Discuss democracy

Includes: Indoors, World issues

Activity time:
30 mins


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Sharpen discussion skills

This in-depth activity will hone important debating skills.


  1. Split the unit into groups of about five.
  2. Give each group a copy of the statements (see below) and ask them to cut these into strips with a statement on each one. You could print these on a different colour paper for each group, so they can keep track of which set is theirs.
  3. Ask each group to arrange the statements into three piles: those they think are fair, those they think are unfair and those they are unsure about. They must all agree with the group’s final decision.
  4. When they are ready, give the girls a few minutes to go around and look at how each group has arranged their statements.
  5. Now bring all the groups together and discuss what they decided. Which statements did everyone agree on? How did each group make decisions? What does compromise mean? Did any groups have to make compromises when deciding where to put the statements? How did girls feel when decisions didn’t go their way?
  6. Explain that everyone has different ideas about what is fair and unfair, and that deciding as a group is what democracy is all about.
  7. Ask if the groups discussed all their points of view on each statement. Tell the girls that discussion is important before voting so that people are aware of all sides of the argument. Link this directly to voting for the people who you want to run the country. There are over 60 million people in the UK, so how likely do the girls think it is that everyone will agree on who they want in charge and what they want them to do.

You can also try this alternative. Label one side of the room ‘fair’ and the other side ‘unfair’. A Leader reads out one statement at a time and the girls have to run to either side of the room. Then ask the girls to say why they chose to go to that side of the room.

Discussion statements

For Rainbows and Brownies

  • Adults do not have to go to school.
  • Parents decide their child’s bedtime.
  • Children have to go to school until they reach a certain age.
  • Children have to do homework.
  • Dog owners have to clean up after their dogs.
  • Children are not allowed to drive cars.
  • The school rules apply to all children in the school.
  • Schools can decide what food and drinks children should have.

For Guides and The Senior Section

  • Children have to stay in education until they reach a certain age.
  • Dog owners have to clean up after their dogs.
  • Children are not allowed to drive cars on public roads.
  • The school rules apply to all children in the school.
  • Under-18s can’t vote in general elections.
  • Computer games have age restrictions.
  • The law dedides how old you have to be before you can buy alcohol.
  • Schools can ban food and drinks they don’t think pupils should have.
  • Everyone is entitled to the same health care regardless of how they treat their bodies.

Planning checklist

Section Number of girls per adult
Rainbows 5
Brownies 8
Guides 12

How many adults are needed?

Use this calculator to find out the ratio of girls to adults that is required for this activity

2 adults needed