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Canada's Constitutional Documents
An essay using the
Canada in the Making site
The history of
the written Canadian Constitution is a process that could be described as an evolution.
Sometimes dramatic events have spurred changes in legislation, which have in turn
shaped future events. Ultimately, this led to the Constitution that Canadians
enjoy today. This activity will give students the opportunity to analyze one major
constitutional document and the events surrounding it. In doing so, they will
examine primary sources (historical documents) and draw conclusions from evidence.
They will write an essay and may prepare a presentation of their findings.
Social Studies (History) and Language Arts; Ages 15 and up
is an essay requiring that students become familiar with one document in Canada's
constitutional history. It is an independent activity and should take between
three and four hour-long sessions for research.
Note that the sources
used in ECO can be printed from the browser and then photocopied.
Outcomes (WCP, APEF); Expectations
(ON); Objectives (QC)
Table of Curricular
Relevance by Course and Province
British Columbia and Yukon Territory
Computers with Internet access
(Extension) Materials for a presentation:
Traditional print materials (card, paper, markers) or
Multimedia tools (PowerPoint, overheads)
Early Canadiana Online: Canada in the Making
Essay writing resources can be found in the Writing An Essay unit
Other links can be found in the Student Work Sheet.
Students will need
An understanding of
Web navigation symbols, tools and terminology, particularly the tools used in
Familiarity with research and essay writing skills.
A basic understanding of the basic shape of Canadian history,
especially from the 18th century on.
students what is the biggest issue in governing Canada today. Possibilities include:
separatism, regionalism, division of powers between levels of government, etc.
Draw them to the conclusion
that the issues we face today have deep roots that can be traced back in history.
Hand out Student Work Sheets and
introduce students to the ECO Canada In the Making Web site. Read the
assignment and discuss.
Each student picks a
particular document to examine. They may look at background material on the ECO
site or other sites.
Students search for the
required information for each document. They should discuss answers and try to
make balanced comments about the documents. It may be efficient for groups working
on the same document to conduct research together. Extra credit could be given
for comments about the documents not specifically identified on the Student Work
Review consensus: Considering the shape of Canada
and its politics today, which document has the greatest impact on:
See the Suggested Rubric.
When all information has been gathered, drafted, reviewed and printed as a final
draft, groups could make short presentations to the class using various presentation
media (e.g.: posters, PowerPoint, role playing, interviews, etc.)