If possible, arrange for your class to watch Question Period in the House of Commons on the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) or provide examples of parliamentarians’ typical questions.

Senate Chamber proceedings are available via Senate ParlVU.

Materials Required

  • Rules and Decorum for the Senate and House of Commons
  • newspapers, magazines and online resources
  • selected printouts of the debates of the Senate or House of Commons
  • copies of the simulation script “Question Period”
  • CPAC


About 20 minutes (plus homework)

Who's Involved


Government in the Senate, Opposition Party in the Senate, independent senators

House of Commons:

Cabinet, Official Opposition, Third Party

What It Is

Question Period or Oral Questions occurs on each sitting day in the Senate or House of Commons. During this time Senators or MPs may direct questions to the Government about any area of its responsibility.

What You Need to Do

  1. As a group, visit and choose "Latest Debates" from the chamber you will be simulating. Click on "Question Period" to view the latest transcript. Pay close attention to the ways in which the questions are worded and answered.
  2. If the House of Commons is sitting, watch Question Period online or on TV.
  3. Review recent news coverage to learn about important national and local issues. Make a list of these issues to use as the basis for questions. Share the issues you have identified with your group.
  4. As a group, narrow down everyone's list of issues to five topics that cover both national and local issues. Remember, they must be within the jurisdiction of the federal Parliament.
  5. If you are in the Official Opposition, an independent senator or in a third party, prepare one question for each of the five agreed-upon topics. If you are in the Government in the Senate or Cabinet group, anticipate what questions might be asked, then come up with answers.
  6. As a group, read through the Senate or House of Commons simulation script "Question Period."