Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Ontario Election Debate
Ask: When you are able to vote, what issues, if any, will be most important to you? On what issues is it most important for you to agree with a politician before you will vote for her or him? List students' responses on the board or chart paper. Take a class vote on the four issues most important to the students.
Outline the Opportunity
Divide the class into several small groups. Assign each group one of the three major Ontario political parties (Conservative, Liberal, and NDP). Direct students to the topic Ontario Elections: 25 Tumultuous Years on the CBC Digital Archives website. Groups will find out what they can about their assigned party, its leader and the four identified key issues. Students can expand their research to include other websites. Groups will prepare talking points and rebuttals on the issues. Groups will select a representative to act as party leader. One student should take the role of moderator, and several others can be assigned to pose questions to the leaders. Hold a mock, pre-election debate, with the three party leaders debating the issues they researched. Debates should include rebuttals and questions from the class.
Revisit and Reflect
Following the debate, hold a class election. Did the winning party win because of its platform or its presentation?
Students can write a newspaper article or editorial covering the debate. They should indicate who won the debate and why that leader was successful.