Welcome to Elections Ontario’s new educational resources for the Grade 10 Civics and Citizenship course. The lessons are aligned with the revised curriculum released in spring 2022, are asynchronous, and can be used in whichever order that works best for the educator’s respective students.
This new resource is ready to teach, equipped with everything needed to deliver the lessons. Where appropriate, answer keys, sample student work, templates and assessment tools are provided to support educators and students. Each lesson is focused on an inquiry question, begins with a big idea and prepares students with an engaging “Minds On” section, and encourages knowledge construction through student-focused activities. Lessons conclude with relevant consolidation tasks and assessment activities.
Learning how to treat others as political equals, seeking out ways to participate in decision-making, and respecting the rights and freedoms of others are important skills and experiences for all students. These lessons will help students develop the skills to participate in civic conversations, listen to and consider multiple perspectives, and develop their own political identities.
All lessons within this curriculum can be found below in both an online and PDF format. To request hard copies, please complete a resource order form. We also provide lessons for Grade 5 Social Studies.
Canada is a nation of many peoples, languages, regions, and perspectives. Democracy in Canada has a long history, stretching back to Indigenous talking circles in North America. Democracy is not static; it continues to evolve and includes dark moments where the principles of democracy were not extended to certain groups throughout history. Democracy is practised through the structures and processes of our governments but also in how Canadians live their everyday lives. It is not a guarantee; democracy can be challenged and weakened. However, it can also be strengthened and improved. It is important that all Canadians are equal participants in Canadian democracy and understand what that means.
While democracy is an established form of government that has a long history, it is never a guarantee. Citizens have a duty and responsibility to strengthen democracy and keep it healthy, as do elected governments not only in Canada but around the world. In the 21st century, new forms of media have presented both benefits and challenges for democracies.
These can present opportunities for citizens with similar and differing beliefs and values to engage with one another, the government, and other institutions more easily. At the same time, digital/social media platforms can spread misinformation and disinformation that weakens democracy and undermines democratic institutions. It is important for people to engage in civic action and to know their rights and responsibilities of citizenship in order to keep democracy strong and healthy.
Becoming an active citizen can mean different things to different people. It is important to figure out how you can help to strengthen democracy not only in your community but also in your country and around the world. This may mean keeping up with the news and discussing current events with family and friends in an informed manner or volunteering for a political campaign or even engaging in political activism like a boycott. Learning how to treat others as political equals, seeking out ways to participate in decision making and respecting the rights and freedoms of others are important skills and experiences for all citizens. Everyone has a role to play in maintaining a civil society that upholds the principles of democracy.
Political perspective is a concept of political thinking. Everyone has different beliefs and values, as do various groups, including different governments, in local, national, and/or global communities. These views can oppose each other and affect how people, groups and governments act and make decisions. These beliefs and values, as well as political ideologies, can affect one’s position on or response to issues of civic importance. Reflecting on one’s beliefs and values and life experiences can help people figure out their political perspective. The political spectrum is a system to characterize and classify different political positions in relation to one another. People’s beliefs and values are unique and can fall anywhere along the spectrum. Often, it depends on the issue. It is very likely that people will change their views many times as they figure out their political identity.
Democracy and fairness are generally expected to go together. But what is fairness in a democracy? What role do democratic institutions, structures and processes play in ensuring fairness? Canadian democracy depends on citizens agreeing and accepting that its laws, institutions, and political process promote fairness. Thus, it is important to define what fairness is within Canadian democracy. Evaluating Ontario’s electoral processes, government responsibilities and governance structures can help to determine whether fairness has been achieved. When it is determined that something is unfair, how can it be rectified? This may require a reimagining of political structures and processes.
A political party is a group of members who have similar beliefs and values that try to win elections and influence policy decisions. It can be confusing trying to understand the difference between the different parties in Ontario, and even more so trying to compare them to their federal counterparts. Understanding the role political parties play and how they are governed is a key aspect of civic literacy. Voters, when they turn 18, should make informed decisions at the ballot box. This means learning about where the parties stand on issues of civic importance like health care, education and the environment. Learning how to have political conversations and sharing ideas about political ideas and events is also an important civic literacy tool. A civil society relies on being informed and being able to have civil conversations, respecting differences and sharing ideas.
This hands-on activity kit will help you hold an election simulation in your classroom so students can learn more about voting and Ontario’s democratic processes.
It is designed to align with the Grade 10 Civics and Citizenship curriculum while also fitting other subject and grade levels.
The kit includes the materials, roles and steps you’ll need to hold the election. Fillable templates for ID, ballots, voters lists, and results tally sheets have been included with the kit. There are guides for creating your own ballot box and voting screens.
The steps will walk you through setting up your classroom for the election, having students create their own ID, and getting student volunteers to act as election officials. You can also choose between a short and long activity for selecting candidates, depending on what works best for your class.
In the short activity, students will volunteer to run as candidates within a single electoral district based on a platform they have put together. The class will have two voting locations with the same list of candidates at each location.
In the long activity, students will be put into groups that represent political parties. The class will be divided into two electoral districts, and each political party will develop a platform and choose two members to run as candidates (one for each electoral district). Each electoral district will have its own list of candidates and its own voting location.
Once the candidates have been chosen and a class debate has taken place, students will be able to vote for the candidate of their choice using the ballot templates provided in the kit.
After the election, use the student worksheets in the kit to talk with students about the experience. An in-class discussion activity and an enrichment activity have also been included to get students thinking about their future as voters.