Essential QuestionHow do the Canadian and American Systems of Government compare?
Learning Standards Content
Students are expected to know the following:
- different systems of government
Students are expected to be able to do the following:
- Use Social Studies inquiry processes and skills to — ask questions; gather, interpret, and analyze ideas; and communicate findings and decisions
I can explain how Canada’s system of government differs from the United States’.
I can analyze the benefits and problems of different systems of government.
I can interact in a group and achieve consensus on an issue.
First People's Principles of LearningLearning is holistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational (focused on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place).
- Show the video USA vs Canada (4:04)
- Explain that the United States has a great influence on Canada. We share a border. We have similar culture. Our economies are closely connected. Our systems of government have similarities too. However, there are some significant differences between the American and Canadian systems of government.
- Encourage student discussion by using a Think Pair Share strategy to ask:
- What do you already know about Canada’s government?
- What do you already know about the United States’ government?
- Provide each student with a copy of the graphic organizer “Comparing Canadian and American Systems of Government”.
- Have students use the interactive How do the Canadian and American systems of government compare? to complete the graphic organizer.
- Afterwards, go over the graphic organizer using “Answer Key: Comparing Canadian and American Systems of Government”.
- Divide students into seven groups and assign each group one area of difference between Canadian and American systems of government.
- Challenge each group to create one or two sentences explaining their assigned difference.
- Each group should come to consensus about whether their difference is more positive or negative for Canada. Encourage groups to have reasons to support their decision.
- Once groups have reached consensus, they should add their sentences to the board under either a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” symbol.
- Have students write a reflection to consider the following questions:
- What is the most interesting thing you learned about Canada’s system of government?
- When comparing systems of government in Canada and the United States, are the similarities or the differences more significant?
- Students can learn more about government structures in Canada through the interactive How does Canada’s System of Government Affect Me?
Canada. “How Government Works.” 2019. https://www.canada.ca/en/government/system/how-government-works.html
Canada. Parliament of Canada. “Learn About Canada.” [2020?]
Canada. Parliament of Canada. “Our Country, Our Parliament: An Introduction to How Canada’s Parliament Works.” [2020?] https://lop.parl.ca/about/parliament/education/ourcountryourparliament/html_booklet/overview-canadian-parliamentary-system-e.html#:~:text=Three%20branches%20work%20together%20to,executive%2C%20legislative%20and%20judicial%20branches.&text=Canada%20is%20a%20constitutional%20monarchy,is%20the%20Head%20of%20Government.
Forsey, E. A. “How Canadians Govern Themselves. Chapter 4. Canadian and American Government.”. 10th edition. 2020. Library of Parliament. https://lop.parl.ca/about/parliament/senatoreugeneforsey/book/assets/pdf/How_Canadians_Govern_Themselves_10th-ed_EN.pdf
“Government and Democracy.” 2015. YouTube.
Gow, J.I. and P. Bishop. “Government.” 2016. The Canadian Encyclopedia.
“Parliament of Canada - Parliament 123.” 2016. YouTube.
Materials and Resources
December 01, 2020