Lesson 2: How Law is Made


Activity 1: The Branches of Government

Use Handout 2: Branches of Government answer key to evaluate the chart on the branches of government for completion marks.

Answer Key: Handout 3: The Three Branches of Government

  Legislative Branch Executive Branch Judicial Branch


Make laws

Enforce Laws

Interpret Laws


Elected Members of Parliament or appointed members of the Senate

Members of the executive council — both elected and appointed

Practicing lawyers appointed to one of the superior courts of the provinces


House of Commons and Senate

Prime Minister, Governor General, Cabinet

Supreme Court of Canada, Federal Court, superior courts for each province

Elected or Appointed

Elected and appointed

Elected and appointed



To make and pass legislation for the governance of the nation

To enforce laws through orders-in-council, budgeting, ministerial directives

Resolve conflicts and protect the public interest by applying the laws written by Parliament to specific cases

Activity 2: Parliamentary Vocabulary

You may choose to mark the vocabulary list; however it is intended as a preliminary step for the Day in the Life of a Bill activity.

Activity 3: Day in the Life

Assess this activity for creativity, depth of knowledge, accuracy, and presentation using the rubric provided.

Activity 4: Bills! Bills! Bills!

Handout 6: Bills! Bills! Bills! may be assessed for completion or as a homework mark as it is likely to be completed outside of class time.

Activity 5: Model Parliament

Student assessment is based on participation, knowledge, and understanding of their role, leadership, and preparation for Parliament. You may have rubrics that cover role‑playing, leadership, participation, or public speaking. Use Handout 11: Teacher Evaluation Rubric for Model Parliament, which is provided in resources as a template, but feel free to pick and choose what you use to assess this activity.

Answer Key: Handout 13: What Did I Learn?

  1. What is federalism or a federal state?
    It is where the government is divided between a central authority and smaller units like provinces or states.
  2. What is a constitution?
    A set of rules that a country uses to define government powers and rights of citizens.
  3. What important document does the Canadian Constitution contain?
    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  4. True or False

F - Canada became a nation in 1967.
T - The official power to govern and make laws is called jurisdiction.
T - The Charter contains the rights and freedoms.
F - There is no division of powers in Canada.
T - The provincial and federal governments share powers sometimes.
F - The federal government can make laws about subjects the provincial government has jurisdiction over.

  1. Name one important freedom in the Charter.
    Freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of thought, belief, opinion, and expression, including freedom of press and other media of communication; freedom of peaceful assembly; and freedom of association.

Activity 6: Responsibilities of the Three Levels of Government and Activity 7: Disaster Plan and Your Government

Formative assessment can be done throughout the lesson. You have a choice of four assessments: One for government (Handout 16: Government Review), two for the students to complete for the disaster plan (Handout 18: How the Government Helps in a Disaster and Handout 19: Group/Self Evaluation Rubric), and one for you to complete on the disaster plan (Handout 20: Teacher Evaluation Rubric for Disaster Plan).

Answer Key: Handout 15: Who is Responsible?

  1. Responsible for collecting income tax.
  2. Gordon Campbell is the current leader of what level of government?
  3. Responsible for Education.
  4. Responsible for Health Care.
  5. Responsible for National Parks.
  6. Cabinet Ministers are part of which level(s) of government?
  7. Members of the Legislative Assembly belong to what level of government? 
  8. Ottawa is “home” for this level of government.
  9. Senators are non-elected members of this level.
  10. Responsible for road repairs.
  11. Ambulance services are the responsibility of what level of government?
  12. This level of government must have all information in both French and English.   
  13. Responsible for making bylaws.
  14. The Governor General is the Queen’s representative at this level.
  15. What levels of government prints money?
  16. Councillors or aldermen are the elected representatives at this level.
  17. Implements garbage pick-up and recycling programs.
  18. Responsible for administering various social and economic benefit incentives programs delivered through the tax system.
  19. Responsible for setting and administering national principals for health care; prevention, control, and research of disease outbreaks across Canada and the world.
  20. Responsible for maintaining, opening and closing libraries.

Answer Key: Handout 16: Government Review

  1. What is meant by responsible government?
    A government that rules by the mandate of the people who elected it.
  1. What are the powers and responsibilities of the federal, provincial and local governments?
    Refer to Handout 14: Levels of Government — Responsibilities and Services.
  1. Why do you think we have three different levels of government and why is it important to have this?
    Canada is a very large country, thereby requiring a variety of levels of government service to attend to the entire population. The federal system lays out the division of power. Local needs require immediate response and if we only had one central government it could take months to get an answer.

 Answer Key: Handout 18: How the Government Helps in a Disaster

  1. Which body in the federal and provincial parliaments would normally make disaster relief plans?
    Federal Cabinet and Provincial Cabinet, emergency service.
  1. Name three disasters that would require a federal government intervention.
    Disease epidemic, massive earthquake, terrorist attack.
  1. Give an example of when the federal and provincial governments would have to cooperate with one another.
    During a disaster. Both governments would have to coordinate depending on where the disaster took place. The federal government may have to send troops or military and money to help. The province would have to coordinate medical services, shelters, and food distribution. Local government also has a role to play in emergency and disasters. For example, the local police and fire services will play a critical role in emergency response.
  1. What federal and provincial departments are likely to be important in an emergency situation?
    Police or Military.
  1. What other non-government organizations would play an important role during a disaster?
    Red Cross, Salvation Army, or community or church organizations.