CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Why Enter Politics?

History, Social Studies
1 to 2 lessons
To investigate the reasons people enter politics
Students examine and discuss Ed Broadbent’s reasons for entering politics.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Have students complete a Think-Pair-Share activity to develop a list of the pros and cons of entering politics as a career. After they have shared their ideas with their partners, students can write about or tell their own conclusions about a political career.

Outline the Opportunity

Have students review the clips 'From Oshawa to Ottawa,' 'A candidate in '68' and 'Race for the leadership' including the Did You Know? sections from the topic Ed Broadbent: A Voice from the Left on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have students form groups to answer the following questions:


  • What led Ed Broadbent to develop an interest in politics as a teenager and as a university student?
  • What challenges did Ed Broadbent face during his first run as a federal candidate in 1968?
  • Why did Ed Broadbent change his mind about seeking the federal leadership of the NDP in 1975? How was he able to win that race?

Revisit and Reflect

Have the groups present and discuss their answers. Students will share their views of what motivates an individual to become interested in politics and pursue a political career. Ask: Why do you think Ed Broadbent chose a political career?


Students can prepare and present a brief statement on their opinions of politics and politicians in general, and what effect if any their examination of Ed Broadbent's political career has had on their opinion.

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