Four hands on activities around Parliamentary Procedure

As youth learn the basis of Parliamentary Procedure, offering hands-on learning activities enhances their growth and development.

Parliamentary Procedure refers to rules that exist so that business meetings are organized and orderly. The rules ensure that everyone has a chance to participate, be heard and help the group reach decisions.  Parliamentary Procedure allows for meetings to be fair, effective and efficient.

Many youth will first experience Parliamentary Procedure as they observe how to run a meeting. Michigan 4-H promotes youth being actively engaged in their own development, and provides opportunities for youth to run and participate in business meetings rather than simply observe. According to Michigan State University Extension, giving youth the opportunity to develop skills in this area before they are thrust into leadership roles as an adult will give them a leg up in their adult life.

Trainings are available for groups that want to increase the effectiveness of their meetings utilizing  Parliamentary Procedure. Training youth around the basics of parliamentary such as how to make a motion, the different methods of voting and handling amendments are all important skills to know in order to be successful on boards, councils and committees.

Allowing participants to practice the knowledge they have learned around the topic of Parliamentary Procedure is important for the youth to be able to feel comfortable and confident in handling the basics in a group setting. Activities that engage youth in hands on experiential learning activities around Parliamentary Procedure include, Let’s Make a Trail Mix, Parli Pro Punch, Beach Ball Toss and Parliamentary Procedure Jeopardy.

  1. Let’s Make Trail Mix: The University of Nebraska Extension outlines an activity called Let’s Make Trail Mix where participants take turns serving as the chair and they receive motions, ask for a second, offer discussion and vote on items to be placed in a trail mix. At the end of the activity, the group will enjoy the trail mix snack that they created collaboratively.
  2. Parli Pro Punch: This activity from the University of Illinois Extension allows participants to work from a printed script that has participants make motions and amendments. Similar to the trail mix activity, youth work through the process of making motions in order to make punch as a group.
  3. Beach Ball: Participants exert energy by hitting a beach ball around the room until a designated leader calls for an individual in the room to catch the beach ball. Utilizing music during this activity allows for the participants to be relaxed and move around the room. When the music stops, the individual with the beach ball must answer a pre designed question around Parliamentary Procedure. How is the motion brought before the assembly? What is required to pass a main motion?
  4.  Parliamentary Procedure Jeopardy: Utilizing the jeopardy game format, individuals or teams can participate in a friendly competition of Parli Pro Jeopardy with all questions relating to the Parliamentary Procedure. Follow the format of, Answer: 51 percent of the participants are required to pass this. Question: What is a main motion?

Michigan State University Extension offers trainings around the basics of Parliamentary Procedure and can introduce groups to hands on experiential learning activities that will enhance youth’s learnings around the meetings being fair, effective and efficient.

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