YAY politics! Ok, while most people (including students) don't tend to share my love of all things political, I've found that it's usually due to
a.) a resistant mindblock that has been socialized into them
b.) the fact that they've never been shown a great SNL political skit
c.) a lack of understanding of the political system.
The latter reason is why I love the interactive feature focusing on Canada's House of Commons on www.cbc.ca
, and why it's the focus of this week's Fresh Look Friday. Using your SMART Board in conjunction with this site allows for the quick and easy manipulation of the data and can be used with small groups of students or an entire class."Who's Who in the House of Commons"
Students can interact with this chart to see great visuals of the representation within the House of Commons, broken down by party, gender and/or province, as well as specific names of MPs and their ridings. What a great platform for a class discussion on the reasons for some glaring trends (such as why Alberta only has one NDP seat?) or a visual to show Canada's election structure of representation by population! (It becomes glaringly obvious that Ontario has way more MPs than, say, Saskatchewan)
CBC.ca also has numerous other interactive activities on current events/trends to manipulate and explore, that would make for a great opening or extension activity for your Social Studies classes.
For Alberta educators reading this post, this website helps you meet the following curriculum standards:
Grade 9 Social Studies -- Specific Outcomes 9.1.4 and 9.2.6
Social Studies 30 -1/30-2 -- Specific Outcomes 3.3 and 3.5
Have a great weekend!