Civic Action: Then and Now

Civic Action


At a glance

In this activity, students

  • think about something they would like to change in their community
  • examine historical case studies that resulted in real change: women getting the right to vote in Manitoba, and the inclusion of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada’s Constitution
  • examine the actions citizens took to understand how political change happens, and
  • apply that understanding as a model for their own civic action on an issue they care about.

Big idea

Actions taken by citizens have resulted in change. Citizens can act in a number of ways both inside and outside of the formal political process.


This activity can be used in a social studies, history, civics or citizenship class, or to launch a student-led civic action or service learning project. 

Language learner version

This activity includes a version for language learners and struggling readers. Plain language and simple sentences make this version ideal for lower-literacy, immersion and second language students. Also, there are fewer activity cards, so students can complete the activity in the allotted time and achieve the same learning outcomes.



Time needed:

60 minutes