Reaffirmation Ceremony

Video: Reaffirmation of the Oath of Citizenship

Canadians are proud of their citizenship. This video is a tool to help practise reciting the oath of citizenship.
Alternative formats and transcript

Category

Educational games for teachers’ use in class (Offline)

Notice to teachers

This teaching activity is meant to take place at the end of the curriculum once students have already been taught about citizenship. Students participating in the ceremony do not need to be Canadian citizens. However, it should be noted that non-Canadian students repeating the oath of citizenship during this lesson will not become Canadian. All students should understand fully the meaning and implications of reciting the oath and of taking part in the reaffirmation ceremony.

Level

Grades 7 through 12

Materials required (Offline)

Provided on the website

  • Instructions on how to hold the reaffirmation ceremony in class
  • Reaffirmation certificates
  • Reaffirmation programs
  • Lyrics to O Canada

Not provided

  • Canadian flag and any other decorations deemed appropriate by the teacher
  • (Optional) Refreshments to serve after the ceremony

Goal of this exercise

This class activity will allow students to learn about the reaffirmation ceremony and to participate in one in class. The reaffirmation ceremony is a formal event where participants repeat the oath of citizenship to express their commitment to Canada. This is the same oath that all newcomers take when they become Canadian citizens at a citizenship ceremony.

Necessary preparations

  1. Choose who will be involved in leading the ceremony.
    The teacher will find a way to fairly choose the following 2 or more participants: a master of ceremonies, and someone to lead the group in the oath of citizenship and in singing our national anthem, O Canada. Suggested method would be a random draw of some sort.
  2. Find a guest speaker for the ceremony.
    Consider a guest speaker who will speak from the heart about citizenship and its rights, responsibilities and benefits. This could be a school principal, a member of the Canadian forces, a group leader, or someone from the community. If there is a recipient of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Military Merit or a citizenship judge in your community, consider inviting them to speak. They could also lead the oath of citizenship.
  3. Decide if students will give a speech.
    After the oath has been repeated during the reaffirmation ceremony, you have the option of having some of the students make short speeches in front of the class. Possible themes for these speeches are
    • Why I am proud to be Canadian
    • My experiences in Canada
    • Why the Canadian oath is important
    • What are my duties as a Canadian citizen
  4. Figure out how many students will participate.
    Teachers should print out reaffirmation certificates, reaffirmation ceremony programs and lyrics to O Canada for each participant. These items play a key role in the reaffirmation ceremony, and make it more official. Printable versions can be found at the following links:
  5. Plan the set-up of the room.
    The teacher may choose to decorate the class or they can delegate the task to the master of ceremonies. The teacher or selected student may choose to decorate the class as they see fit while keeping with a Canadian theme. The only prerequisites that must be respected are the following:
    • Make sure the person leading the oath of citizenship is in clear view of all the participants.
    • Ensure the space is accessible to persons with disabilities.
    • Prepare accommodations for students who need them.
    • Position a large Canadian flag where everyone can see it.
    Additionally you may wish to print and distribute copies of the program, including the oath, to all participants.

The reaffirmation ceremony broken down into steps

  1. Words of welcome from the master of ceremonies and introduction of the guest speaker.
  2. The guest speaker will start the ceremony with their opening remarks and a short speech.
  3. The oath leader will lead the class in reciting the oath of citizenship; students repeat after the oath leader, one line at a time.
  4. Optional prepared speeches to be read by students in the front of the class.
  5. Singing of the national anthem led by the oath leader.
  6. Closing of the ceremony done by the master of ceremonies.
  7. Optional reception (refreshments to be served in class).
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