Visual: White screen with the Elections Canada logo in the bottom right corner. An animated orange line moves across the screen and turns into an X. The X turns sideways, splits and disappears from view. The title, Civic Action: Then and Now appears on a blank background. The word Teaching and an orange X appears above the title.
Visual: Live action begins with a medium shot of a woman standing behind a table speaking directly to the camera. On the table are an activity board, activity cards and a teacher’s guide booklet. From the side appear the words Rachel Collishaw, Education Specialist, Elections Canada.
Rachel: Hi, my name is Rachel Collishaw. I’m a teacher and education specialist at Elections Canada.
Visual: The video shifts to animation as the cover of the teacher’s guide moves into view.
Rachel: In this video, I’ll be showing you how you can teach Civic Action: Then and Now.
Visual: The cover opens to reveal the inside of the cover and first page of the teacher guide, showing the Big Idea and the Inquiry Question.
Rachel: How can you take action to make a difference?
Visual: The inquiry question pops forward in enlarged text: “How can you take action to make a difference?”
Rachel: That’s the inquiry question that students explore in Civic Action: Then and Now.
Visual: The big idea pops forward in enlarged text: “Actions taken by citizens have resulted in change. Citizens can act in a number of ways both inside and outside of the formal political system.”
Rachel: They learn about citizens in the past who have successfully taken action to make change and how they can take action themselves.
Visual: The page turns to reveal the Minds On and the instructions pop forward in enlarged text.
Rachel: We start with the Minds On, the first part of the three-part lesson structure that’s embedded in all of our activities. These first five minutes help students connect their own experiences to the big idea of the lesson.
Visual: The animation fades to a slow motion live action clip of students in a classroom sitting at individual desks which are arranged in rows. The students are writing at their desks and a teacher is talking with a student at the back.
Rachel: In this minds on activity, students reflect and write quietly in response to these questions.
Visual: Animation showing the Minds On page in the teacher’s guide. The questions pop forward in enlarged text: “What is one thing you would like to change in your school, community or society? What could you do to change it?”
Rachel: Students usually have a pretty good idea of what they would like to change, and they usually have some experience with how to change things.
Visual: Live action returns to Rachel standing behind a table speaking directly to the camera. The words “Have them share their ideas with a partner” appear on the side of the screen in large text beside her right shoulder.
Rachel: If some students are stuck, you can always have them share their ideas with a partner or ask a few students to share with the whole class to get them started. But you don’t want to spend too much time in the minds on; it’s really just a quick introduction.
Visual: Animation returns with the cover of the teacher’s guide. The cover opens to reveal the second page. Part of the activity instructions pop forward in enlarged text.
Rachel: We’ll come back to what they want to change again at the end of the lesson, but for now we’re going to focus on how change can happen as we move into the Activity part of the lesson. Start by showing the short videos to introduce the case studies.
Visual: The visuals change to an animated video featuring a large group of characters dressed in period clothing. The camera begins to zoom out revealing a crowd of men and women holding slips of paper. The words “available on our website: electionsanddemocracy.ca” appear in the lower left corner of the screen. The camera pans to a new animated scene, where a woman sits in a chair. A thought bubble appears above her head, with an image of a magazine and the word “vote” on its cover.
Rachel: You can use one or both case studies. The women’s case study is a great example of how citizens made change when they didn’t have the right to vote. Students can usually connect with that story.
Visual: A historical photo shows a group of people holding a welcoming banner in a train station. The video transitions through several historical photos of groups of protestors marching through the streets, on the steps of the Parliament building, and more.
Rachel: The Aboriginal Rights case study is a good choice if you’re looking for some really inspiring Indigenous content. The activity will work either way, but you know your students and your curriculum best.
Visual: Return to live action with Rachel behind the table. She points to the activity board and holds up a pile of small cards while speaking directly to the camera. The website URL electionsanddemocracy.ca appears on the screen over her right shoulder.
Rachel: Students will now work together in small groups. Each group gets the activity board and a set of case study cards. When you order the kit, you’ll get enough for one classroom working in small groups. If you need more materials, everything is also available to download and print from our website.
Visual: The screen fades and switches to an animation of the activity board with four quadrants: Participating as an individual, working together as a group, building public support, and working through the political system. As the narrator lists each of the quadrants on the activity board, the corresponding quadrant is highlighted. Six samples of activity cards appear on each side of the activity board.
Rachel: On the board, you’ll see that there are four ways to take civic action: on your own, with a group, with public support and through the political system. It’s a good idea to review some of the examples from the videos to help students understand the different ways of taking civic action.
Visual: The screen changes so that the cards are aligned along the top of the screen and the activity board tilts backwards. Then four of the cards fall, one at a time, onto each of the quadrants.
Rachel: Students now work together to read aloud the cards and discuss where they might go on the board. To make sure all students are participating, I recommend having one student deal out the cards so that everyone is responsible to read aloud a few.
Visual: Live action returns with Rachel behind the table. She is holding the set of cards as she speaks directly to the camera. She places the set of cards back on the table.
Rachel: If your students need literacy support, you can order the language-learner version of the resource.
Visual: Rachel places her hands first on the activity board, then on the teacher’s guide. Three phrases are highlighted on-screen to her right as she speaks: what they say; how they listen to each other; how they make their voices heard.
Rachel: Where they place the cards is not that important, though we do provide a potential response guide. What is important is what they are saying while they place the cards. How are they listening to each other’s points of view? How are they making their voices heard? This is a great opportunity to do some observational assessment of collaboration or oral language skills.
Visual: Screen fades to orange and the teacher’s guide floats in, opening to the consolidation page. The consolidation questions pop forward in larger text: “What could happen if you removed one of the quadrants? Would the events of the case study be similar or different today?”
Rachel: Some groups will finish before others, and you can help them extend their thinking by introducing them to the consolidation questions. To consolidate the learning, give students a few minutes in their small groups to discuss the questions.
Visual: The screen fades to a still colour photograph of students sitting around a table placing cards on the activity board. This dissolves into a second still colour photograph of different students placing cards on the activity board. The screen dissolves into a third photograph of a student holding a card up for another student to read.
Rachel: Have them designate someone to speak on behalf of their group. It’s important to have students discuss their ideas in their small group first; this is where the important learning conversations happen and it gives all voices the chance to be heard.
Visual: Live action returns to Rachel behind the table. As she speaks directly to the camera, the words “all four ways to take action are important” appear on-screen in large orange text.
Rachel: Then, have groups share their thinking with the class to hear even more voices. They usually come to the conclusion that all four ways to take action are important in creating change. Finally, students return to the minds on question.
Visual: The screen fades to orange and the thinking guide handout appears. It has the words, “better transit” handwritten under the first question and the words, “more buses” handwritten under the second question.
Rachel: Now they have a template to plan their own civic actions, a bridge between their ideas and their solutions.
Visual: The screen returns to Rachel behind the table. The words, “Citizens can act in lots of ways” appear in large orange text beside her right shoulder then fade away. The words, “Connection between their own lives and the political system” appear in large orange text beside her right shoulder then fade away.
Rachel: They are starting to understand that change is not just because of one person, one group, or one action, but that citizens can act in lots of ways to make it happen. We are also hoping that they will begin to make the connection between their own lives and the political system, and to see how they can engage in it.
Visual: Live action stops and the video moves to a still colour photograph of a student holding up and reading one of the cards, while another student points to one of the quadrants on the activity board. The screen fades to another still colour photograph of the activity board on a table and four separate hands each holding a card. One card is placed on the activity board.
Rachel: The ultimate goal is that students will gain a more nuanced understanding of how citizens can take action to make change, and that they will begin to see their own place in that change.
Visual: Return to live action with Rachel standing behind the table speaking directly to the camera.
Rachel: One of the things that I love about this activity is that I see the model for civic action everywhere—in my community and around the world. Once students understand the model, it’s a great way to help them analyze local, national and global events and really get beyond the headlines and connect to the issues that they care about as young citizens and future voters.
Visual: The screen fades to white and a clip art image of a student in a mortar board graduation cap is set against an orange circle. A speech bubble appears above the head of the student and a red heart appears in the speech bubble. The image fades and text appears: “Share your experience and photos on our Twitter and Facebook accounts!” The Facebook and Twitter logos appear on screen with the handle @democracyCA.
Rachel: We want to know if your students liked the activity. Share your experience and photos on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.