Exploring Canada’s Intricate Relationship with England: Teaching Strategies and Resources

Background Information:

Canada, a sovereign nation in North America, was once a British colony. Although Canada gained full legislative independence from Britain in 1931, its ties to England are still evident today due to the shared constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch of both Great Britain and Canada, although her roles in the two countries are entirely separate.

Teaching Strategies:

To help students understand the complex relationship between Canada and England, educators can employ the following teaching strategies:

  • Begin with history. Introduce students to Canadian history by exploring topics such as British colonization and settlement, the fur trade, French-Canadian relations, and the impact of indigenous peoples on Canadian development.
  • Explore constitutional similarities and differences. Examine how both England and Canada have a parliamentary system of government, although they possess unique structures and systems. Delve into key differences such as Canada’s federal system with provinces and England’s unitary system as part of the United Kingdom.
  • Discuss the present-day monarch’s role. Explain how Queen Elizabeth II holds separate roles in both nations and how her responsibilities differ from those of prime ministers in terms of government decision-making. Focus on how she plays primarily ceremonial roles in both countries, without direct influence over day-to-day governance.
  • Highlight key moments in Canadian independence. Highlight significant events that marked Canada’s path to full autonomy, such as the British North America Act in 1867, the Statute of Westminster in 1931, and the Constitution Act in 1982.
  • Use multimedia resources. Through documentaries, historical text excerpts, and informative websites, give students a well-rounded understanding of Canada’s journey towards independence and its relationship with England. Moreover, incorporate interactive activities like debates or group projects to spark educational discussions around Canada’s connection to England.
  • Engage in discussions about shared cultural aspects. Encourage open conversations about what shared ideals and values unite English and Canadian people, including language, law systems, sports, and holiday celebrations. Encourage students to reflect on how these similarities shape both countries’ identities.


By employing the teaching strategies outlined above, educators can help students develop a deep understanding of Canada’s intricate relationship with England. This understanding can foster global awareness, advance critical thinking skills, and inspire curiosity about the political structures that govern our world.


Choose your Reaction!