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Lesson Plan:

For Teachers: Examining Cause and Effect

Type: Assignment
Subjects: History, English Language Arts
Grades: Grades 9-10
Duration: 2 lessons
Purpose: To show the cause and effect of various events that impacted the rise and fall of a Canadian politician
Summary: Students will outline key events that brought Brian Mulroney from ‘cheers to jeers.’

Before Exploring

Review with students the clip 'The boy from Baie Comeau' from the topic Brian Mulroney: The Negotiator on the CBC Digital Archives website. Discuss the concept of potential and how this "Boy from Baie Comeau" showed leadership qualities at such a young age. Ask students to consider how growing up in Baie Comeau may have affected Brian Mulroney's political outlook.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct small groups of students to the topic site and have them examine all of the clips. Give each group three copies of the download sheet Examining Cause and Effect and ask students to record at least three events they believe affected Brian Mulroney's rise and/or fall in Canadian politics. For each event, students should include the causes and effects. Groups will then closely examine and discuss one event and how, if it been handled differently, the result might have been different.

Revisit and Reflect

Have students report their findings to the class. Ask each group to explain the impact of the events they choose. Students should comment on how the particular issue they chose could have been handled differently to produce different results. Encourage students to suggest alternative approaches to issues and have them explain their ideas.


Students can create an "alternate ending" to one of the events during Brian Mulroney's rise and fall and write a newspaper article about the alternative story, changing the cause and effect as well.

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