Skip to main content

Historica Canada Education Portal

Shaping a Nation

  • Political History

This lesson plan was created by members of Historica Canada’s teacher community. Historica Canada does not take responsibility for the accuracy or availability of any links herein, and the views reflected in these learning tools may not necessary reflect those of Historica Canada. We welcome feedback regarding the content that may be linked to or included in these learning tools; email us at


This lesson plan will introduce students to Canada's political history and investigate how former Prime Ministers have influenced Canada's present.


Students will learn proper research skills, including note taking and documentation of sources.
Students will learn about Canada's political system by researching one of Canada's Prime Ministers.
Students will learn how our past, including the problems that plagued previous governments and the decisions that were made, have affected our country today.


Beginning the new year with this kind of activity helps to set the tone for expectations in terms of how research will be conducted and recorded.

The lesson provides students with a good understanding of Canada's political system. While highlighting some of the urgent issues of the past, students will discover how they affect where we are today.


Time Allowance:
approx. 1 week


1. The teacher explains the purpose of this project. Each student is randomly given a picture of one of the Prime Ministers, a copy of a working bibliography, a copy of the correct format for documenting sources, a jot note sheet, and a copy of the project outline.

2. The teacher presents a mini-lesson on various methods of note taking. Students practise.

3. Students spend the next 3 or 4 classes in the library and/or computer lab looking for information on their Prime Minister. Students must keep accurate notes and a record of the sources they used. (Students can use the worksheet provided below as a guide.)

4. The teacher presents mini-lessons on issues unfamiliar to the students, such as the Manitoba School's Question or Conscription.

5. Students synthesize their notes into a written response about their Prime Minister.

6. Students choose 2 or 3 pieces of information about their PM to present to their classmates. 


Marks will be given based on the student's expertise in completing the following:

1. Does the student show a good understanding of the note-taking process? /5

2. Does the student keep an accurate record of all sources used to complete this project? /5

3. Was the student proficient at synthesizing the notes into a written response about his/her Prime Minister? /10

4. Does the student follow the proper format for creating a bibliography? /5

5. Was the student able to present information about his/her PM to the class in a knowledgeable way? /5



- examples of possible organizers such as a jot note worksheet
- working bibliography
- pictures of Canada's Prime Ministers

Supporting documents for this Learning Tool

File type File size Action
Shaping_a_Nation.pdf PDF 1.59 KB Download

Supporting documents for this Learning Tool