When we studied US history we also spent time learning, in a semi-simplistic manner, how the US Government & it's branches work. It's not an easy concept to comprehend, & often comes as a great shock to people within, as well as without, the US on how laws & rules are made.
Part of my plans for studying Australian history was to be sure we covered this same area for the Australian Government. I think, to a degree, the boys will find it sort-of familiar as they did learn about Parliament as well as Upper & Lower house during our studies of the Revolutionary War. Don't be too shocked by that, it was important in regards to understanding how the Stamp Acts were being levied against the colonists.
The big thing was finding the books & resources that fit the needs & wants we had. Here's our current list for Australian Government at a simplistic level:
1. Prime Ministers Of Australia -- This book has been on my Notify Me list over at Book Depository for a few years now. Basically they list books that are in print, perhaps going out of print, & out of print. For ones not officially out of print you can submit an email address & they'll let you know if they get it back in stock. If a significant amount of time goes by they'll notify you & say it doesn't look like they'll be able to obtain it for you. Such was the case with this lovely book. I finally searched it out via Abebooks or Ebay & purchased it that way. The book was printed in 1996, so it's missing two PMs, but I'm not fussed by that. Books of this nature change often due to the changes in Government & I feel confident in being able to obtain information on those two missing PMs easily enough.
In the mean time each included PM has a 1-2 page spread depending on how many terms they served along with a black & white photo of themselves. Those will be perfect for our timelines, not that I intend to cut the book down, but we can print a matching one which I'll explain in a minute. There's also a lovely chart in the front of the book stating which PM served when & what political party they ran for. There's a couple of pages in the front explaining how the government in Australia worked before their first PM, & in the back of the book it explains the Upper & Lower house as well as the old & new parlament house. I think it will fill our needs really well.
2. Prime Minister Notebooking Pages -- I love Activity Village. Seriously, they always seem to end up having what I'm looking for when I can't find it anywhere else. I've had their Famous Australian section bookmarked for a while now just for this purpose. Yeah, I've been planning our Australian History studies for a while now..
3. Prime Minister Web Site -- I really don't intend to use this site all the time, but I'm sure the boys will enjoy browsing through it from time to time. More then anything I plan to print the photos from there for the boys Timeline Notebooks. See, I told you I wasn't going to cut up our book! We should also be able to grab information for Rudd & Gillard from there considering they are missing from the book.
4. A Little Election -- We've actually checked this picture book out of the library many times before, around each election now that I think about it. It's meant to be a very simplistic way of explaining the process for children, with a whole lot of humour thrown in for good measure. Thankfully our library has a few copies of this!
5. Who's Running This Country? -- Our library also happens to have a copy of this non-fiction book about how the Australian Government works. We'll have a peep through it & see what it can add, without bogging us down, to our studies.
That's pretty much it, all though I'm still debating purchasing a Prime Minister poster from Australia Geographic. They aren't very pricey & would compliment our US Presidents poster rather nicely. We'd actually intended to purchase one at the start of our school year, but somehow it didn't happen.