The grade 6 Social Studies program is divided into two parts: history and geography, which allows students to focus on each discipline for half the year. In the history course, students learn about the main characteristics of North American First Nation cultures, including the close relationship of the First Nation peoples with the natural environment. They investigate the motivating factors for early European exploration and the prevailing attitudes of the explorers. They also examine the positive and negative effects of interactions between European and First Nation peoples, from first Viking contact to the time of permanent European settlement in the early seventeenth century.
In the geography course, students learn about Canada and its links to the world. After developing a deeper understanding of the cultural, physical, and economic diversity of each Canadian province, students will then compare it to the United States and other regions of the world. The comparisons are conducted through various research methods including mapping skills, investigating current events, researching tourist destinations, and studying the physical features of the countries. Students will then build upon the knowledge they have gained and learn about world trade and Canada’s global influences.
In grade 7, the study of history focuses on the development of Canada from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. Students investigate the contributions of significant groups and individuals, and develop an understanding of Canada’s European roots. They study the early settlements of North America and their impact on the First Nation peoples and on English-French relations. They examine the economic, social, and political challenges facing New France and British North America, as well as the course of conflict and change in the two colonies that culminated in the rebellions of 1837–38. Emphasis is placed on the development of critical-thinking skills, including the ability to examine issues from more than one point of view.
In grade 8, students develop an understanding of events in Canada from the 1850s to 1914 and the events leading up to the beginning of the First World War. They investigate the formation of the Canadian nation and its subsequent expansion. They also examine some of the individuals, groups, and movements promoting political and social change in the early twentieth century.