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CIVICS. Fun with a capital F! Trish Brennan A Village Idiot. Ancient Greece Democracy Only citizens can participate in the political system > attend public meetings to discuss infrastructure, war, etc…

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  • Fun with a capital F!
  • Trish Brennan
a village idiot
A Village Idiot
  • Ancient Greece
  • Democracy
  • Only citizens can participate in the political system

> attend public meetings to discuss infrastructure, war, etc…

> vote on public issues such as whether to build (infrastructure) or engage in war, etc…

and what percent of athenians are actual citizens
…and what percent of Athenians are actual citizens?
  • the work of the Guardians must aim ‘to promote the happiness ... of the whole community’
  • Included in the inferior portion are ‘children, women and slaves’, and ‘the less reputable majority of so-called free men’

= 90% of the population

  • = 10% of the population were citizens

Source: Plato, The Republic. Editors Betty Radic and Robert Baldick. London: Whitefriars Press, Ltd, 1964

so who are the village idiots
So who are the village idiots?
  • The children?
  • The women??
  • The slaves???
  • The citizens????
  • Which ones?
  • A village idiot is any citizen who has the right and ability to participate in the political system and they do nothing with this right.
day 1 5
Day 1-5
  • Village Idiot concept
  • Get voice heard; Right to complain BUT complain to the right person > which level of government
  • Muslim Canadians take Civics 101 article
  • Weekend crash course set up to gain same knowledge that they missed in high school (new course in 2001)
  • parallel what Muslim Cdns looked to gain; same reasons for all.
troll county story
Troll County story
  • Deflate cynics of ‘all government is useless’
  • categorize how we solve problems of Trolls
  • Definitions:
  • Civics, Government, Values,

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs),

Democracy, constitutional monarchy, autocracy, absolute monarchy, dictatorship

> play hangman

decision making processes
Decision-making processes
  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Conciliation
  • Concensus

In small group, give best guess to figure each

  • Word
  • Illustration
  • Definition
brief history of right to vote
Brief history of right to vote
  • Not overnight process
  • Timeline of disenfranchisement to getting franchise to vote
  • Class privilege> landowning privilege
  • economic barrier > workers barrier > gender barrier > race barrier
history of enfranchisement in canada
History of enfranchisement in Canada
  • Not easy and not automatic; right to vote was a struggle to break financial, class, gender and race barriers
  • 1867- BNA Act allows land-owning men 21+ the right to vote
  • 1885- Non-landowning men 21+ gain right to vote
  • 1916- Prairie women gain the right to vote in provincial elections; 1917 federal right.
  • 1947- Chinese-Canadians earn right to vote
  • 1960- Aboriginal peoples gain the right to vote

Source: Gordon, Doug, et. al. Civics Now. Toronto: Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Ltd, 2006


1. Political spectrum – 3.5 wks2. Canada’s gov’t -2.5 wks3. Law in Canada – 2-3 days4. Global issues- throughout the course; current political events5. Culminating Task-2 weeksFinal exam** fit in reading daily newspapersfor stories as examples of concepts and points of discussion

  • Approximate breakdown of

the 9 week course

political spectrum
Political spectrum
  • Day 3: Define values of Left, Moderate and Right
  • Day 4: Outline note-making; one page side per day, per system over next 6 days, Left to Right= 3 pages

> System, where it is along the line, definition, example (article, film clip,…), pros/cons (aim for 3 minimum for each side) > slideshow of political spectrum

day 10 cut paste fun with a capital f
Day 10: Cut & pasteFun with a capital F

* Cut & paste personal political spectrum

  • Computer lab access? Create on-screen

& print

  • Great quick & ready reference page for rest of the course
  • IEP memory aid

Communism Socialism Liberalism Conservatism Capitalism Fascism

political spectrum cut and paste
Political spectrum: Cut and paste
  • Fold paper in half to establish its CENTRE.
  • Correctly print the name of the 6 political systems at the bottom of the sheet (Communism>Fascism)
  • Identify politicians using the word bank of names to help you and correctly place each photo and symbol along the spectrum after cutting it out.
  • DO NOT GLUE until I have approved it.
  • Print (spelling counts!) or glue their name below their photo.

Saddam Hussein Rich Uncle Pennybags Mitt Romney Elizabeth May Karl Marx

Augusto Pinochet Mahmoud Ahmidinajad Tommy Douglas Bob Rae

George Bush Benito Mussolini & Adolf Hitler Barack Obama Thomas Mulcair

Pierre Trudeau Vladimir Lenin Stephen Harper Martin Luther King Jr. Fidel Castro Khalahari Bushman Jack Layton McCain/Palin

unit 1 wrap up
Unit 1 wrap-up
  • Bingo
  • Review games

> Race competition, taboo, Who am I?

  • Unit 1 Test
unit 2
Unit 2
  • Canadian Government
  • 3 Levels of Government – Day 1
  • 3 Branches of Government

> Grid of Levels and Branches – Day 2

  • Cut & paste of current politicians according to level of government- Day 3
  • Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Day 4
  • Definitions (throughout)
  • Day 5/6 – Charter of R&F > skits
  • Review games
  • Unit 2 test
maps of electoral districts
Maps of electoral districts
  • Contact for free riding maps to keep posted in classroom as a visual reference point:
  • Elections Canada
  • Elections Ontario
  • Use statistics of past elections to demonstrate voting trends, provincial weights to win (i.e. ONT, QC), shifting of political spectrum with accumulating the right-sided parties
3 level of government cut paste
3 LEVEL of GOVERNMENTcut & paste




mpps ministry and colouring
MPPs, Ministry and Colouring!



Governor GeneralLieutenant GovernorSpeaker of the HousePrime Minister Premier Leader of OppositionLeader of Other OppositionCabinet/MinistryMayorMayor’s Executive Council City CouncillorDeputation

  • Constituency/


  • Opposition critic
  • Shadow cabinet
  • Caucus
  • Majority government
  • Minority government
  • Member of Parliament (M.P.)
  • Member of Provincial Parliament (M.P.P.)
  • (M.L.A.) Member of Legislative Assembly
mock parliament
Mock Parliament
  • Set up classroom in legislative formation (same as colouring layout)
  • Step-by-step passing bill into law
  • > read provincial level
  • > reenact federal level by assigning roles by lottery
  • > Prime Minister, Gov. Gen, Senate, Leader of Opposition, Leader of Other Opposition, etc…
mock parliament students to suggest ideas for new law amend or abolish existing law
Mock ParliamentStudents to suggest ideas for new law, amend or abolish existing law
  • Introduction in either the House of Commons or the Senate
  • 1st Reading: This step is not an actual reading but rather a first presentation of the Bill. This step authorizes the printing of the Bill and allocates it a number: C-# for House bills and S-# for Senate bills.
  • 2nd Reading: The principle of the bill is debated. Once the principle is adopted, the Bill is referred to parliamentary committees for further study.
  • Committee: A committee hears witnesses, examines the bill clause by clause and submits a report with or without amendments
  • Report Stage: Additional amendments to the bill may be moved, debated and voted on.
  • 3rd Reading: This reading is the last opportunity for the House to amend the bill. Following this review, the bill is printed for the last time.
  • Sent to the Upper House (if the bill was passed by the Lower House/House of Commons), it is then referred to the Senate). Have the power to amend and delay.
  • Royal Assent: The Governor General or a deputy gives the bill Royal Assent in the Senate when the bill has been passed in exactly the same form by both Houses. It is assigned a Chapter number (e.g., Bill C-7 became Chapter 1 of the Statutes of Canada, 2000). The bill will then become law and comes into force on the day of Assent, unless otherwise provided in the bill itself.
  • Source:
canadian charter of rights and freedoms
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Clarify 7 main subsections of the document
  • Have students split into groups of 3 or 4; Issue different Right/Freedom to each group to create a skit
  • After skit, rest of class to guess the Right/Freedom presented
rights and responsibilities
Rights and Responsibilities
  • Right to vote…Responsibility to:
  • …register on the voters’ list
  • …research each of the candidates and their platform
  • Freedom of speech…Responsibility to:
  • …uphold the law; not discriminate against other groups

What is the city but the people?

  • Citizens:

True, the people are the city.

-Coriolanus, Act III, Sc. I.

on line video clips to inspire civic involvement
On-line video clips to inspire civic involvement:
  • TED Talks: Antidote to Apathy

> Great message about civic involvement

  • Toronto Spoke: Deputation
  • City politics: getting one’s voice heard
wrap up and unit 2 test
Wrap-up and Unit 2 test
  • Citizenship Test (for fun, not for marks)
  • Review games
  • Unit 2 test
culminating task
Culminating Task
  • Introduce concept of letters of constructive complaint
  • Directing letter to right level of government
  • Letter 1: Provincial or Federal (depending on issue)

> Problem + solution by expert in that field > print off website info e.g. environmental issue > David Suzuki,

  • Letter 2: Municipal issue; emphasize that the student is the expert since this is their neighbourhood
law unit
Law Unit
  • Day 1:
  • All notes on Civil Law and Criminal Law
  • Day 2: Law booklet based on real cases in the newspaper; use notes to assess law in specific case in Canadian civil or criminal law
  • Day 3: Quiz (on paper or Smartboard, overhead)
law booklet
Law booklet
  • Mini-Law Booklet
  • Create an information booklet to depict examples of criminal and civil law based on a report or article in the newspaper.
  • To begin:
  • (1) Observe how to create the six-sided booklet
  • (2) Find an article in the newspaper that discusses an offence (report of a crime, report of a court trial, etc…) – do not spend more than 20 minutes doing this.
  • Page 1:
  • This is the cover which needs to indicate the topic of your info book. Include the MLA info at the bottom right-hand corner:
  • Teacher’s name
  • Course code
  • Due Date
  • Student’s name
  • Page 2:
  • Define both Civil Law and Criminal Law, in your own words
  • Page 3:
  • i)What is the issue discussed in this article?
  • ii) Which type of law (civil OR criminal) is involved in your article? Briefly explain why it is an example of this type of law.
  • Page 4:
  • >If Civil: Under which branch would it be tried and describe why. How did you come to this conclusion based on the information in the article.
  • >If Criminal: Is it a summary or indictable offence and briefly describe why. How did you come to this conclusion based on the information in the article. What is the Actus Reus?
  • Page 5:
  • Who is/will be the plaintiff/prosecutor in this case? Explain why. Who is/will be the defendant/accused in this case? Explain why.
  • Page 6:
  • Could Mens Rea be proved in this case? Even if this is not discussed in the article, give your explanation of how Mens Rea could be proved.
exam review
Exam Review
  • Island simulation: ‘Lord of the Flies’ concept of landing on an island without hope of leaving. In small groups, students use all concepts from term’s notes to develop a place name, flag, political system, laws, penalties, etc…
  • Review games
review games
Review Games
  • ‘Taboo’ concept game: Jar of terms, political names; class split into 2 teams; students play to their team; 1-minute clock.
  • Race and scrawl; first correctly spelled response gets the point. Works well with 2 or 3 teams.
  • Good for unit test or exam reviews
websites and links worth visiting
Websites and links worth visiting
  • Charter of Rights & Freedoms:
  • Student Vote:
  • Civix Canada:
  • RaBit: Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto
  • National Post- special offer
  • Proportional Representation:
  • TED Talks: “Antidote to Apathy”
  • City hall e.g. Deputation: “Toronto Spoke: Dave Meslin”
websites and links for students to help them with ideas or solutions to write letters
Websites and links for students to help them with ideas or solutions to write letters
  • TEA/Toronto Environmental Alliance:
  • Care2Action:
  • Global issues:
  • Federal gov’t:
  • Provincial gov’t:
  • Trillium organ donation:
  • 1.800.668.POST: for free National Post papers for school year (PDF ad)
  • Elections Canada, Elections Ontario
class trip suggestions
Class trip suggestions
  • Book a tour at your city hall
  • Book a tour at Queen’s Park (better if legislature is sitting to see question period)
  • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, accessed November2, 2012,
  • Gordon, Doug, Jack McFadden, Jennifer Watt. Civics Now. Toronto: Nelson, a division of Thomson Canada Ltd, 2006
  • Kahn, Carole. Becoming Political: Comparative Perspectives on Citizenship Education. Albany: SUNY Press, 1998.
  • Ozman, Howard A. and Samuel M. Craver. Philosophical Foundations of Education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc, 1999.
  • Plato. The Republic. Editors Betty Radic and Robert Baldick. London: Whitefriars Press, Ltd, 1964.