Voting Rights through Time

Voting Rights

At a glance

In this activity, students

  • reflect on the question of inclusion and exclusion, then work together to examine case studies related to voting rights in federal elections for three different groups
  • create a “timeline with attitude” that shows how a group was included or excluded in Canadian democracy over time, and
  • find out about the history of the federal vote through a video and an infographic.

Big idea

The right to vote has not always existed for everyone in Canada. Voting was once seen as a privilege: certain groups were excluded at different times. Now almost all Canadian citizens over 18 have the right to vote.


This activity can be used in a history, social studies, civics or citizenship class. 

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