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Understanding Political Offices in Alberta

Create icons that accurately reflect the most important roles or responsibilities of political offices in Alberta's government.

Suggested Activities (selected) Outcomes References Related Resources

Suggested Activities

Students consider the responsibilities of political offices in Alberta's democracy by designing icons that accurately reflect the most important roles of the offices in the structure and function of Alberta's government.

Present a scenario
Tell the students to imagine that the Alberta government would like their assistance with creating a Web site that would help Grade 6 students understand the roles of political offices. The Web site designer would like to include icons (pictures or symbols that are universally recognized) that reflect the most important responsibility each office has to the government. The challenge for the class is to identify the important roles and contributions of each political office and then to create icons that accurately represent these contributions.

Research political offices
Organize students into groups of four and ask them to gather information about the roles of political offices in Alberta. Each student will research a different office.

Write the titles of the following political offices on chart paper:

  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA)
  • cabinet minister
  • premier.

Direct students to relevant sections of authorized student resources and to a reliable Web site, such as The Citizen's Guide to the Alberta Legislature (see References).

Alternatively, you may provide group members with briefing sheets on each of the above political offices.

Share research in small groups
Ask students to share their findings in their groups. As each student presents, other students should record important information for each of the political offices in a chart such as the following:


Lieutenant Governor


(cabinet minister)







How selected















Determine the most important roles and/or responsibilities of each political office
Ask students to identify the most important contribution each political office makes to the democratic process. Remind them of the four key principles of an effective democracy: justice, equity, freedoms and representation. These principles should serve as the criteria for an important contribution.

To help students understand the criteria, ask them to consider which contribution best:

  • ensures that laws are fair and effectively enforced
  • ensures that all citizens are treated fairly
  • protects Albertans' fundamental freedoms
  • ensures that the views and needs of all Albertans are represented in government.

Create an icon for each political office
Provide a variety of icons found on Web sites or in the general public.

Ask students to identify the icons and suggest why they may have been chosen as examples.

Discuss qualities of effective icons for political offices. Suggest to students that the icons they use should meet the following criteria:

  • easily recognizable by most people
  • accurately reflect the political office
  • accurately reflect the most important contribution of the political office.

Ask students to design, select or adapt an effective icon. You may want to encourage students to select an icon from a clip art program or from other sources, such as magazines. Alternatively, students could describe the icon instead of preparing a graphic representation.

Share icons
Invite students to present the icons by using technologies to display them or by making brief presentations to the class.

Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
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