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Lesson Plan:


For Teachers - Canada and Quebec: Similarities and Differences

Type: Assignment
Subjects: Social Studies, Political Science
Grades: Grades 6-8
Duration: 2 to 3 lessons
Purpose: To explore the similarities and differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada and their impact on the process of constitutional reform, particularly the Meech Lake Accord
Summary: Students explore the similarities and differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada, using the topic Constitutional Discord: Meech Lake to focus their inquiry and information-gathering exercise.

Before Exploring

Ask students to brainstorm the most important similarities and differences between Quebec and the other provinces of Canada. Ask students why they think these similarities and differences developed, and why they are important for both English and French-Canadians living in Canada today. Ask: What would life in Canada be like if Quebec were no longer part of this country? Students can present brief oral or written responses.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students, in small groups, to the topic Constitutional Discord: Meech Lake on the CBC Digital Archives. They will gather information and prepare and present their responses to the following questions, also available on the download sheet Similarities and Differences:

What are the main similarities between Quebec and the other provinces of Canada?

What are the main differences between Quebec and the other provinces of Canada?

Why was it so important for Quebec to be recognized as a "distinct society" within the Canadian Constitution?

Are there any other regions of Canada that could be considered "distinct societies"? If so, which ones, and why?

Why were many people in Quebec so angry when the Meech Lake Accord was rejected in June 1990?

What have you been able to learn about Quebec and its relationship with the other provinces of Canada from your study of the Meech Lake Accord and its failure?

 

Revisit and Reflect

Have groups present their answers to the rest of the class. Write any significant points arising from the presentations on the board, and have students record them.

Once the presentations have been completed, conduct a brief debate about whether or not Quebec should be recognized as a "distinct society" within Canada, and if so, why and if not, why not. Write the main points arising from this mini-debate on the board.

Extension

Students can keep a journal of their reactions to current issues relating to Quebec and the other provinces of Canada (economic, social, political, cultural, etc.) and why they think they are important for the country's future.

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