Legal Journeys

Legal Journeys provides teachers with materials that are easy to use and interesting to elementary school-level students. The lessons can be used to help children understand justice and the legal system.

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The curriculum is divided into three levels. There are three components to each level:

  1. A basic introduction to the legal system and courts through classroom lessons
  2. Experiential learning (mock trial or restorative justice role play)
  3. Visit to courts (guest speakers and/or courtwatching)

By the end of the first lesson, students will understand that:

  • Rules and laws developed out of customs.
  • Rules and laws ensure order and safety in the community.
  • Rules and laws are identifiable and enforceable.
  • Rules and laws are enforced by people in authority.
  • Rules and laws, when broken, have consequences or penalties.
  • Attitudes towards rules and laws may not be the same for all people.
  • Rules and laws differ in come respects.
  • Rules and laws are enacted at different levels of government.

By the end of the second lesson, students will understand that:

  • The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was designed to protect all Canadians. Because it is part of our constitution, it cannot be changed easily.
  • The Charter contains fundamental freedoms and rights.
  • Charter rights may differ from the rights and freedoms of citizens in other countries.

By the end of the third lesson, students will understand that:

  • The Youth Criminal Justice Act treats young offenders differently than adults are treated under the Criminal Code.
  • It is important to think about the effects of your actions on other people.
  • Peer pressure is often the reason that young people commit crimes.

There are strategies for dealing with peer pressure in order to make good decisions.