Teaching a split grade always has its challenges, but it can be done less painfully than some people think! Let’s take a look at the 2018 Ontario Social Studies Curriculum Strand B foci for Grades 4 and 5!
Strand B is the People and Environments strand. This strand asks students to explore the “geographic, social, political, economic, and environmental issues in the context of local, regional, national and global communities” with a goal to “develop an understanding of the social and environmental responsibilities of citizens and of various levels of government.”
The two separate units are:
Grade 4: Political and Physical Regions of Canada
Grade 5: The Role of Government and Responsible Citizenship
What are the big ideas?
- explore environmental issues that affect Canadian regions and provinces.
- look at how governments, groups, and citizens respond to these issues
Taking this approach allowed me to create a unit where both grades looked at:
- a variety of environmental issues in Canada’s regions, provinces and territories.
- how humans actions (by individuals, industries and governments) affect the environment.
- how the environment affects humans, organizations and governments.
- different perspectives on the issue.
- how Indigenous groups have been affected by these issues.
- future governmental actions that may address these issues in a positive manner.
Each student examines an environmental issue from one province or territory (I provide three issues per territory). and as a culminating activity creates a poster, scrapbook, report, brochure or cube detailing what they have learned. Students include images and recommendations for the future.