ONTARIO SOCIAL STUDIES: Gr. 5 Government and Citizenship in Canada Inquiry Unit



Teach about the Government of Canada and how it affects communities around the country. Students will learn about Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Multiple Levels of Government, and the impact government has on various stakeholder groups.

****** This Unit Meets the Updated 2023 Curriculum******

Topics Covered

  1. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms – Students will learn the difference between a right and a freedom. They will read an article that is included within the resource on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and learn the vocabulary associated with this document. Students will have a discussion about these concepts through a knowledge building circle with discussion prompts that will help to facilitate accountable talk and appropriate discussion techniques.
  2. Charter of Right Case Studies – Take a look at issues that are relevant to students form real cases that challenged Canadian charter rights. Students will learn and debate the merits of the case as they explore how the Charter is applied to impact the daily life of citizens.
  3. Types of Government: Students will explore through role play the difference between democracy and dictatorship. They will explore how governments make decisions and why consulting stakeholder opinions are an important job for governments.
  4. Politics in Canada – Students will explore how Canadian government works. they will begin to understand in a simple way how a government is formed at the federal and provincial levels. They will be introduced to the major political parties of Canada.
  5. Responsibilities of Government – Focusing on five levels of government (Federal, Provincial, Band Councils, Municipal, and School Boards) students will begin to understand the responsibilities of each level of government and how they work together to make Canada work.
  6. Structure of Government – Students will explore the key structure of government at the Federal and Provincial levels of government. They will learn who holds key roles in government at these levels and the structure and hierarchy that allows them to work.
  7. Government and the People – Students will explore real life case studies from across Canada and explore important divisive issues from various stakeholder perspectives. Students will explore why an important role of government involves considering the perspectives of many stakeholder groups before making decisions that impact Canadians.

Inquiry Project

In this culminating inquiry projects students will consolidate their learning and apply this in their analysis of current events and how the government acts. Looking at social and environmental issues, students will examine the issue and determine which level of government is involved and which stakeholder groups are impacted.

Teaching Strategies

This is an inquiry based unit. Students will explore their learning through small inquiries throughout the unit and finish by applying their learning in a culminating task.

  • Students will build on their learning through knowledge building circles.
  • Students will pose questions and seek out these answers in a structured way supported by the teacher.
  • Students will learn through their experiences by participating in debate and role play as they learn to share their informed ideas and opinions as it relates to this topic.
  • Students will be given voice and choice in their learning as they focus on elements of government most relevant to them.
  • Scaffolded inquiry support booklet will help guide students through their own independent inquiry
  • Resources for student research already curated and read for use within an exclusive LiveBinder solution.


Meets the 2023 Curriculum Requirements!!


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ONTARIO SOCIAL STUDIES: Gr. 5 Government and Citizenship in Canada Inquiry Unit