In conversation with a friend last week, she mentioned that she was frustrated teaching Grade 7 history because there seemed to be so many “events” to cover, and so little time. How could her students learn so many dates, names, and events? She didn’t have endless time to devote to helping her students learn about each item in the list of curriculum expectations. Hmmm – my mind went immediately to the “Concepts of Disciplinary Thinking” highlighted in the 2018 Ontario Social Studies Curriculum, in particular to “Historical Significance“.
I asked her whether she wanted her students to memorize a list of events, or to be able to determine the significance of a particular event. Which is the bigger academic skill, that a student can carry forward into other grades? That’s an easy question for me: I want them to be able to look at an event and think about the importance or significance of that event by itself, or in comparison to another event. For example, which was more significant: the War of 1812, or the Rebellions of 1837-1838? Students can use criteria to help them with this evaluation.
If you’re interested in downloading a FREE version of the Historical Significance chart shown above, please click here: Freebie Historical Significance Poster