Magna Carta: A guide for educators.

Author:Tidridge, Nathan

It has been 800 years since King John stayed at Odiham Castle on his way to sealing the Magna Carta at Runnymede.

In a world that increasingly asks our students to tweet, post, snapchat, google, and otherwise digitize their educational experiences, Magna Carta Canada has done the extraordinary by bringing to Canada a document that provides a direct link to eight centuries of legal history, including humanity's struggle for universal rights. In a century that has become increasingly intangible in its struggle to become virtual, nothing can replace the experience a student will have when they come face to face with the faded parchment and King Edward's ancient royal seal of Durham Cathedral's Magna Carta. As an educator that brought nearly eighty students to view the priceless artifact ensconced at Toronto's Fort York, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting your students to the new Visitor Centre of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta from November 23rd to December 29th, 2015, the last host of this document's remarkable national tour.

Accompanying the Great Charter is a collection of excellent resources that have been broadly developed to enhance the delivery of provincial curricula across the country. Written by the Magna Carta Canada Education Committee, (chaired by Historica Canada's Education Manager Bronwyn Graves) an Education Guide and Magna Carta Timeline are intended to complement Alberta's social science, and Indigenous studies courses.

The centerpiece of Magna Carta Canada's Education Program is a guide, available at, created to address intermediate and secondary curricula across the country. Focused around the "big ideas" manifested by Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest, the flexible activities presented in the Education Guide ask students to learn about the Great Charter and then engage in activities, such as write a biography as if it were an individual with specific hopes and dreams. Other activities ask students to explore their provincial legislatures, travel back in time, and fine tune their sense of historical significance (all concepts touched upon by Alberta curricula). There are other activities for students who want to dig deeper into the Charters, including specific clauses and their importance to Canadians in the 21st century. The beauty of the Education Guide is that educators are free to adapt the activities to whatever programming that they have in mind for their...

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