CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers - Kim Campbell: 'Time and Chance'

Media Studies, Business Studies, Political Science, English Language Arts
2 lessons
To identify complexities of providing and maintaining political leadership; to prepare and conduct an interview
Students research the challenges faced by Kim Campbell during her political career and develop questions and answers for a role-play interview with her.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring


Explain to students that political leadership involves many complexities and difficult decisions, decisions that may sometimes seem to please very few people. Brainstorm what students already know about current local, provincial, national, and/or international issues that appear challenging for our political leaders. Students may need prompting about such topics as climate change, national defence, federal-provincial relations, and so on.

Outline the Opportunity


Students will work in pairs to browse the topic Kim Campbell: First and Foremost on the CBC Digital Archives website, including the following clips:

"Introducing Avril Campbell," "Inside backbencher Kim Campbell's office",  "Kim Campbell: Why are you afraid to hear me'", "For Kim Campbell, an 'unspeakably lonely' life," "Kim Campbell the candidate," "Prime Minister Kim Campbell," "No new jobs, Kim Campbell promises," "Kim Campbell asks: 'What the hell are election campaigns for?'" "Kim Campbell's campaign asks: 'Is this a prime minister?'", "A historic Tory defeat in 1993", "A new starring role in L.A. for Kim Campbell" and "Kim Campbell's life after politics," including the Did You Know? sections. 

As they review the audio and video clips, they should record what they learn about the following aspects of Kim Campbell's life in politics:


  • The first woman to hold the Justice and Defence portfolios
  • The first female prime minister
  • The advancement of women
  • The 1993 defeat of the Progressive Conservative government
  • Kim Campbell's views on free trade
  • The helicopter dispute
  • The reorganization of government departments

For each item they find, they work with their partner to develop an interview question. Together, they develop answers and turn their questions and answers into a script for a simulated interview with the former prime minister.

Assessment Tip: Have students participate in a peer assessment. During this exercise, students can work in pairs to ask and respond to the questions that each wrote. At the end of the activity, students can discuss with you any instances of inaccurate questions or answers to give you an idea of student comprehension of the content of the clips.

Revisit and Reflect

Have each pair present its interview in its role as the interviewer and as Prime Minister Kim Campbell. Following the interviews, have a class discussion to debrief. Ask: Which topics, questions, or responses had an impact on you? Why? What are your opinions of Campbell and why?


Students can read the book Time and Chance, Campbell's autobiography, and present a book report about it.

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