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Everyday Law – Preparing for Legal Issues in Your Life

The Understanding Canadian Law, Grade 11, Workplace Preparation (CLU3E) course is a valuable opportunity for students to build on the legal knowledge gained in grade 10 Civics, while enhancing students’ interest in the law. This teaching resource, developed by the Ontario Justice Education Network with the support of the Toronto District School Board and the John McIninch Foundation, is designed to help CLU3E teachers lead students through a set of interactive learning activities developed for students with a strong interest in the law, but whose literacy levels or academic skills are not at the College/University level.

Each lesson plan incorporates experiential and communicative teaching strategies with a plain-language summary of a legal case and related classroom activities that focus on communication and literacy development. Students are given the opportunity to learn how the law intersects with their own lives, including strategies for conflict resolution, equality rights issues, child support and custody matters, rights in the workplace, and Charter issues, among others.

How To Use This Resource
This resource contains lesson plans, each focused on a specific legal case, mock scenario, or case study. Case studies require students to analyze specific problem situations and formulate their own conclusions about the possible outcomes. Mock scenarios have students take on the roles of witnesses, lawyers, and decision makers, and develop personal advocacy skills while learning to empathize with an opposing point of view. To facilitate ease of use, each lesson plan contains two parts:

  • A Teacher Resource which outlines the overall and specific curriculum expectations, teaching and learning strategies, and assessment and evaluation options.
  • Student Handouts that contains classroom activities and worksheets which can be photocopied and distributed to students.

The lesson plans in this resource can be used in sequence or selectively to meet a number of curriculum expectations in CLU3E. Selected activities or complete lessons can also be modified to accommodate different grade levels and subject areas (i.e. Civics, Grade 10, Open [CHV2O], Understanding Canadian Law, Grade 11, University/College Preparation [CLU3M], Canadian and International Law, Grade 12, University Preparation [CLN4U]) by altering the method of presentation or the assessment and evaluation criteria. Some lesson plans suggest more than one teaching strategy, in recognition of the variety of learning styles a teacher may choose to emphasize.

A number of legal concepts and new vocabulary are introduced throughout the resource package which may be challenging for students, depending on their familiarity with legal language and concepts, and their literacy levels. As such, the following sequence of lesson plans has been suggested as a way to order the legal principles. This order introduces legal concepts in relation to students’ spheres of personal influence, beginning with individual rights, and moving to legal concepts affecting friends and family, followed by the larger societal issues.

Cases and Scenarios

  1. CFCYL v. Attorney General of Canada (children’s rights)
  2. R. v. MMR (search and seizure in a school)
  3. R. v. Reid (mock bail scenario)
  4. R. v. Keegstra (freedom of expression)
  5. R. v. Lee (mock criminal scenario)
  6. Cameras in the Courtroom (justice and the media)
  7. R. v. Cain (mock sentencing scenario)
  8. R. v. Brown (mock sentencing circle scenario)
  9. R. v. Marshall (Aboriginal treaty rights)
  10. R. v. Truscott (wrongful convictions)
  11. R. v. Singh (mock criminal scenario)
  12. Noffke v. McClaskin (sexual assault)
  13. Stefan v. The Happy Burger Diner (mock employment law scenario)
  14. Trociuk v. British Columbia (equality rights)
  15. Thomas v. Andrews (mock family law scenario)
  16. Halpern et al. v. Attorney General of Canada et al. (same sex marriage)
  17. Opolsky v. Jaswal and Pasha (mock civil scenario)
  18. Childs v. Desormeaux (social host liability)
  19. Law v. Canada (equality rights)
  20. Vriend v. Alberta (equality rights)

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