Future teachers and elections: theory to practice

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A teacher gathered around a table with four students, having a discussion on an educational resource.

A visit from an Elections Canada educator will bring great value to your faculty of education classroom. An educator will model a high-quality inquiry-based lesson that demonstrates how to put learning theories into practice. During the class visit, your education students will experience that lesson, while making connections to literacy strategies, critical thinking concepts, student engagement, blended learning, and more. The lessons are perfect for new teachers and are portable across curriculum areas and grade levels, so they can be used meaningfully in many subjects or grades.

Model inquiry lesson

Planning an inquiry lesson can be challenging for new teachers, especially if they have never experienced one themselves. Our educators give them an observable first-hand experience, which can help them in designing their own inquiry lessons and in integrating and applying concepts like disciplinary thinking, literacy strategies and talk protocols.

For example, the Elections Canada resource Voting Rights through Time opens with the question: How inclusive is our democracy? Providing a model inquiry question that is rooted in historical thinking. Students explore continuity and change with an engaging timeline activity that prompts rich discussion through structured protocols and literacy strategies. Student teachers will actually feel how an inquiry lesson should proceed, so that they can more successfully create their own lesson plans.

Perfect for new teachers

All of our resources are designed to be accessible for beginning teachers and those new to teaching about elections and democracy. Based on teacher feedback, they are short, taking no more than one class period. They also include all of the components that students will need, and have clear and concise background information for teachers. Finally, each lesson includes a slide deck to guide teachers through the lesson.

Some resources include background information right in the teacher’s guide. For example, Civic Action: Then and Now includes more detail about civic actions in the past. New teachers can learn about the events that led to voting rights for women, or constitutional change for Indigenous peoples. Other resources have online support, like the Election Simulation Toolkit resource. It invites teachers to explore the Canada’s Elections section on our website, where you will find clear information about Canada’s election process, youth voting trends and an engaging student FAQ section.

Practical and portable

With all of the background information and support, new teachers can feel confident in facilitating student learning according to the curriculum and best practices in inquiry learning. We encourage education students to order all of the resources so that they can bring them wherever they go, and impress their associate teachers or simply have them as a backup plan to be ready for whatever the school day brings. The lessons are designed for the secondary classroom across all grades and many subjects, but they can also be easily adapted for intermediate and elementary students.

For example, Elections by the Numbers invites students to examine a data set of voter turnout by age group. They work together in small groups to create an infographic in a social studies, geography or language arts classroom, or a graph in a math classroom. The lesson can be adapted to a wide variety of classrooms to meet a wide variety of learning objectives, perfect for a new teacher to learn the difference between a learning goal and a classroom activity.


While the Elections Canada learning resources are designed to be bite-sized, self-contained lessons, they can also springboard students into their own inquiries. Each lesson includes extension ideas and inspires students to ask their own questions.

In many resources, new teachers can benefit from using a conceptual framework that they can later apply to other topics. For example, in Digital Skills for Democracy, students learn five digital strategies that they can continue to use to detect misinformation and disinformation online. In Civic Action: Then and Now, students can plan their own civic action using the model that they used to analyze civic actions in the past.

Book an elections Canada educator to present to your education students!