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Making difficult decisions about justice and fairness in a democracy requires the ability to balance conflicting rights and freedoms. The Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust maintains that anyone who has the capacity to say “that’s not fair” can engage in critical thinking about important social justice issues.

Below you will find a number of lesson plans and resources that you can implement in your classrooms to engage students in questions of fairness. Please feel free to try these strategies in your classrooms and tell us how it went, or if you have a lesson plan of your own that you’d like to share with us, we’d love to hear from you!  Simply email us at education@ccla.org.

If you’d like to invite a CCLET guest speaker to engage your classroom in any of the lessons below, or to request a Civil Liberties workshop, please click here to submit a workshop request form.

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Lesson Title Age Level Subject Area Description
Privacy, the Internet and that Phone in your Pocket 15 + History; Law; Civics; Social Science; Politics; World Issues In this lesson plan students will develop an understanding of privacy rights and why a guarantee of privacy is necessary in free and democratic societies.  Students will consider the question, if you have nothing to hide, why should you care about privacy?

This lesson fulfills multiple provincial curriculum expectations. For a list of Overall and Specific curriculum expectations as outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Education, please see the accompanying document: CCLET Privacy Lesson, Curriculum Links.pdf

Seeking Refuge: Understanding Refugees in Canada 15 + History; Law; Civics; Social Science; Politics; World Issues Through a series of engaging activities, students will be introduced to the concepts of refugee protection.  In particular, students will gain an understanding of what it means to be a refugee, analyse how Canada has treated refugees in the past, and determine if our historical responses to refugees should affect/inform law today.

This lesson plan fulfills multiple provincial curriculum expectations. For a list of Overall and Specific curriculum expectations as outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Education, please see the accompanying document: Seeking Refuge, Links to Ontario Curriculum

CCLET Presents the Acorn Test (Intermediate/Senior) 12 + History; Law; Civics; Social Science; Politics; World Issues A “prezi” presentation illustrating CCLET’s Acorn test: a miniature Oakes test to help determine whether a rule, law or action that limits a Charter right or freedom is fair and reasonable.
Barnyard Protest: Cows & Chickens & Fundamental Freedoms 5 – 12 Language Arts; Humanities/Social Studies; Citizenship The storybook Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin, is a fun and entertaining way to teach students what it means to have a right or a freedom and also peacefully advocate for an important cause. 
That’s Not Fair!  5 – 12 Language Arts; Humanities/Social Studies; Citizenship After viewing a short animated film from the That’s Not Fair! series, students will learn how to ask critcial thinking questions in order to determine whether a rule, law, or action that limits rights and freedoms is fair/reasonable.