\` 2018 BCSSTA Conference - October 19, 2018 - Vancouver, BC

Free (or almost free) Voting and Democracy-themed Tools and Resources for Teachers

The workshop will begin with a short presentation on democracy in British Columbia followed by a panel discussion led by representatives from Elections BC, Royal BC Museum, Parliamentary Education Office and CIVIX (tentative). They will discuss and demonstrate tools and resources designed to teach future voters about voting and democracy during this interactive, hands-on workshop. The presenters will provide information and samples of the following: -B.C. Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy: Sponsored by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the annual British Columbia Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy is a four-day professional development opportunity for 30 teachers of social studies and related subjects in elementary, middle and secondary school. Participating teachers return to their schools with an enhanced understanding of parliamentary democracy and political process in B.C. -Parliamentary Tour Program: The Parliamentary Education Office offers this program in order to foster an understanding of legislative process, an awareness of B.C.'s political heritage and an appreciation for the beauty and significance of the Parliament Buildings. The Parliamentary Tour Program focuses primarily on the role of the Legislative Assembly and MLAs and the history of both the province of British Columbia and of the Parliament Buildings. -Little Legislators: Little Legislators is a school tour program aimed at younger, more kinesthetic learners. The content covers the Ministry of Education's Big Ideas for Kindergarten to Grade 3, introducing the concepts of identity and family, community, and Indigenous peoples. Students are introduced to the foundations of debate and law-making and draw connections between the Parliament Buildings and their own communities. Through a mock-debate, students learn how groups of people come together to make the decisions, and how to make their voices heard in their approach to governance. -Virtual Tour Program: The Virtual Tour Program takes the BC Parliament Buildings into the classroom. Teachers can connect their classes remotely via the internet, and take a live guided tour of the Parliament Buildings. Using a mobile capture platform and integrated chat system, classrooms will be able to tour the Legislative Assembly, and interact live with their guide. -Spring/Summer Break Program: This 1.5 hour program is designed for families with children aged 6-10. Participants receive a guided tour, followed by a scavenger hunt and art activity focusing on the art and architecture of the BC Parliament Buildings, the history of BC, and BC's parliamentary system of governance. -Governance and Beyond Program: The Parliamentary Education Office partners with the Royal BC Museum to offer this elementary school program that explores the different forms of governance, beginning with Indigenous ways of knowing and being. The day-long program starts with a Learning Lab at the Royal BC Museum and finishes with an interactive guided tour and classroom session at the Parliament Buildings. Students will be able to experience the processes of governing through a diverse lens, across multiple institutions, including B.C.'s Legislative Assembly. -Royal BC Museum’s Educational Loan Kit:  Teachers can borrow the kit from the Royal BC Museum for up to two weeks at no charge. Students learn about voting and democracy by handling and analyzing reproduction items from the museum and the BC Archives, including letters, photos, and maps. The kits include lesson plans and activities to engage students. -CIVIX’s Educational Videos: CIVIX created two-minute videos to introduce key concepts of democracy, government, and the voting process in British Columbia. The videos use animated motion graphics and simplified methods of visual representation, which are paired with a narrative. -Student Vote Program: CIVIX will deliver a Student Vote program in conjunction with the 42nd Provincial General Election. Students will cast ballots for the official candidates in a parallel election, which will allow youth to learn about provincial government and the electoral process. -Democracy Bootcamp: In February 2019, CIVIX will be hosting Democracy Bootcamp: a professional development conference for teachers from across the province. It is designed to improve teachers’ democratic engagement, strengthen their capacity and commitment to civic education, and enhance their delivery of the Student Vote program. -Youth at the Booth: This secondary school student employment program offers students opportunities to engage in the electoral process by working as election officials in provincial general elections. The program hires skilled election officials to administer voting and engage young people in the electoral process. Students can learn new job skills and use their work experience to help build their résumés. -Future Projects: Elections BC has a few tools and resources that are in the planning stages. We will tell you about them and bring sample materials.

Target Audience

Social studies educators


1:15 PM - 2:45 PM
Room 414

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  • Melanie Callas

    Melanie Callas is the Outreach Coordinator at Elections BC in Victoria. As the Outreach Coordinator, she helps plan public education projects for voters and those who will become eligible to vote so they have the information and knowledge they need to vote. She also engages with groups that work with people who have barriers to electoral participation for the purposes of providing voter registration information; increasing awareness of voting processes and opportunities; and increasing awareness of employment opportunities at Elections BC.


  • Kim Gough

    Kim Gough is a Learning Program Developer at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria. Kim recently earned her Master of Museum Education at the University of British Columbia where her final research project was on outreach programs. Her work for the Royal BC Museum has included school programs, feature exhibitions, volunteer training, gallery interpretation and adult programs.