Citizenship Challenge Civics Education Guide

INTRODUCTION A healthy democratic society functions best when its population is educated and engaged as active and informed citizens. Civics education equips ordinary citizens with knowledge of how the Canadian political systemworks, and empowers them to make a difference in their communities and beyond. This education guide focuses on key topics in Canadian civics. The activities inform readers about how the Canadian governmental systemworks, and their rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens. When students learn about the democratic process, and are informed about their community, they are more likely to vote as adults. But this guide stresses that civic engagement is more than just voting. It introduces the concept of active citizenship, and encourages students to take part in the democratic process by empowering them to take charge of improving their communities and their country. CANADA’S IDENTITY: ACTIVITY ONE: WHAT ARE “CANADIAN VALUES”? People have different ideas about how society should be organized and how a country should work. These diverse views are influenced by distinct values and beliefs. In Canada, vast differences exist in what people value. Priorities can vary among provinces, communities, neighbourhoods, and even within families. The Canadian Government also has values that inform decision-making and policy. These values can change over time and from one government to the next. Part I: 1. Write a one- or two-paragraph personal reflection on what you believe constitutes “Canadian values.” 2. Next, form small groups and share your reflections with your group members. As a group, agree on five key Canadian values. 3. In a classroom discussion, share your group’s five values with the rest of the class. 4. As a class, vote on the top ten values that you share. Reflect together on this process. Was it easy or difficult to come up with shared values? Why or why not? ONLINE The following list of bilingual resources supports educators and students. The Citizenship Challenge: The Canadian Encyclopedia : Historica Canada Education Portal: Elections Canada: The Samara Centre for Democracy: Apathy is Boring: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC study guide): immigration-refugees-citizenship.html This guide complements provincial and territorial curricula in middle and high school civics and social science classes and is meant to help prepare students for the Citizenship Challenge . The lessons may be used in order or on their own. The guide is meant to give teachers and students the tools to engage with Canada’s democratic processes. Through curriculum-based activities, students are encouraged to think thoughtfully and critically about the communities they inhabit — and would like to inhabit — and the country in which they will soon be leaders. Teachers can use the activities in this guide to prepare their students for the Citizenship Challenge , a mock citizenship quiz based on the test taken by newcomers on the path to citizenship. The Challenge tests students’ knowledge of Canada and challenges them to meet the standards expected of newcomers to the country. This guide was produced with the generous support of the Government of Canada. Historica Canada offers programs that you can use to explore, learn and reflect on our history, and what it means to be Canadian. Additional free, bilingual educational activities and resources on Canadian civics are available on The Canadian Encyclopedia (TCE). Historica Canada’s bilingual education guides are part of a collaborative process that engages educators, academics, and community stakeholders in content creation and lesson planning. Accommodations for Special Education, ELL and ESL students, and those at lower grade levels are included under the appropriate sections, and identified as Modification . Some activities in this guide require advanced reading skills. Consider pairing language-learner students with stronger readers. NOTE ON MESSAGE Enjoying the water on a canoe trip (Dreamstime/ Sian Cox/56071155). Canadian Parliament buildings in Ottawa, June 2012 ( Ducdao/117025916). Canada Day celebrations in Winnipeg, 2015 (Dreamstime/ Wwphoto/56139426). Vancouver Pride Parade, 2016 ( Brian Ganter/75606906). Cover: Parliament of Canada ( buzbuzzer/172356688