Lesson 3: Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms


Grade Level



1-2 periods

Lesson Plan (PDF)


The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter) is a document that affects the everyday lives of Canadians. Students will take a look back to why the Charter was created and how it became part of our Constitution. They will also explore different sections of the Charter and will focus on understanding the fundamental freedoms that Canadians enjoy as well as the limits that may be put on our freedoms in order to protect our society. Lesson 4 and 5 will focus in more detail on specific sections of the Charter such as democratic rights, equality rights, and legal rights.


At the end of this lesson students will:

  • Understand the process by which the Charter became part of our Constitution
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the Charter’s content
  • Recognize how the Charter affects our daily lives
  • Defend a position on a contemporary issue
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the Charter fundamental freedoms including rights and responsibilities that protect everyone in society
  • Understand that our fundamental rights are protected and guaranteed under the Charter only within reasonable limits
  • Learn how to apply the principles of rights and responsibilities to their lives and to cases

Focus Questions

  1. What is the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (the Charter)?
  2. What is a freedom?
  3. What is a right?
  4. How did the Charter become part of our Constitution?
  5. What are some rights all Canadians have under the Charter?
  6. What are the fundamental freedoms under the Charter?
  7. How have cases interpreted the freedoms granted under the Charter?

Teaching Summary

Topic 1: Overview of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

For this topic, students will read about the Charter and complete a short worksheet on the basics.

Topic 2: Fundamental Freedoms

For this topic, students will discuss orally with the class what freedoms and responsibilities are in the context of their own lives and then will look at our fundamental freedoms set out in the Charter. These activities use group discussion and two question sheets will guide that discussion.