Since Confederation, there have been 23 Canadian Prime Ministers. It can be hard to find resources to teach your children about the leaders of our country, so the goal of this post is to compile some quality tools to help.
Canadian Prime Ministers Reference Books:
Our Great Prime Ministers from DK Books is for children ages 9+. Broken up into five chapters, a quiz, and a section with biographical information for each Canadian Prime Minister, this book is packed full of facts and information as well as lots of photos and images.
The chapters dive into different questions about our government, such as:
- What is a Democracy?
- How does Canada’s Government Work?
- How is Canada’s Government Formed?
- The Government in Action!
- The Prime Ministers of Canada
The quiz in the back is only 15 questions long, but helps to confirm what has been learned in the pages. For example, do you know which Prime Minister won a Nobel Peace Prize?
Another resource book is The Kids Book of Canadian Prime Ministers by Pat Hancock. Although it seems that this book is no longer in print, you will likely be able to find it in your local library or buy it used.
Since it was published in 2005, it is missing the last 3 Prime Ministers, but offers information about the first twenty.
This fun (and silly) video quickly introduces all 23 Canadian Prime Ministers.
Learn About Each Canadian Prime Minister
Here in Canada, we traditionally have had only two political parties: Liberals and Conservatives. Often, when the country is frustrated by the actions of the current leader, they vote for the other party in the next election which causes a back and forth action of leadership which you can see as you study each Prime Minister. Every Prime Minister has something unique about their term, even if the only thing that happened while they were in office was that they died.
Take some time to learn about each Canadian Prime Minister:
- John A. MacDonald
- Alexander MacKenzie
- John Abbott
- John Thompson
- Sir MacKenzie Bowell
- Sir Charles Tupper
- Wilfred Laurier
- Robert Borden
- Arthur Meighen
- Mackenzie King
- RB Bennett
- Louis St. Laurent
- John Diefenbaker
- Lester Pearson
- Pierre Trudeau
- Joe Clark
- John Turner
- Brian Mulroney
- Kim Campbell
- Jean Chretien
- Paul Martin
- Stephen Harper
- Justin Trudeau (coming soon)
As you learn more about each, fill out these notebooking pages, where your child can keep track of important information for each leader, such as when they were power, what political party they represented, and if anything of significance happened while they were in leadership. Included is also a blank page for future Prime Ministers and a page that challenges your children to keep track of each of the leaders in order of their terms of office.
- Prime Ministers Portraits. Lining the halls of the Parliament Buildings are giant portraits of each of the past leaders of the country. This free downloadable brochure from the Government of Canada has a copy of each piece of art, along with some information about the artists who created them and any symbolism represented in the artwork. This resource goes to Stephen Harper only.
- Prime Ministers of Canada Education Kit: This free resource from the government offers lesson plans for grades 9-12 and is available in both English and French. There are five critical challenges that get students to consider things such as which Canadian Prime Minister would win a fictitious award, making a crest to represent the historical influence of one PM, designing political cartoons, imagining what would have happened if one thing had been different and creating a story about it, and imagining themselves as Prime Minister to handle a situation. Included are worksheets and rubrics for evaluation.
- guess who game
- Donna Ward’s gov’t curriculum