Constitute!: Continuing the Journey
Student activities: Looking back—Moving forward
Setting the context
As Canada’s democracy continues to be threatened and the positive social changes created in the last three decades erodes, how can we inspire our youth to become active participants in Canada’s democratic processes? People often believe that they cannot make a difference in the injustices that they see around them, but our youth need to know that one person can make a difference. People together can make enormous positive change. There are many examples of people in Canada who have used their passion, creativity, resilience, intelligence, and humour to work together to make change.
This project, Constitute!, can be used in the classroom to spark discussion about how we as citizens can make a difference. In order to overcome the political apathy that exists today, young people need to learn about Canada’s democratic tradition and engage as citizens in democratic reform.
Integrated Resource Packages: The following activities are designed for secondary students. They correlate with the prescribed learning outcomes in such courses as Social Justice 12, Social Studies 10 and 11, Law 12, First Nations 12, and Civics 11. They also relate to locally designed courses such as Women’s Studies 12.
Building background knowledge for students: This first section of the student activities is recommended as a previewing reading activity and a lead-in to the DVD. The background notes provide a chronological organization of events leading up to the 1981 women’s constitutional conference, the significance of this event to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and women’s equality, and the final passing of the charter in 1982. Have the students read the context and the historical background in groups or out loud as a whole class so that you have a chance to check on their understanding. Either do the questions together as you read or select some for each group to do and present back to the next class. After discussion of these questions, students will be better prepared to watch the DVD. The questions are sequentially organized so that students can easily find the answers in the background materials.