Geography, Grades 7 and 8
In both Grade 7 and Grade 8 geography, the expectations are divided into two thematic strands. The topics covered in the two grades are as follows:
A. Physical Patterns in a Changing World
B. Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability
A. Global Settlement: Patterns and Sustainability
B. Global Inequalities: Economic Development and Quality of Life
The four concepts of geographic thinking – spatial significance, patterns and trends, interrelationships, and geographic perspective – underpin all thinking and learning in geography. In Grades 7 and 8, at least one concept of geographic thinking is identified as the focus for each overall expectation. The following chart describes each concept and provides sample questions related to it. These questions highlight opportunities for students to apply a specific concept in their studies. (See a fuller discussion of the concepts of disciplinary thinking.)
|This concept requires students to determine the importance of a place or region. They explore the connections that exist between the geographical location and physical characteristics of a site and analyse the unique relationships that exist in and between the natural and human environments in a particular place. Students come to understand that the significance of the same place may be different for humans, animals, and plants.
|Patterns and Trends|
|This concept requires students to recognize characteristics that are similar and that repeat themselves in a natural or human environment (patterns) and characteristics or traits that exhibit a consistent tendency in a particular setting over a period of time (trends). The characteristics may be spatial, social, economic, physical, or environmental. Students analyse connections between characteristics to determine patterns; they analyse connections between those characteristics over time to determine trends.
|This concept requires students to explore connections within and between natural and human environments. The interconnected parts of an environment or environments work together to form a system. Students must understand the relationships that exist within a system and then analyse the relationships between systems in order to determine the impact they have on one another.
|This concept requires students to consider the environmental, economic, political, and/or social implications of the issues, events, developments, and/or phenomena that they are analysing. In order to solve problems, make decisions or judgements, or formulate plans of action effectively, students need to develop their ability to examine issues from multiple perspectives.
* These questions are drawn directly from the overview charts that precede each grade and from the sample questions that accompany many specific expectations.
In each strand, the second overall expectation focuses explicitly on the geographic inquiry process, guiding students in their investigations of issues, events, developments, and/or various geographic phenomena. This process is not intended to be applied in a linear manner: students will use the applicable components of the process in the order most appropriate for them and for the task at hand. Although the Inquiry section covers all of the components of the inquiry process, it is important to note that students apply skills associated with the inquiry process in the context of any expectation, regardless of whether it is in the Application, Inquiry, or Understanding Geographic Context section. (See a fuller discussion of the inquiry process in the social studies, history, and geography program.)
The following chart identifies ways in which students may approach each of the components of the geographic inquiry process.
|Students formulate questions:
|Gather and Organize|
|Interpret and Analyse|
|Evaluate and Draw Conclusions|
a. Field studies may include, but are not limited to, studies in local neighbourhoods, school grounds, and various sites that allow students to explore different land uses (e.g., recreational, commercial, industrial, and transportation uses).
b. Primary sources may include, but are not limited to, census data, land claims, letters, photographs, speeches, and works of art. Secondary sources may include, but are not limited to, documentaries and other films, news articles, reference books, and most websites.
c. Visuals may include, but are not limited to, satellite images, maps, globes, models, graphs, and diagrams.
d. Community resources may include, but are not limited to, local conservation areas, resources from community groups and associations or government offices, and local plans.