Pressure Groups - Lesson Plan

Pressure Groups - Lesson Plan: 3 x 1 hour lessons

A series of 'off the shelf' lesson plans and resources for use in the classroom. These lessons deal with Pressure Groups and are relevant to the following specifications:

  • AQA: Unit 6, 15.3
  • Edexcel: Unit 6, section 3


These lessons aim to cover the issue of pressure groups and their impact as stakeholders in business activity. The intention is to raise awareness of the range of different pressure groups, their aims and strategies. There are hundreds of pressure groups and many students will not be aware of the range of groups that exist. Part of the lesson, therefore, is an exercise in raising that awareness.

The Activity involves students in developing an argument on a case study where emotions run high - the important thing to emphasise is that they are being asked to develop an argument that is balanced but which shows a wider appreciation of the political and moral issues. They should make supported judgements not only from the case study, but other scenarios where similar issues arise.

The task can be carried out as a written exercise limited to a certain time frame, to mimic the techniques and skills required in exam conditions, or could be tackled as a group exercise, with a presentation and discussion being the outcome.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of the lessons, students should demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of at least three types of pressure group and two examples of a pressure group from each type
  • Knowledge of different types of action that can be taken by pressure groups
  • Knowledge of the effects and degree of success that pressure groups can have
  • An appreciation of the limitations of pressure group activity
  • An awareness of the criticisms levelled at pressure groups
  • An awareness of the types of response that business can make to pressure group activity
  • Some evidence of higher order skills - analysis, synthesis and evaluation - in developing an argument based around the case study. This will include balance and supported judgment.


Lesson Structure:

Lesson 1

  1. Begin the lesson by handing out a copy of the mind map. Briefly go through the main branches on the map relating to the types of pressure group, stressing the possibility of overlap of definitions. (7 minutes)
  2. Hand out the collections of cuttings and get students in pairs to try to categorise the groups into the categories discussed. Get feedback from the pairs on the issues involved in classifying the groups in this way. (10 minutes)
  3. Discuss the feedback from this exercise in relation to the presentation - get students to think about the importance of the activities of pressure groups in influencing business behaviour. (23 minutes)
  4. Introduce students to the Activity and, depending on the type of approach, allow time for students to familiarise themselves with the task and what the assessment objectives are. (15 minutes)
  5. Review the main points of the lesson and outline the format of the next lesson. (5 minutes)

Lesson 2

Remind students of the format of the lesson - the lesson should be spent researching the issue and formulating the argument - either written or in the form of a presentation.

Lesson 3

Use the third lesson as a feedback session to hear the presentations or discuss the outcome of the written submissions. Aim to highlight the importance of balanced and supported judgement in such a task and in addition the meaning of the term analysis in this context.

Related activity: 
Related mind map: