Community

  • Research the actions of the United Nations (UN) in its efforts to protect human rights. Prepare a one-page profile of the UN’s bodies and programs, answering the six Ws: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and With what effects?
  • Visit a local NGO or charitable organization dedicated to a social justice issue of interest to you. Consider volunteering with the organization.
  • Write about your experiences of being on the jury. Describe how you feel about the jury selection, the trial process and the jury deliberation. Do you think it is a good way to decide a case? Explain your answer.
  • In a response journal, complete this statement: I would feel ___________ about being a juror because ____________ .
  • Give your opinions as to whether a judge without a jury would have decided differently. Would you want a judge or a judge and jury to hear your case if you were charged with an offence?
  • Research the Air India trial which had no jury. Discuss whether you think the verdict would have been different if a jury had heard the case.
  • Share your project! Make a presentation to other classes in your school or to a staff or PAC meeting.
  • Research to see if a similar bylaw has ever existed or been proposed in your community.
  • We have age restrictions for activities such as driving, voting and buying alcohol. In what circumstances is it reasonable for the government to limit the rights of children and youth?
  • Attend a council meeting in your community. Make a presentation on an issue that you feel strongly about.
  • Look at the Freedom House ranking project that is available online at http://www.freedomhouse.org. Discuss the ratings of different real countries. Did you find anything that surprised you? Report back to your class. Freedom House is an American organization established in 1947 to promote democracy. It publishes a series of annual reports, including “Freedom in the World”, which scores countries on their degree of democratic rights and civil liberties and rates them “Free, Partially Free, or Not Free”.

  • Write a paragraph defining a very democratic country. What are the key five factors that make a country highly democratic? Compare this country with Canada.
     
  • Volunteer in your community with an organization which promotes democratic rights either here or abroad.
     
  • Do some research on voter turnout at the 2008 elections in BC and Canada. Come up with some ideas of how to improve that turnout. Interview students at your school who are able to vote and find out why they voted or why they did not vote. Report back to your class.
     
  • Research the idea of making voting compulsory in Canada, as it is in some other jurisdictions such as Australia. This issue was the topic of an unsuccessful Senate bill, S-22, sponsored by Senator Mac Herb in 2005.
     
  • Create a public awareness project related to the importance of voting for a healthy democracy. This could include visuals such as posters, brochures or online public service announcement. Ask your school to support this issue.

  • Use local newspapers to research examples of young people making a difference in the community or the world. Write a report that illustrates what issues young people are dealing with and how they are achieving their goal.\
     
  • Get your classmates to donate $2 each to a cause. Do research to find out where you can donate this $60. You are looking for the best value for your money and somewhere where you can see the effect of your donation. Donate the money.
     
  • Write a letter to the editor of a local paper about an issue that you strongly believe in (Examples: homelessness, more opportunities for underprivileged youth, or a lunch program in schools).
     
  • Attend a local government meeting such as a council meeting. Take notes on the local issues being raised in your community. What were your impressions about how the local government dealt with the issues? http://www.CivicInfo.bc.ca

  • Create a school club and organization that raises money and brings awareness to major local, provincial, federal or global issues.
     
  • Join a local volunteer-based organization such as Oxfam.
     
  • Using newspapers, track a major global issue and how it is being dealt with by the federal government and other global agencies.
     
  • Review this YouTube video by Sarah MacLaughlin and report back on how you felt about what she was doing to take action. Was it effective? Explain why or why not. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzoNInZ2ClQ
     
  • Plan an event or campaign regarding a major world issue. Use Activity Sheet 10-5: How to Planan Event in Your School.

  • Gather articles from local papers that highlight people and groups that are positively impacting your community.
     
  • Invite a guest speaker from an organization or a group to explain to your class how the organization uses volunteers and what that would entail. Think about questions for the speaker. You may want to start with Volunteer BC http://www.volunteerbc.bc.ca/.
     
  • Watch the full length version of Randy Paush’s last lecture on YouTube. Then write a short journal entry about it.
     
  • Find a great presentation that inspires you and write a short piece describing what made the presentation effective for you.
     
  • Listen to the “I am Canadian” Molson Canadian Advertisement and then write your own (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzn0UiiOYLs).
     
  • Listen to the Spirit of the West’s song “Far Too Canadian” and discuss the meaning of the lyrics.
     
  • Create: a poem, song/rap, collage with words and images or a final summary paragraph with the topic — “What is a Canadian?”
     
  • Find out what is happening in your community during Citizenship and One World Week and report back to the class on activities they can take part in.
     
  • Research historical examples of different ways Canadians have gone about bringing social change. Examples: Free the Children (Craig Kielberger), Greenpeace (Bob Hunter), David Suzuki.
     
  • Write a paragraph outlining what plan you would enact if the government did in fact lengthen the school week to six days.
     
  • Find a local issue you would like to support and organize a letter writing campaign.

  • Have each student write a letter to the editor of a local news media, post a blog or create a webpage outlining a specific issue, key points from all sides and potential solution to the problem. http://www.vancouversun.com or http://www.theprovince.com
     
  • Visit your local city council and sit in on a council meeting. Alternate dates to get a variety of impressions and topics. http://www.civicinfo.bc.ca
     
  • The Toskan Foundation supports a youth philanthropy project designed to provide high schoolstudents with a reality experience through a strong academic philanthropy program which gives them the skills to assess community needs. It also makes grants to charitable, grassroots organizations meeting those needs. The program was initiated by the founders of MAC Cosmetics as a means to give back to local communities in Canada. They provide financial support for projects designed to aid local social initiatives. Visit the website for information and application guidelines. Design and plan a project and submit an application. http://www.toskanfoundation.org