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Topic 4 – Government services in our community

This primary school resource focuses on establishing strong foundations for learning about tax and super.

Last updated 27 February 2020


Tax talk

  • Governments provide many goods and services needed by communities.

Learning intention

In this topic, students:

  • identify the services that governments provide
  • predict what their lives would be like without services
  • interpret information and maps
  • compose a range of texts about services in the community
  • problem solve to make decisions

Focus questions

  • What services do I use?
  • Who provides the services I use?


  1. Introduction – Callington’s Life
  2. Life with no services – brainstorm
  3. My day using services – a storyboard
  4. Government services – categorising
  5. Resources in my community – individual response
  6. Government decisions – problem solving
  7. Reflection – tomorrow’s headline


Some resources are available as both a PDF and as accessible text. If a resource does not have a text version and you need an accessible version, email us at

Topic 4 resources

Australian Curriculum Connections


  • English
  • Mathematics
  • HASS
  • HPE

General capabilities

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • ICT
  • Critical and Creative Thinking
  • Personal and Social Capability

Curriculum mapping

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Introduction – Callington's life

  • Read the digital story A week in the life of Callington (PDF, 3.6MB)External Link.
  • Brainstorm the services Callington and his family use in the story. Record these on the board.
  • Tell students that there are 30 services that Callington and his family uses each week and that some of these are in the illustrations, others are in the story itself.
  • Reread the story so students can identify as many of the remaining services as they can. Add these to the board.

Life with no services – brainstorm

  1. Students think about one scene from Callington’s life and imagine what it would be like if the service he used did not exist. For example, no water for a shower, no rubbish collection, no footpaths, no shelter at the bus stop.
  2. Invite students to brainstorm all the things that could happen as a result.

Teacher tip

Students can be funny or serious.

My day using services – a storyboard

This activity may contribute to student portfolios.

  1. Explain that in this activity, students will be creating a storyboard of their life on a school day. Their storyboard will show readers how services impact their lives each and every day.
  2. Explain the purpose of storyboards – to tell a story in pictures, like a comic book.
  3. Use a model storyboard to explain the features of a storyboard:
    A storyboard has:    
    • a series of pictures that show a sequence of events
    • each picture has words that describe what is happening in the picture
    • each picture can also have speech bubbles or thinking clouds that show conversations and ideas.
  4. Students create a storyboard of their life on a school day to show the services they use (Resource 1 – PDF, 72KBExternal Link).
  5. Display completed handwritten storyboards in the classroom.
  6. Students digitally produce and edit their storyboards. Show them the following videos to inspire them: 

These videos were developed by junior secondary students as part of the ATO’s Tax, Super + You annual competition.

Teacher tip

Be sensitive to individual student circumstances and what their day might entail.

Government services – categorising

  1. Explain to students that the services that Callington’s family use each week can be organised into different categories. Call out one category at a time and invite students to provide an example from the story A week in the life of Callington (PDF, 3.6MB)External Link.    
    • Public health
    • Transport
    • Safety
    • Environment
    • Buildings
    • Recreation
  2. Use a grouping strategy to organise students into pairs.
  3. Students sort the services cards from Callington’s story (Resource 2 – PDF, 172KBExternal Link) into categories on the services wheel (Resource 3 – PDF, 61KBExternal Link).
  4. Explain that the work of local government is usually done by a council. Discuss any local variations to terms which cover local government, e.g. shire, borough.

Alternative activity

This activity is also available as an online quiz (Kahoot). The following is needed in order to play this online quiz.

  • Teachers will have to register at Kahoot.comExternal Link.
  • Each student (or pair of students) will need to have a device such as a mobile phone, tablet or computer.
  • The computer screen will need to be projected in front of the class.

To play, follow these steps:

  1. Log into Kahoot.comExternal Link and search for ‘Categorising local government services’
  2. Click on ‘Play’ and set up your Kahoot as either classic player or team mode.
  3. Ask students to go to Kahoot on their devices (or if they are playing on a computer).
  4. The pin will appear on the screen.
  5. Students input the unique pin.
  6. Following the activity:    
    • explain that the work of local government is usually done by a council. Discuss any local variations to terms that cover local government, e.g. shire, borough.

Resources in my community – Individual response

This activity may contribute to student portfolios.

  1. Write the heading ‘Things my council provides’ on the board.
  2. Explain that the local council has two major responsibilities:    
    • to look after the natural and built environment
    • to look after people.
  3. Provide students with a map of the local area, nearest town centre or CBD. The map should show significant landmarks in the area such as heritage buildings, council chambers, land reserves, parks etc.
  4. Individual students:    
    • draw (or overlay) a simple grid system on their map
    • locate the council resources listed on the board and more if they can
    • record each resource and its location using their grid system
    • for each resource, identify if it supports health, wellbeing, safety, and/or physical activity.
    • create a legend to show the distribution of categories of resources
    • explain the distribution of council resources, and if possible, comment on and explain any patterns.
    • pick at least two resources and determine the distance between these resources and the direction from one to another.

Government decisions – problem solving

This activity may contribute to student portfolios.

Explain to students that the council has given them a problem to solve. The council has grown and needs 15 more rooms in its council building. Tell students that they will provide advice on how many additional floors the council will need to build.

Students complete the worksheet on Government decisions (Resource 4 – PDF, 87KBExternal Link)

Reflection – tomorrow's headline

  1. Students write a newspaper headline about the importance of services in their community.
  2. Invite students to share their headline with a partner and then the whole class.
  3. Ask:  
    • Which headline from someone else was a particularly good message?

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