Skip to main content

Our Country, Our Parliament

Learn About Parliament

How to Use This Resource: Getting Started

Introductory Activity and Survey
Discuss the symbols on the cover of Our Country, Our Parliament and conduct a survey to determine how much students already know about political systems and levels of government in Canada.

Review
Before starting a unit on parliamentary democracy, it is important to review certain fundamental terms with the class. There is a glossary at the back of Our Country, Our Parliament. Review the sections and features of Our Country, Our Parliament with your students using the preview activities.

Look at the list of activities in "Which Activity Best Suits My Class?" and decide which best fit your curriculum. Choose ones that best match students' interests or that reflect students' background and language ability, as well as the learning outcomes for your unit. The activities are designed to satisfy a variety of learning styles, vary in the length of time needed for completion and be used with individual students, groups or entire classes.

All activity descriptions include the following information:

Please note that not all activities have a corresponding handout.

As set out below, there are also specific learning outcomes for each section of Our Country, Our Parliament, as well as activities that allow students to deepen their knowledge and assess the decision-making process in Canada from a non-partisan perspective.

The student handouts are available in PDF formats. All include the following:

Some activities suggest web research. Visit the Other Classroom Resources for additional sites that will help you with background research and will help students learn more about Parliament and the Canadian political system.

Which Activity Best Suits My Class?
Activities descriptions include suggestions for levels of instruction. Many teachers have successfully adapted the activities for use with other grades or cycles.



Activity


Description
Page reference in
Our Country, Our Parliament
1. Symbols of Canada and Student Survey
  • Preview activity
  • Students discuss symbols of Canada and create a song or poem.
  • Students complete a survey.
  • The teacher creates a visual representation of the survey answers.
  • Extension: Students create posters.
Parliament or Government: What's the Difference? (page 6)
Section 2: Canada's System of Government (pages 14–16)
2. A Canadian Democracy
  • Preview activity
  • Students use a worksheet to research Canadian democracy as compared to other systems.
Section 1: Canada: The Road to Democracy (pages 8–13)
Glossary (pages 44–49)
3. Meet the New Kids
  • Preview activity
  • Both individually and in pairs, students use worksheets to find out more about the youth narrators and each other.
  • Extension: Students write stories about the youth narrators with their partners.
Your Youth Narrators (page 7)
Getting to Know Your Youth Narrators (page 50)
4. Spot the Freedom, Spot the Right
  • Students read about and discuss rights and freedoms.
  • Students read a short story and identify specific rights and freedoms.
  • Extensions: Students discuss the rights and freedoms most important to them; students analyze the Charter more closely and create scenarios; and students compare their rights and freedoms in Canada to those of people in their countries of origin (if applicable).
  • Includes an assessment tool.
Section 1: Canada: The Road to Democracy (pages 11–13)
5. My Rights, My Freedoms
  • Individually and in small groups, students create, explain and defend a personal charter of rights and freedoms.
  • Includes an assessment tool.
  • Extension: Students create a group charter.
Section 1: Canada: The Road to Democracy (pages 11–13)
6. Road to the Senate
  • Students research a Senator, write a persuasive piece about why the Senator is a good choice and defend the Senator to the class.
  • Includes an assessment tool.
Section 2: Canada's System of Government (page 14)
Section 4: The Business of Parliament (pages 24–25)
7. Road to the House of Commons
  • Students learn about the path to becoming a Member of Parliament, and create campaign signs and advertisements.
  • Includes an assessment tool.
  • Extension: Students vote on the most convincing campaign.
Section 3: Canada's Democracy in Action (pages 17–22)
Section 4: The Business of Parliament (pages 26-27)
8. Working on the Hill
  • In small groups, students discuss and compile a list of jobs on the Hill.
  • Extensions: Students deepen their understanding by writing about a chosen job; and students play a game to learn about the parts of the Chambers.
Section 4: The Business of Parliament (pages 24–27)
9. Words in Your Mouth
  • Students write and deliver speeches.
  • Includes an assessment tool.
  • Extension: Students actively listen to presentations and vote.
Section 4: The Business of Parliament (pages 32–33)
10. In the House
  • The whole class plays a game to understand the challenges and successes associated with being a Member of Parliament.
  • Extension: Students create questions about Parliament for a game.
Section 3: Canada's Democracy in Action (pages 17–22)
Section 4: The Business of Parliament (pages 26–27 and 33)
11. Bill on the Hill
  • Students study the process of passing a bill and use worksheets to suggest ideas for bills.
  • Extension: Students discuss the pros and cons of the system of passing a bill.
Section 4: The Business of Parliament (pages 30–31)
12. Capital Experience
  • Students think about the special qualities of a capital city and create a tour of their local school or community.
  • Includes an assessment tool.
  • Extension: Students select a new capital for Canada.
Section 5: Your Capital (pages 36–41)
13. Make Your Point
  • Students do a four-corners activity to learn about how they can influence decisions made in Parliament.
  • Students create a political poster.
  • Includes an assessment tool.
  • Extensions: Students learn about what makes posters engaging; and students compare English and non-English newspapers.
Section 6: Parliament in Motion (pages 42–43)
14. No Postage Required
  • Students write a persuasive letter to a Senator or Member of Parliament about issues that concern them.
  • Includes an assessment tool.
Section 6: Parliament in Motion (pages 42–43)
15. Speaker's Challenge
  • Students practise new legislative vocabulary by completing a crossword puzzle.
  • Extension: Students create their own crossword puzzles.
  • Note: This is suitable for a summative activity.
Whole booklet, especially the Glossary (pages 44–49).
16. Parliament Web Quest
  • Students increase their general knowledge of Parliament while using Internet search skills.
  • Extension: Students create their own web quests.
  • Note: This is suitable for a summative activity and could be done either midway through the unit or when the students have read Our Country, Our Parliament.
The Glossary (pages 44–49) may be useful.
17. Parliament Bingo
  • Students have fun with a Bingo-style game, while learning about various Parliament-related terms, places and people.
  • Note: This is suitable for a summative activity and could be done either midway through the unit or when the students have read Our Country, Our Parliament.
The Glossary (pages 44–49) may be useful.

Student materials

  • Booklet: Our Country, Our Parliament
  • Activity sheets
  • Glossary
  • © Library of Parliament | Revised: 2010-04