Teachers: Citizenship:

Last Updated: Monday April 10 2006 14:04 GMT

Royal Family debate

Portrait of the Queen by Rolf Harris
Owning all the whales in British waters and having her own message on the moon are just two facts released about the Queen to mark her 80th birthday.

Students take a quiz about the Queen and look at the arguments for and against having a Royal Family.

Learning aims

By the end of the lesson, students should have a deeper understanding of :

  • The function of a monarchy
  • Arguments supporting the need for a Royal Family
  • Arguments opposing the need for a Royal Family
  • The debating process

Quiz: The Queen
Portrait of the Queen by Rolf Harris
Queen quiz

Students test their knowledge of the Queen with this 10-question quiz. It can be printed out or completed online.

News-based comprehension

The Queen

Read out this story to the class.

Ask students:

  • Which of these facts about the Queen most surprises you. Why?
  • What does the Queen do? What is her job?
The Queen is the UK's Head of State.

She acts as a focus for the nation to join together, she stands over ceremonial occasions, visits local communities and represents the UK around the world.

The Queen is also Head of the Commonwealth. During her reign she has visited all the Commonwealth countries.

Ask students: Do you think the UK needs a monarch and a Royal family?

Main activity

The Queen's coronation

Class debate

Explain how to hold a formal debate by reading out this guide.

Tell students that the motion is: This house supports the need for a Royal Family.

Divide the class into proposers and opposers. Ask them to research and write down arguments which either support or oppose having a Royal Family.

They can use these worksheets and our guide to help them.

Students are then selected to be:

  • chair
  • proposer
  • opposer
  • seconder for the motion
  • seconder against the motion
    The rest of the class become "the floor."
Hold the debate.

Students vote twice:

1. They vote to support or oppose the motion, depending on which they thought were the most convincing and well-constructed arguments. This may not necessarily be what they believe personally. The proposer, opposer and seconders must vote in role.

2. They vote according to their beliefs.

Extension activity

I think...

After the debate, each student writes a personal statement of their opinions.

They pick five arguments that match their viewpoint and include them in a report that starts "I support/I oppose the need for a Royal Family because..."


Reflect on the debate

Ask students:

  • How do you think the debate went?
  • Which bits worked particularly well?
  • Which bits didn't work well?
  • How can we make class debates better in the future?
Curriculum relevance

National Curriculum Citizenship Key Stage 3

1c. Central and local government, the public services they offer and how they are financed.
2a. Think about topical political, spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues, problems and events by analysing information and its sources, including ICT-based sources.
2b. Justify orally and in writing a personal opinion about such issues, problems or events.
2c. Contribute to group and exploratory class discussions, and take part in debates.
3a. Use imagination to consider other people's experiences and be able to think about, express and explain views that are not their own.
3c. Reflect on the process of participating.

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