Communities in Canada: Ontario Grade 3 and 6 Social Studies Comparison

I’m so glad you’re here! You may have noticed that there are two “Communities in Canada” units in the 2023 Ontario Social Studies Curriculum, and be wondering why. In this blog post, we’ll explore the theme of “Communities in Canada” in both Grade 3 and Grade 6 so we are clear on the focus of each of those units.


  1. Historical Perspective:
  • Both Grade 3 and Grade 6 units share a common emphasis on historical exploration, encouraging students to understand the evolution of communities over time.
  • Grade 3 focuses on the specific period of 1780-1815, while Grade 6 broadens the scope to encompass a larger historical timeline, examining the past AND present.
  1. Cultural Diversity:
  • The theme of cultural diversity is prevalent in both units. Grade 3 introduces students to the interactions between Indigenous peoples and European settlers during a specific historical period, while Grade 6 explores Canada’s diverse cultural fabric of communities throughout history and in the present day.
  • Both units aim to instill an appreciation for the rich tapestry of cultural backgrounds that contribute to the identity of Canadian communities.
  1. Impact of Historical Events:
  • Both units delve into the impact of historical events on the development of communities. Grade 3 students explore the consequences of European exploration and colonization during 1780-1815, while Grade 6 students broaden their understanding by examining various historical forces that have shaped communities over time.
  • The shared focus on historical events enables students to draw connections between specific periods and the broader historical narrative.


  1. Time Period
  • The most apparent difference lies in the scope of the two units. Grade 3 narrows its focus to the specific time frame of 1780-1815, providing a more concentrated exploration of a particular historical era.
  • In contrast, Grade 6 extends its scope to cover a broader historical timeline, encapsulating the past and present. This allows students to draw connections between historical events and contemporary communities.
  1. Depth of Exploration:
  • Grade 3 offers a focused exploration of a specific period, allowing for a more in-depth analysis of the events and interactions during that time.
  • Grade 6, while covering a broader historical scope, may not delve as deeply into specific events but aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the historical forces that have influenced communities over time.
  1. Global Connections:
  • Grade 6 introduces the concept of global connections, emphasizing how local communities are interconnected on a global scale. This perspective encourages students to consider the broader influences on communities, including technology, trade, and communication.
  • Grade 3, with its narrower focus on a specific historical period, may not explicitly delve into the global dimensions of community interactions during that time.


Both the Grade 3 and Grade 6 units on Canadian communities give students chances to learn about the diverse communities in Canada. Grade 3 focuses on a particular period in history, while Grade 6 looks at communities throughout history and in modern times. By seeing how these units are similar and different, teachers can teach in ways that help students understand how historical and cultural factors have influenced the communities we have today.

If you are looking for ready-made units for either the Grade 3/4 or Grade 6 Communities in Canada units to meet the 2023 Ontario Social Studies Curriculum expectations, check them out here!

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