CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: A Social Action Seminar

Social Studies, Political Science, English Language Arts
1 to 2 lessons
To prepare an oral presentation about a social justice issue
Students prepare and present an oral seminar about a social justice issue of their choice.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

If students have completed the activity Social Action Plan, invite them to discuss the various programs to which they contributed their time. If they have not completed that activity, consider doing it as a follow up to this one.

As a class, brainstorm and list several social justice issues. Have students look at the list and describe any areas of social justice in which they have been involved or any things they have done to contribute to the community, such as volunteering at a charitable organization, helping a neighbour with groceries or snow shovelling, reading to younger children, and so on.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic June Callwood: Canada's Conscience on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have them read and view the clip "Where there's a cause, there's Callwood".  As a class, identify Callwood's involvement in social justice and describe what motivated her. Record their responses. Alternatively, review the responses they gave if they completed the activity Social Action Plan.

Have students choose an issue that interests them and find at least two media articles that explain the issue. Bring students together in small groups. Each student will identify the issue he or she chose, explain why he or she would like to pursue it, and suggest three things that he or she can do to further the cause.

Revisit and Reflect


After presenting to their groups, students will prepare brief oral seminars that explain the issue and summarize the three things they believe that they can personally accomplish. Seminars should include a thesis statement and a series of points that prove the thesis statement. Students can practice, giving their seminar to a peer, checking that they fulfilled their purpose and appealed to their audience (the class). Have students revise and complete their work.

Assessment Tip
Let students know you will be looking for accurate information, for demonstration of critical thinking, and for understanding of rhetorical devices and speaking techniques (volume, pace, emphasis, gestures, body language).



Students can write or tell what motivated their choice of issue.

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