CANADIAN AND WORLD STUDIES
Canadian and World Studies courses in the Middle School enable students to become responsible, active citizens within the diverse communities to which they belong. Developing a sense of who I am, and who we are, students address the following questions: Where have I come from? What makes me belong? Where are we now? How can I contribute to society?
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 Nations cultures, including the close relationship of the First Nations 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 Nations 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 Canada to the United States and other regions of the world. The comparisons are conducted through various research methods including map skills, investigating current events, researching tourist destinations, and studying the physical features of countries. Students will then build upon the knowledge they have gained and learn about world trade and Canada’s global influences.
History in the Middle School, in accordance with the Ontario Ministry of Education, helps students to:
- determine what has stayed the same and what has changed over a period of time;
- determine the factors that affect or lead to something (e.g., an event, situation, action, interaction) as well as its impact or effects;
- study characteristics that are similar and that repeat themselves in a natural or human environment and characteristics or traits that exhibit a consistent tendency in a particular setting and/or over a period of time;
- explore connections within and between natural and/or human systems, including how they adapt to and have an impact on one another.
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 Nations 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.
Geography in the Middle School, in accordance with the Ontario Ministry of Education, helps students to:
- investigate the places that make up the world around them;
- analyse how people and environments around the globe affect one another;
- develop their ability to become environmentally responsible citizens;
- develop their spatial skills as they learn to analyse information and data obtained from diverse sources, including fieldwork, aerial photographs, satellite imaging, various types of maps and graphs, and digital representations.
To develop a solid foundation of the knowledge and skills required in geography, students in grade 7 are introduced to the concepts and methods of geographic inquiry. The grade 7 geography curriculum also focuses on physical patterns and how they affect human activity. Students recognize patterns as an essential concept in geography. As well, students examine the various ways resources are used and the environmental implications of their use. Students demonstrate an understanding of the impact technology has on natural resources.
Grade 8 Human Geography will complement the skills and knowledge acquired in the grade 7 Physical Geography course. Students continue to learn how human activities are affected by geographic physical patterns, while examining current global patterns in human geography. The curriculum also focuses on economic systems and the economic relationship between Canada and the global community, as well as the major types of migration and distribution of wealth. This course prepares students with both concepts and skills for intermediate and senior level geographic courses.