Materials Required


About 30 minutes (plus homework)


Consider having the principal, other teachers play the role of parliamentary officials (e.g Usher of the Black Rod or Sergeant-at-Arms). Have your students build a Mace for the simulation.

Who's Involved


Government, opposition and independent Senators; the Speaker of the Senate; the Usher of the Black Rod; the Mace Bearer and the Clerk

House of Commons:

Government, opposition and independent MPs; the Speaker of the House of Commons; the Sergeant-at-Arms and the Clerk

What It Is


The Usher of the Black Rod, the Mace Bearer, the Speaker and the Clerk all parade into the Senate Chamber. The Mace Bearer places the Mace on the table in front of the Speaker to signify that the Senate is in session.

House of Commons:

The Sergeant-at-Arms, the Speaker and the Clerk parade into the House of Commons. The Sergeant-at-Arms carries the Mace and places it on the table in front of the Speaker to signify that the House of Commons is in session.

What You Need To Do

  1. Working in your group, define the terms "Parliament," "Session of Parliament," and "Sitting of Parliament." Then compare your definitions with those in the glossary of parliamentary terms.
  2. Discuss why the ceremonial rituals of Parliament have not changed.
  3. As a group, read through the “Opening of a Sitting” script for the Senate or the House of Commons.