Live Export: Lesson 5 Civics & Citizenship, Yr 9

Citizenship in Action

In this lesson, students will discuss the role of the citizen in matters which seem beyond their own influence, interest, or knowledge. Through an exploration of the live export trade, students will question whose role it is to speak on behalf of animals in decision-making forums. Is it the role of animal protection advocates, animal-use industry representatives, the government or the public? On a related note, students will investigate the ways in which people are able to engage in discussions about important issues with governments, corporations and industries. In the role-playing activity, students will focus on building empathy by performing a range of scenarios that animals may encounter on board a live export ship.

Time Allocation

50-100 minutes.

Voiceless Resources

Other Resources

Inquiry Questions

  • What are some of the ways people are able to engage in discussions about important issues with governments, corporations and industries?
  • Do we, as citizens, have a duty to take an interest in issues such as live export?

Suggested Learning Activities


The 5 ‘Ws’

Ask students to write down what they already know about the live export trade by using the following headings as prompts.

  • Who? (Who is involved)
  • What? (What happens?)
  • Where (Where does it take place – i.e. which countries?)
  • When? (When did it first begin/end?)
  • Why? (Why does it happen?)


Reading, Viewing and Responding

a. Read through the Voiceless Fact Sheet: Across Land and Sea: Live Export Explained.

Optional: Watch the Voiceless Film: Live Animal Export Explained.

b. Now, ask students to revisit their 5 ‘Ws’ from above and amend them accordingly.

c. Is live export a citizenship issue? Students to explain their answer in 150 words. Direct them to page 33 in the Fact Sheet to help answer this question.


Class Discussion – Protests and Change

a. As a class, brainstorm recent and historical protests and movements that have demanded change of some kind or another.

Teacher Tip Icon

  • Encourage students to consider boycotts, as well as street marches and protests. Some recent examples might include; Black Lives Matter and climate change rallies and protests. Whilst some historical ones could include, Women’s Liberation (various), Tiananmen Square protests and the French Revolution/the Storming of the Bastille. A simple internet search will bring up many more!

b. Watch the following video: How to turn protest into powerful change (Eric Liu).

c. Students take notes in order to answer the following question:

What are some of the ways a protest can turn into powerful change?

d. Come back to the discussion surrounding the ‘Ban Live Export’ campaign (pages 26-33 in the Voiceless Fact Sheet) and hold a discussion on the following prompts:

Live Export – Debates and Protests

  • If animals could talk, what do you think they would have to say on this issue?
  • Animals cannot raise their voice in protest or advocate for themselves in a court of law, so whose job is it to act on their behalf if/when their welfare needs are not being met?
  • Is this issue for adults to discuss or young people, like yourself?
  • If you have no personal interest in or detailed knowledge on a topical issue or one that is controversial – is it still your job as a citizen to get involved?
  • How can you enact change when it might appear that you have little influence?

Homework Task

Students are to hold a conversation with their parents or caregivers, in addition to sharing their own knowledge and understanding of citizenship in action – as discussed in this lesson.

Following their conversations, students can then share their discussions with a partner.

Helpful prompts for students to ask adults:

  • Have you ever taken to the streets to actively protest against something, or someone? If yes, follow up this question with the 5 ‘Ws’. If not – why?
  • Have you been involved in less active forms of protest? If so, what were these?
  • What are you passionate about now? And what are you doing to contribute towards bringing about an awareness of this issue?
  • Do you think public protests work? Why/why not?
  • Who are protests for and why?
  • Should everyone have the right to protest? Why/why not?


Building Empathy: Role-Playing

In this activity, students will engage in a role-play based upon the situations faced by animals at sea. This task has the potential to take 1-2 lessons. See the Building Empathy Role-Playing Worksheet for more information.

1. Before you begin the role-play, play ask students the following question:

Is it our duty to engage in the issue of live export? Why/Why not? 

2. Now use the Building Empathy Role-Playing Worksheet to conduct this activity with your students.


Ask students to record a verbal or written response to the reflection questions below:

  • How did you feel during the role-play?
  • What ‘behavioural freedoms’ were impinged upon?
  • How did the stockpersons and vet feel?
  • How did the sheep inside the box feel compared with those outside it?
  • What was it like for the mother ewe who gave birth?
  • So, do we, as citizens, have a duty to take an interest in issues such as live export? Has your opinion on this changed since participating in the class role-play. Why/why not?


Voiceless would be delighted to receive any completed student work to feature on the Voiceless website (student and parental consent required). Please email any work or feedback to

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