Citizenship – Stage 1

This site is sponsored by the Quebec Literacy Working Group. It provides e-learning activities and a 36-page printable workbook on topics such as rights and responsibilities, democracy and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Can be used in class or for independent study. The video links require Adobe Flash downloads.

Free access:

By Drew Smith (hard copy and Kindle e-book)

This study guide is based on the Canadian citizenship study guide and has been adapted for CLB 4–5 learners. The contents align with the official study guide and provide multiple-choice comprehension questions followed by review exercises. Presented in a format that is easily accessible for language learners who are preparing for their citizenship test. The text can be used in a classroom setting or for self-study. Worksheets and an answer key are included. The book also provides a link to additional video quizzes for the citizenship test.

ISBN-10: 1519121296

ISBN-13: 978-1519121295

Available for purchase through Amazon:

The Canadian Encyclopedia is not intended as an ESL resource, or a citizenship resource; however, it is an interesting, up-to-date and comprehensive compendium that can be used by students and educators for research or personal interest. It is written at a level that is accessible to Stage 2 learners.

The Encyclopedia is provided in both English and French, and contains 14,000 articles in each language. The topics include Canadian history, politics, popular culture, science, the arts and sports. Audio and video features are embedded in the online documents, and include the well-known Heritage Minutes. The closed captioning feature can be used for accurate English subtitles of the Heritage videos. There is an extensive list of interactive resources in an alphabetical list, organized as collections, exhibits, timelines and teaching resources. The teaching resources include several study guides and short quizzes, which cover issues such as Black History, the War of 1812, Critical Thinking and Compiling a Bibliography. The website also provides a link to the Canadian Citizenship Challenge, an online quiz that simulates the citizenship test. It references the Discover Canada citizenship resource. The quiz can be completed by a student individually or teachers can register their students to complete the challenge as a team.

Register your team here:

Free access:

TESL Ontario Blog – Aboriginal Lessons:

This TESL Ontario blog introduces instructors to a variety of methods for teaching Indigenous history and culture. It provides links for Talking Circles, land acknowledgement (CLB 5–8) and a lesson plan for the Ojibwa language.

Strong Nations – Indigenous literature and lesson plans:

Best of the Reader – Canada’s Indigenous Peoples:’s_Aboriginal_People.pdf

“When I Was Eight” YouTube video based on the book by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margret Pokiak-Fenton:

This resource was developed by the Toronto Catholic District School Board and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (now IRCC) as a companion to Discover Canada, the federal government’s citizenship test study guide. It is intended for program planning and instructional use. The chapters are theme-based with a planning framework for CLB 1-8. It provides reproducible activities, recommended resources and teaching strategies. There are seven chapters covering:

  1. Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens
  2. Who We Are
  3. Canada’s History
  4. Canada’s Government
  5. Elections
  6. Canadian Symbols
  7. Canada’s Regions and Economy

There is an informative list of suggested resources, including books and online materials, including a virtual Charter of Rights and Freedoms, with translations in 23 languages.

Free access to the Charter:

Free access to the resource:

A 136-page study guide (non-CLB) based on the 2011 federal government Discover Canada study guide. Contains readings with comprehension questions that are written for intermediate students.

Free access:

A colourful, interactive website that helps participants prepare for the Canadian citizenship test. Participants are invited to earn badges as they complete each section on the benefits of citizenship. The site is linked to the online Discover Canada study guide. Participants also have the option of listening to the study guide on Sound Cloud.

Free access to the study guide:

The test preparation section contains flash cards for practice, in addition to online quizzes. There are two options for the quizzes: a 30-minute timed quiz with 20 questions, simulating the real citizenship test, plus a random quiz with no time limit.

Free access:

This is the 68-page official government document to prepare applicants for the Canadian citizenship test. The topics include applying for citizenship, rights and responsibilities, government, federal elections and the justice system.

The language level of the guide is suitable for intermediate readers. It is not a textbook; there are no learning activities other than the sample study questions at the end of the guide.

Free access:

ESL Library is a commercial site containing  well developed lesson plans and resources for EAL teachers. Materials have been developed to meet the needs of LINC/ESL teachers. The Citizenship module contains a teacher guidelines and learner activities.  Your organization may obtain a subscription for unlimited instructor use, or subscriptions may be shared among 5 members.

Access by subscription:


This 58-page guide is designed to assist newcomers with settlement information on arrival, and contains lots of useful information. Written in clear language for intermediate English readers, there are 10 chapters covering health, housing, employment, education, citizenship, legal services and consumer information. There is also practical information on the weather, finding healthcare, cell phone services and recreation suggestions, plus links to community services and organizations.

Free access:

Suitable for Stage I & II learners.

The links on this site include a wide selection of activities for low-level learners in CLB 1–5. Activities are categorized into 11 themes: people, work, everyday activities, home, our community, our world, food, health, getting around, communication and the basics.

Free access:

Created by Bow Valley College of Calgary, the podcasts are on a variety of topics including health, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, housing, consumer matters and money. Short podcasts with transcripts and activities. Does not reference CLB. Three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Free access:

This tool allows individuals to use personal information and a drop-down menu to create an individualized settlement plan, using headings such as first weeks, first months, immigration services, culture, laws and rights, working, housing, language, health and citizenship. Each topic has links to resources. Users can print out their personal settlement plan to track their progress.

Free access:

For reference use, this link at the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks provides an overview that relates the CLBs to immigration and citizenship. There are also links for details on language proof for citizenship and the CLB 4 competency framework for listening and speaking, in addition to various government information pages for settlement, education, training and employment.

Free access:

For reference use, this link at the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks provides an overview that relates the CLBs to immigration and citizenship. There are also links for details on language proof for citizenship and the CLB 4 competency framework for listening and speaking, in addition to various government information pages for settlement, education, training and employment.

Free access:

The Step Forward Canada textbook series is aligned with the Canadian Language Benchmarks; the first text is CLB 1–2, and the second is CLB 3–5. The books do not specifically reference PBLA (there are no assessments or rubrics), however the texts can serve as a foundation for a PBLA program. A comprehensive chart at the beginning of each book breaks down the activities in each unit according to CLB level and competency areas, a feature that facilitates the planning of PBLA modules.

There are 12 themed units in each text, which build on the four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), and integrate language instruction into real-life contexts. Each unit contains five lessons and a review section. The lessons cover vocabulary, life stories, grammar, everyday conversation and real-life reading. In addition, employability skills, critical thinking and math concepts are covered. Audio CDs contain authentic listening activities integrated with CLB listening benchmarks. The texts are designed for use in single-level or multilevel classrooms. The higher-level text focuses mainly on CLBs 3–4 with a limited number of CLB 5 activities; some instructors may find it suitable for a CLB 2–3 classroom.

ISBN -13  9780195426311

Publisher: Oxford University Press

There are a number of excellent resources that can be accessed through this collection. For CLB 5–8, see units containing audio, video and text activities, from LISTN (formerly ELSA Net), themes cover Indigenous art, education, identity, governance and residential schools.

Free to join. Free access nationally. Must register then search Tutela Collections.

Register at:

This 146-page guide provides detailed information for refugees and immigrants. It may be valuable as an instructor resource or as a class reference – text is written at a high level, which may be challenging for Stage 1 learners. Although it is not the official citizenship preparation guide, the document refers readers to the Discover Canada document. It contains attractive photos, charts and sidebar stories of newcomers’ achievements in Canada.

The 15 chapters include:

  1. A brief overview (Canadian history and geography)
  2. Rights and freedoms
  3. Canadian law and justice
  4. Employment and income
  5. Education
  6. Housing
  7. Healthcare in Canada
  8. Money and finances
  9. Transportation
  10. Communications and media
  11. Community connections

Also provides some practical information on such things as etiquette on public transportation, bundling of Internet services and protecting personal identification.

Free access: