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Canada's Government in Action: Mini Lesson

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Rich Munro

on 6 January 2014

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Transcript of Canada's Government in Action: Mini Lesson

Canada's Government in Action: Mini Lesson
Instructor: Rich Munro, OCT
CHV20 Civics Course, 2014
Contact Info: Email-InstructorMunro@live.ca
Office Hours: M-W: 1130am-1230pm
Thursdays: After School (320pm-5pm)
Online Tutoring Sessions: Available M-W (7-8pm)

Course and Lesson Overview

This mini lesson is designed to engage learners and develop a progression of learning skills and tasks that become gradually complex-leading to an "Assessment of Learning" activity which offers flexibility and firrentiation through process, product and content (Students are encouraged to use their own experiences, and scaffold a K-W-L-like approach to their learning- (What is already known, what has just been learned, and what each learner questions or wants to learn more about).

This is a Social Studies lesson plan which highlights several activities taken from a Canadian Civics Course-which is
“Evaluation of critical thinking and reflection requires assessment methods that encourage individual expression...the instructor may intersperse self-assessment activities or non-graded activities that allows learners to explore ideas in a non-threatening environment” (Conrad and Donaldson, 2011, p. 28).

Course/Lesson Learning Outcomes
Activity #1-Concept Organizer
Learning Objective:
Describe the main features of local, provincial, and federal governments in Canada and explain how these features work

Content (Mind) Map Exercise (see attachment):

Students will learn about graphic organizers, and create an organizer using terms learned in our first unit or study—facts and concepts to describe government in action.

Activity #1-Rationale
This activity is built on exploration and students have an opportunity to share prior knowledge (some students may know some of these terms already, in which everyone can come to a consensus answer for their organizer) while reviewing an example of student work (peer modelling of expectations).

This supports the generation effect, which supports that “Learning is enhanced when learners produce answers compared to having them recognize answers” (25 Learning Principles to Guide Pedagogy, n.d., Concordia University). According to the CDT matrix, this activity is expository in nature as students learn about government terms and concepts through teacher explanations, illustrations and scenarios—gradually having students create own understandings.
Activity #2- Civics Quiz
Activity #2-Rationale
Diagnostic assessments “help the teacher understand what a student brings to the classroom or to a specific subject”, and can make instructional decisions accordingly.

Frequent quizzes and demonstrations/explanations (either submitted, or “live”) can be effective at beginning of each new unit or subtopics, or when new strategies/technologies are being introduced. This is beneficial as it allows the teacher to see what each student brings to the table in terms of understanding and prior knowledge, and can then match his/her lesson planning accordingly.

This quiz would be presented using Google Docs, and students would have the opportunity to set up personal profiles and have ample time to navigate and learn about several Google Learning Tools (This is an inquiry question at the conclusion of the term , where students can evaluate Google and how effective their products/applications are.
Activity #3-Political Trading Cards Activity
Activity #3-Rationale
This would be an example of a rich, authentic assessment, which will allow educators to evaluate skills in each area of Assessment (according to our Achievement Charts and Curriculum documents), and provides an engaging learning experiences where students can apply their understandings, combined with their blossoming notions about government and reflection on their own lives; and leads to collaboration (sharing cards), discussion, and collection (for future use-especially in a current events and "Who's Who" assessmnet activities in the future.

Educators could embed technology/make it appropriate for online learning by using applications such as VOICEthread and Voki, where Political "personas" could be created (using themes, cartoons, symbols, pictures, etc.) and students could access each others finished products-leave comments, share feedback, and build upon each others' views and insights.
The learning outcomes allow students to work within the full-spectrum of Blooms’ Taxonomy, encouraging mastery of “lower skills” and innovative/inquiry-based steps leading towards creation.

Grade 10 Students (This course is part of their compulsory credit required to complete their OSSD or High School Diploma). With that in mind, it is paramount that learning activities are tiered/differentiated in nature and students are provided with opportunities for authentic assessment-given their respective academic planning, preferences and readiness.


Students will:

1) Describe the main features of local, provincial, and federal governments in Canada and explain how these features work; (lower level—knowledge, understanding)  (higher level-Synthesizing)

2) Apply their understandings of the challenges of governing communities or societies in which diverse value systems, multiple perspectives, and differing civic purposes coexist; measured by self-reflection and awareness exercises and participation in community (sharing) circles. (Assessment as Learning)

3) Identify the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship, based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and evaluate how these rights and responsibilities are exercised in schools, communities and the nation; student demonstration of mastery will have students using graphic organizers, self-checklists and a POLITICAL TRADING CARD ACTIVITY. (Assessment of Learning)

Extension Activity (for students who wish to challenge themselves with an extension--Enrichment activity)
***Completing a Current Events CHOICE BOARD. (Evaluate/Create)
Choice Board options are:
1. Write—Create a blog or an editorial
2. Draw—Create a comic strip or storyboard
3. Sing/Say—Create a poem, rap or lyrics for a song
4. Do/Say—Create a mock TV interview

While recognizing that each student may be working towards achievement levels that are appropriate for them, the goal is to 1) have students reach the provincial standard of 70% or Level “3” on AoL’s –Assessments of Learning, and 2) encourage them to extend their thinking and challenge them to achieve Level “4” and beyond, but also reflect upon the value of the learning that has taken place (Ministry of Education, 2010). Please follow the
arrow and proceed to the next slide to see the rubric for these activities..

Ministry of Education. (2009). Growing Success: Ontario's Guide to Assessment and Evaluation. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/growingsuccess

Conrad, R-M. And Donaldson, J. (2011). Engaging the online learner. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. San Francisco, CA.

Churches, A. (2008). Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally. Retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/studies-in-ed-tech/0020/blooms-taxonomy-blooms-digitally/44988

Penn State University (2010). Writing Objectives: A, B, C, D. Retrieved from http://ets.tlt.psu.edu/learningdesign/objectives/writingobjectives

iNACOL. (2011). National Standards for Quality Online Courses. Retrieved via Concordia University (Course Required Readings.)

Miller, J. (n.d). Traditional Assessment vs. Authentic Assessment. Retrieved at http://www.cssvt.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Traditional-vs-Authentic-Assessment.pdf

As preparation for the next two activities, which have learners moving from "new comers" to collaborators and Initiators, it is important to guide their learning to include methodology and "using information appropriately"-and this is where would elaborate on Netiquette, Sourcing and Primary/Secondary Source Analysis.

If the learning outcomes being assessed at the end of the lesson are not introduced and practiced throughout, then it becomes difficult to gain an accurate picture of the learning that has taken place on behalf of each learner--thus, reinforcing the use of formative (metacognitive) assessments in our instructional design.

Please Review the attached "Ready for Research Powerpoint", and feel free to refer to it through the next activities and for personal reference in the future.
Do not copy!!
Record your own thoughts!
Quote accurately!
Provide citations for everything borrowed!

Honest Use of Information

Have you answered
all parts?
Do you need to do
more research?

Last Check

Use post-it notes to annotate
Organize using sub-headings answering key questions
Highlight/ colour code relevant information ONLY!!


Save all relevant information, photos, charts etc.
Record your own ideas and reflections
Email yourself, save to your student file or print off and highlight key information
Keep track of your sources!!


Don’t write too much!

Don’t copy without citing!

Don’t believe everything you read!!


Select the best resources
Analyze and evaluate; keep thinking! Don’t just copy!
Record the sources with the information
Organize with sub headings:

Processing: skim, scan, consider...

seek, and collect information from print and electronic sources
Look for:
point of view

Gather what you need…

Like this:

Civil Society
Non-profit organization
Social and Human Service Organizations

Explore, select, and focus on an organization that interests YOU!
Consider key words in your assignment as well as any
related word...

Getting started….

How do I get started on my research?
Where do I find information in the library?
What do I do with the information I find?
How do I avoid the big P word?

Hmmm…. Research? what’s that?


Ready for Research:


How do I access information on the internet?

How do I find a book?

Automatic Bibliography Maker

Build a bibliography or works cited page the easy way


Subscription paid by HDSB

Other search engines

Are fast and fun but
are like panning for
gold nuggets.

Check for relevancy, accuracy and authority

best for depth and detail!
Table of Contents
Fact Boxes
Recommended Websites
Works Cited for future research


Research Topic


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