Legal Journeys provides teachers with materials that are easy to use and interesting to elementary school-level students. The lessons can be used to help children understand justice and the legal system.
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The curriculum is divided into three levels. There are three components to each level:
- A basic introduction to the legal system and courts through classroom lessons
- Experiential learning (mock trial or restorative justice role play)
- Visit to courts (guest speakers and/or courtwatching)
By the end of the first lesson, students will understand that:
- Rules and laws developed out of customs.
- Rules and laws ensure order and safety in the community.
- Rules and laws are identifiable and enforceable.
- Rules and laws are enforced by people in authority.
- Rules and laws, when broken, have consequences or penalties.
- Attitudes towards rules and laws may not be the same for all people.
- Rules and laws differ in come respects.
- Rules and laws are enacted at different levels of government.
By the end of the second lesson, students will understand that:
- The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was designed to protect all Canadians. Because it is part of our constitution, it cannot be changed easily.
- The Charter contains fundamental freedoms and rights.
- Charter rights may differ from the rights and freedoms of citizens in other countries.
By the end of the third lesson, students will understand that:
- The Youth Criminal Justice Act treats young offenders differently than adults are treated under the Criminal Code.
- It is important to think about the effects of your actions on other people.
- Peer pressure is often the reason that young people commit crimes.
There are strategies for dealing with peer pressure in order to make good decisions.