CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Ontario Personalities and Politics

Political Science
2 lessons
To explore how personalities and leadership styles influence voters during election campaigns
Students will write a campaign speech in the style of a recent or current politician from Ontario.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Ask students to identify some political figures, either from Ontario or other parts of Canada. List their impressions of the political figures' personalities and styles, and list their opinions of them, either positive or negative. Ask: How do you get to know politicians and understand their positions on issues?

Outline the Opportunity

Have students browse the topic Ontario Elections: 25 Tumultuous Years on the CBC Digital Archives website. As they browse, students will gather information on some of the major figures in Ontario provincial politics from the 1980s to the present (Bill Davis, Frank Miller, David Peterson, Bob Rae, Mike Harris, Dalton McGuinty, Howard Hampton, Ernie Eves). Students should select one leader and explore that leader's personality, leadership style, speaking style, and how the voters perceived him as a political leader.

Students will write and present a short campaign speech in the style of their selected leader. Students should be sure to accurately portray the personality, style, and politics of their chosen leader.

Revisit and Reflect

While students are presenting their speeches, their classmates should evaluate how they think voters would respond to the speech. After the speeches, ask: Why are personalities and leadership styles important in politics, especially during election campaigns? Why do voters respond the way they do to different politicians?


Students can write a brief character sketch of their selected political figure.

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