Teaching Resources

New BC Humans Rights Commission

SCHOOLS ARE INVITED to participate in the public engagement for the new B.C. HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION. For more information on BC human rights, please visit engage.gov.bc.ca/BChumanrights

Legal Independence: It's Your Right

Legal Independence: It's Your Right is a FREE resource that uses real-life examples in an engaging, 10-minute video to help Civics 11, Social Studies 11 and Law 12 students understand the concepts of judicial and legal independence. A teacher's guide is available. This project was developed in partnership with The Law Society of BC.

The Carter appeal

This collection of videos shows the full hearing of Carter v. Canada (Attorney-General), 2013 BCCA 435. The BC Court of Appeal heard the constitutional challenge to the criminal law prohibiting physician-assisted death, from March 18-22, 2013. It presents a unique opportunity for teachers and students to watch BC Court of Appeal proceedings on this important issue.

Mock Trial Scripts

There are a number of mock trials available for your use during the mock trial program. They are either civil or criminal. Some trials have been scripted so all the detail is there for your students. Non-scripted trials do not have a script as the students are expected to create their own questions for the witnesses who will also prepare their own answers. These non-scripted trials may be more challenging to prepare.

Courtwatcher's Manual

The Courtwatcher’s Manual is an all-in-one booklet for anyone wanting to watch and learn more about BC’s court system. Topics include The Operation and Structure of the Courts, the Roles and Responsibilities of Those Involved in a Trial as well as Civil and Criminal Trial Procedures.

Courts of BC

CourtsofBC.ca is a website that provides educational information and instructional videos about BC’s Provincial Court, Supreme Court, and Court of Appeal. In the videos Alex, a student interested in learning more about BC’s court system, speaks to three judges about the role and functions of the three courts. In addition to the videos, this resource also features downloadable student handouts and a teacher's guide.

Being an Active Citizen

Being an Active Citizen is a resource teaching package for Social Studies grades 7 to 11. This teaching unit introduces students to the fundamentals of law, how the justice system works, and the structure and operation of government. This new curriculum focusses on helping students gain the tools and confidence to be active citizens. This approach is important as it allows students opportunities to engage in active citizenship activities over a number of years and, in doing so, builds their interest and skills.

Youth Criminal Justice Act

Youth and teachers can use YCJA.ca to learn about the Youth Criminal Justice Act — the law that is applied to anyone aged 12-17. Students can read articles, take quizzes, and complete assignments. Teachers can read lessons and take a final exam.

Youth and Criminal Law

Youth and Criminal Law features a collection of videos that teach young people about their legal rights and responsibilities in Canada. The videos introduce “K9”, a typical kid who describes a range of typical youth scenarios where legal issues arise. Originally called, “Legal Rights 4 U”, scenarios include topics like: Your Rights in a Car, Don’t Look in My Locker, and The Party.

Wall Charts: BC's Justice System

This series of 10 large wall charts feature easy-to-follow illustrations of various areas of BC’s justice system. Series A is introductory and designed for elementary school and ESL students. It is also available in French. Series B is advanced and designed for use with high school, criminology, and law students as well as justice system personnel. A guidebook is also available.

Legal Dictionary

Not sure about the meaning of a legal word? Use this online legal dictionary to find and understand common legal terms used in court documents and forms. The dictionary is searchable by alphabet and includes definitions of most legal terms used on this website.

Gang Prevention

GangPrevention.ca aims to prevent youth involvement in gang activity by distributing information and resources to parents, teachers, and youth. These resources de-glamourize the gang lifestyle and show youth the reality of gangs – a life of violence, drugs, and criminal activity.

Law Connection

Law Connection features current legal issues that provide teachers and students in BC with an opportunity to engage in activities and discussions that enhance the learning process. Articles, backgrounders and teaching resources accompany each topic.

Though the Heavens Fall

Though the Heavens Fall describes the Court of Appeal: what it is, what it does, and how it upholds values that are cornerstones of a free and democratic society. It highlights important changes, such as the introduction of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as gay marriage, and illustrates how concepts such as the rule of law and judicial independence are critical to the health of our justice system. A teacher's guide is included.

Broken House

Broken House is an award-winning film that was written by Unit X, a group of residents at the Burnaby Youth Secure Custody Centre in BC. These inmates wrote a screenplay that could only have come from their insight, experience and real-life experiences. The film also includes a study guide.

Learning About the Law

Learning About the Law uses very simple wording to teach students about their legal rights and responsibilities in British Columbia. Topics include Renting a Home, Driving, Family Law, and Civil Law. Both the workbook and a teacher’s guide are available online as well as for order.

The Paisley Snail: Donoghue v. Stevenson

This case provides an excellent look into civil law and negligence. Designed for Law 12 as well as university and college students taking law courses, this entertaining video helps students understand the role of the courts in making laws. Download a teacher’s guide and watch the video.


LegalPix uses symbols and pictures to depict various legal scenarios that assist persons with special communication needs and their instructors/caregivers in understanding BC’s justice system. Books are available for Criminal Law, Family Law as well as Landlord and Tenancy. Card sets are available for Criminal Law and Preparing Victims and Witnesses for Court. A CD that contains all LegalPix symbols and pictures is also available.

Families Change: Guide to Separation and Divorce

FamiliesChange.ca provides information on separation and divorce for children, teens, and parents. Animation, text, audio, and video combine to help children, teens, and parents better cope with divorce or separation. The site is a popular and acclaimed age-appropriate resource. FamiliesChange.ca is also available in French.

Explore Changeville

This animated, highly interactive website is designed to help kids who are going through a family break up. The virtual world of "Changeville" provides a range of information and activities for children to explore. A personally created avatar walks through Changeville to visit the Park, Legal Street, Break Up Street, and the Mall. The website is targeted to children ages 6 to 12 and it can be explored alone, or with one or both parents.

Community Crime Prevention Guide

The Community Crime Prevention Guide provides information and tools for BC communities to develop action plans and tools that can be used to build safe, secure environments. Topics include Mobilizing Communities, Engaging Youth and Evaluation. The guide is available online and can also be ordered for free.

Your Human Rights in BC

This series of five videos teaches British Columbians about human rights in BC and Canada. Discrimination occurs when someone treats you differently based on your personal characteristics. In the videos, workshop participants get answers to their questions about discrimination and learn more about their human rights.

Your Voice in Criminal Court

Your Voice in Criminal Court is a video for use by Victim Service Workers and other professionals to educate victims and witnesses about the criminal court process. The materials help orient older youth and adult witnesses for Provincial Court.

Let's Go To Court

Let’s Go to Court is a video resource for Victim Service Workers and other professionals who are trained to help child witnesses (aged 8-12) get ready to go to court. If children are well supported through the process and receive age-appropriate information, their experience is likely to be less stressful and more positive.

Court Choices for Youth

When young people testify in court, they may feel like they don’t have many choices when, in reality, they do. CourtChoices.ca uses animated videos to teach youth about the choices they have when testifying as well as what happens before, during, and after testifying.

Youth Against Violence: Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls

Youth Against Violence: Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls is designed for passionate and committed individuals who want to take action on ending violence against women and girls — people like YOU. As a part of the Youth Against Violence initiative, it is a key tool for educating and mobilizing youth leaders for violence prevention in their communities.

The Law Project

This multimedia website helps students learn about BC justice issues. Students integrate videos, images and text to create videos that explain their view on a justice issue. Teachers can modify supplied lesson plans to deliver instruction that is customized to meet their needs. Research. Write. Make a Movie. You're in the Director's Chair!

Legal Quest

Legal Quest provides high school teachers with all the tools they need to teach the basics of the Canadian justice system, including the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Although originally designed for Grade 5-7, Legal Quest has been used for teaching grade 5 to Law 12. The program includes charts, worksheets, a game, scenarios and mock trials. Topics include The Law and You, Structure of the Legal System and Being in Court.

Legal Journeys

Legal Journeys gives elementary teachers teaching Grade 5, 6 and 7 the background information necessary to teach the basics of our legal system and expose students to the concepts and principles that underlie it. This unit includes information that helps classes prepare for court watching and performing mock trials.

New Directions in Youth Justice

New Directions in Youth Justice teaches students the principles of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The program includes a teacher’s guide and features four modules: Law 12, Social Studies 11, Alternate/Youth-at-Risk, and Adult ESL. Interactive lessons and activities help students understand in an experiential manner how the Act impacts youth.

On the Road to Justice

On the Road to Justice features ready-to-use activities and resource materials to examine the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The set features two modules: Youth-at-Risk and Grade 6&7. Included with each module is a set of three Youth Criminal Justice Act posters, a guide to the posters, and the game “Be a Legal Eagle.”

First Nations Journeys of Justice

With the vision of building bridges between the First Nations and Canadian systems of law, First Nations Journeys of Justice honours oral history and teaches concepts and practices of justice from the perspective of First Nations ways of knowing. The program contains modules for grades 1-7.

Staying Curious: Restorative Practices in Schools

Staying Curious: Restorative Practices in Schools provides viewers with a unique opportunity to learn about restorative justice practices and how they can be adapted in schools. The DVD includes clips from a two-day training session and interviews with Vancouver students involved in bringing restorative justices practices to their school.

Parents Are Forever

Parents are Forever is a video that helps high school students better understand the Child Support Guidelines: what they are, why they exist, how they apply and what are the consequences for parents who do not meet their responsibilities. The program is available in English and French and includes a teacher’s guide.

Peer Resolution Conferences

Peer Resolution Conferences use restorative justice to provide students and administrators with an effective alternative to traditional school discipline procedures such as suspension. The conferences help youth deal with improper behaviour and actions and stay out of court.

Choices and Consequences

Choices and Consequences is an intensive program for youth aged 11-14 who are facing school suspension for making poor choices. This program is designed for students who are ready to take responsibility for their behaviour and to acquire important skills for making more pro-social choices.