Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 6-12, students explore BrainPOP resources to discover what a parliamentary system of government is and how it compares and contrasts with the system of government in the United States. Using what they learn about the two systems, students will write a speech persuading a new country to consider either a parliamentary system or a system like that of the United States. 


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Compare and contrast a parliamentary system with the U.S. system of government.
  2. Recognize the pros and cons of the parliamentary system.
  3. Understand that the legislative body of a parliamentary system is more powerful than the U.S. Congress.
  4. Write a persuasive argument for one form of government over another.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Venn diagram (optional)


equivalent, majority, veto, represent, compromise, authority, approval, disband, dominant


  • Preview the movie Parliamentary System to plan for any adaptations.
  • If students will be working offline, make copies of the Venn diagram.  
  • Lesson Procedure:

    1. Display the movie Parliamentary System on the whiteboard. Tell students they will now watch a BrainPOP movie about the parliamentary system of government, which is similar in many ways to the U.S. government system, but differs in other ways. Ask the class what comes to mind when the hear the word parliamentary. Have them share their ideas.
    2. Now play the movie for the whole class to watch once through without pausing.
    3. Next, if you have access to multiple computers or devices, have students watch the movie again within the Make-a-Map feature. As they watch, have them use the Make-a-Map tools to construct a concept map comparing and contrasting the parliamentary system with the U.S. system of government. If limited computers, you can show the movie again to the whole class as they take notes offline on a Venn diagram.
    4. Using what they learned in the movie, have students make a list identifying the pros and cons of the parliamentary system. Then have them make a pros and cons list for the U.S. system of government. For review of the U.S. government system, they may watch the Branches of Government movie.
    5. Tell students to imagine that it is thousands of years from now and they are helping form a new country in outer space. As one of the founders, they are to suggest what form of government system would be best for the new country -- a parliamentary system or a system like we have in the United States.
    6. Now have them write a speech persuading for the form of government they chose. Remind them to use facts from their notes to support their choice.
    7. Invite students to read their speeches to a small group. After giving the speech have the student assess whether his or her speech was persuasive by taking a vote of the group to see who agrees or doesn’t agree with the suggested form of government.

    Extension Activities:

    Divide students into groups of five students each. Within the groups, have each of the five students select a different Related Reading topic. Students are to read their Related Reading and share what they learned with the group. Invite students to complete the President / Prime Minister graphic organizer activity.