BC Social Studies Lesson Plans

Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Grade 5


Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Big Idea

Canadian institutions and government reflect the challenge of our diversity.

Essential Question

How does the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protect Canadians?

Learning Standards Content

Students will know:

  • key provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Curricular Competencies

Students will know:

  • make ethical judgments about events, decisions, or actions that consider the conditions of a particular time and place, and assess appropriate ways to respond. (ethical judgement)

Core Competencies

I can name rights and freedoms that every Canadian has.

I can analyze how the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians and reflects our values.

I can suggest an additional right or freedom that would make Canada a better place.

First People's Principles of Learning

Learning is…focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place.
  • Show the 2-minute video The Charter of Rights and Freedoms by TVO (aired Feb 2016).
  • Discuss:
    • What is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms?
    • How does the Charter protect Canadians?
  • Project or display the Charter Top 5 Facts infographic
  • Ask:
    • What did you already know about the Charter?
    • What surprised you?
    • What questions do you have?
  • Project or display the Rights and Freedoms infographic. Point out that the rights and freedoms are organized into categories.
  • Put students into pairs and provide each pair with the “Rights and Freedoms Web”. (Point out that the web only has 6 categories as language rights and minority language education rights are combined.)
  • Hand out the “Rights and Freedoms Examples” to each pair.  Have partners work together to complete the web by adding examples for each category of rights and freedoms from the Charter. Students can cut out or copy the examples as well as add examples of their own.
  • Project or display the “Charter Poster”. (Scroll to the 2nd page for English version.) Explain that this is the complete, official version of the Charter. Point out the categories of rights and freedoms as well as the signature and date of the Charter.
  • Explain that the Charter is used by the Courts to make decisions. Challenge students to look at real court decisions based on the Charter.
  • Put students into 7 groups and give one of the “Charter Case Studies” and one “Case Study Placemat” to each group. Have groups read and discuss assigned case study and then work together to complete “Case Study Placemat”.
  • Students should come to consensus on which section of the placemat will be presented by which group member. Ensure that each member has an opportunity to speak.
  • When groups are ready, call on each group to present their case study to the class. Ask probing questions and clarify any misunderstandings.
  • What does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms show about what Canadians value?
  • What do you feel are the most important rights and freedoms? Why?
  • If you could add one right or freedom to the Charter, what would it be? How would it make Canada a better place?

“Because of the Charter” Infobites

  • Have students think of ways that the Charter protects Canadians.
  • Hand out sheet “Because of the Charter”. Have students take turns reading aloud the words and discussing the images and symbols in each of these six infobites from the Government of Canada’s Department of Justice.
  • Have students think of one way that the Charter protects Canadians. They should use their example to complete the sentence stem, “Because of the Charter…” on the back side of the sheet.
  • Have students determine which category of rights or freedoms their example fits into.
  • Challenge students to think of ways to represent their examples using images, including symbols.
  • Provide students with resources such as blank paper and markers in order to create their infobites.

Alberta. “Why are Canada’s Rights and Freedoms important?” [n.d.] http://www.nelson.com/albertasocialstudies/productinfo/gr6_9/docs/abss6ch5.pdf

[Aimed at grades 6 to 9.]


Canada. “The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” Department of Justice. 16 Apr. 2020, https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/csj-sjc/rfc-dlc/ccrf-ccdl/  [Includes Charter-related cases.] 


Canada. “A Consolidation of The Constitution Acts 1867 to 1982.” Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services, https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/pdf/const_e.pdf


Canada. “Examples of Charter-related Cases.” Department of Justice. 17 Apr. 2019,



Canada. “Guide to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” 20 June 2020



Canada. “Our Country, Our Parliament.” Library of Parliament. Sep. 2020

https://lop.parl.ca/about/parliament/education/ourcountryourparliament/TeacherGuide/activities-sect1-e.asp [Classroom Activities List]


The John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights and the Department of Canadian Heritage. “Youth Guide to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” [n.d.]


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Last Reviewed

February 01, 2023

Produced by JES

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