Learning Resources at the Manitoba Legislature
Published in the December, 2019 issue of Lifestyles 55
The Manitoba Legislative Building is a source of pride for Manitobans. This stunning building has many wonderful qualities to it. From the architecture, to the art and permanent wall exhibits, to the newly renovated and accessible Chamber, there is much to see in this awe-inspiring building. Not only are the physical aspects of the building impressive, so are the internal programs. I’d like to highlight some of those internal resources here at the Manitoba Legislative Assembly aimed at educating our younger citizens.
Education and Outreach program
One program that I am particularly proud of here under the Speaker’s Office is our impressive Education and Outreach program. This program is run by Mr. Stephan Day who had dedicated years to empowering and education Manitoba’s youth before accepting his post here at the Legislature. Under his leadership, the Education and Outreach program works to educate both students as well as teachers.
The Education and Outreach program has several programs directed at empowering teachers to have the knowledge and tools necessary to make a lasting impression on their students. Some of these programs involve a two day workshop over the summer (Learning at the Leg!) and others involve a Saturday at the Legislature with many opportunities throughout the year. In addition, we have a variety of online lesson plans for students from grade 3 all the way up to grade 12. These lesson plans range in topics from Vocabulary Bingo to Democracy in Manitoba. They’ve been designed with all ages in mind to make learning fun and at the same time challenging. The objectives for the programing for teachers are:
-To enhance educator understanding of the parliamentary process
-To involve and empower educator participants to promote active, responsible citizenship
-To provide opportunities for educators to network and share ideas, resources and methodologies
-To stimulate thinking about the realities of democracy and its importance to our society
-To engage educators in discussion to further promote an understanding and awareness of the Legislature and its relevance
-To provide educators with greater knowledge and enthusiasm to teach new materials related to the parliamentary process.
Learning opportunities for students at the legislature include The Classroom in the Legislature, which is just that- a classroom! This classroom program hosts students from grade 4 through to grade 12 to learn about democracy. If the visit to the Legislature is scheduled while the Legislature is in Session, guests are able to watch a portion of Question Period during their visit. Bringing a class of students to the legislature is not always a possibility for teachers in Manitoba so the Classroom can come to you. This program has educated students all over Manitoba. The objectives for students who attend the Education and Outreach program are:
-To broaden student and teacher understanding of our democratic system
-To receive answers to questions, guidance and advice on parliamentary procedure
-To provide a fun, informative and interactive method for learning about democracy and the system of government
-To enable students and teachers to observe question period (if the House is in session)
I encourage all teachers who are interested in these programs to have a look at the Manitoba Legislature website for more information at https://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/education/education_services.html. Teachers that want to bring their students to the Legislature classroom program are encouraged to connect with the Education and Outreach program to schedule a time to visit the Legislature with their students.
Visitor Tour Program
Another program I am so proud of here at the Legislature is the Visitor Tour program. This program offers tours on an hourly basis between 9:00am- 4:00pm to the public free of charge from the beginning of July to the beginning of September. These tours are offered by our eager and well informed tour guides either in French or English. From September to June the tours are available by simply calling the Visitor Tour Office at 204-945-5813 and arranging group tours at a time that works for guests.
The Manitoba Legislative Assembly website can be one of your greatest assets when teaching youth about the wonders of democracy and about this amazing building. The Visitor Tour Program has some amazing online resources for activities for young people coming to the Legislature. Feel free to print off any of the colouring pages posted on our webpage at https://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/visiting/tour.html. Kids can learn about the Legislature by colouring a page of the Golden Boy or the Manitoba Coat of Arms. In addition to these colouring pages there are also factsheets and scavenger hunts for all ages. Also available for printing are the outdoor and indoor self guided tour pages.
The Manitoba Legislative Assembly is on social media! We are so pleased to have a Twitter account, Facebook, and Instagram account that are updated regularly. Follow us for some interesting facts and pictures.
The Manitoba Legislative Assembly has a variety of learning resources. Check out our webpage at https://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/ or come for a tour!