What you might need to know

  • We start this class with a game called table champ. Each table gets a number of flags. They stand up and they have to give the name of the country for one of the flags they have. If they get it wrong, they sit down. The last table standing wins.
  • After this game, we read a book called The Lion Inside. It gets children to think about the ways in which size matters, whether Ireland is at a disadvantage in such a big club with large countries. Children are asked to identify who the Lion represents (it is the EU) and who the mouse represents (namely Ireland).
  • We then move onto preparing the European elections we will hold in the next class. We talk about what elections are and what the difference is with referendums. Elections are organised to elect people whereas a referendum will be about a question which matters to society.
  • The European Parliament is composed of 751 members until June 2019 and then it should count 705 once the UK leaves. These Members of the European Parliament represent 500 million European citizens. Ireland has 11 representatives but will have 13 once the UK leaves. Germany has 96 MEPs, it is proportional to your national population. Anybody who is a citizen of the EU, no matter where they live within the EU, has a passport with her national citizenship but above this on the cover of the passport, you have citizenship of the European Union. So no matter where you live in the EU, if you are a citizen of the EU, you can vote in the European elections if you are over 18. Non Irish citizens cannot vote in the Irish referendums, general or presidential elections but if they are EU citizens, they can vote in the European and local elections.
  • Every 5 years, we elect our members of the European Parliament. This is a good way to introduce the different jobs that you will distribute to the children to prepare for the European elections you will hold in your class next time.
  • Everyone should have a job, either candidate, idea-maker, poster designer, journalists or voters. Remind the children of lesson 3 and the levels of decision-making. The candidates need to think of the European level of decision-making.