The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom

Learning Activity

Duration:  2 classes

Objective of the activity

To analyze the changes to the rights and responsibilities of citizens with the introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Relation to the History of Quebec and Canada program

Terminal objective

Intermediate Objective
              7.3.3 To discuss some of the major issues (5) which have had an impact on Quebec society since the "Quiet Revolution",
                        i.e. Social Groups : Rights and Responsibilities.

Necessary Materials

Package 1- What is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ?

Packages A, B, C and D -  (Case studies including Fact Sheets, Issues to be decided, Dispositions)

First Class

Learning context
The teacher explains that to learn more about this important Charter, the students are invited to study "real cases" and respond to the issues raised by each of the cases.
They will then be able to compare "their judgments" to "real judgments" rendered by the Supreme Court

I -The teacher asks the students to form teams or the teacher may select the teams beforehand.

2-Each team is presented with a case study   (Package A. B.C or D) which includes the following materials:

· a copy of the Charter (Package 1)

· a Fact Sheet that is a summary of the Case with the Issue to be decided

3-Each team studies the Fact Sheet

4-Identifies the issues to be resolved

5-Prepares a Judgment with references to the charter

While the students work, the teacher ensures that the teams respect the time limits for an answering the questions arising from the issues to be resolved and preparing their conclusions.

Second Class

A spokesperson for each team presents the summary of their Case with their Decision to the class, citing sections of the Charter as support for their conclusions.
After each presentation, the teacher polls the rest of the class as to their verdict. records the results on the blackboard, and reads or has a student playing the role of a Judge, the "real" Judgment or Decision.

Note: Teachers may want to have the students research the chosen Cases or do background reading on all three Cases.  If so, this work - to be accomplished at home or at the library, outside of history classroom hours - should be done before the beginning of the activity.  The students could form their teams before carrying out their preliminary research, which should give them more time to prepare their presentations.