Social Studies, Grades 1 to 6
The expectations for social studies in Grades 1 to 6 are divided into two strands – A. Heritage and Identity and B. People and Environments – as described in “The Strands in the Social Studies, History, and Geography Curriculum” section of the curriculum context. The topics covered in each grade are as follows:
A. Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities
B. The Local Community
A. Changing Family and Community Traditions
B. Global Communities
A. Communities in Canada, 1780–1850
B. Living and Working in Ontario
A. Early Societies to 1500 CE
B. Political and Physical Regions of Canada
A. Interactions of Indigenous Peoples and Europeans prior to 1713, in What Would Eventually Become Canada
B. The Role of Government and Responsible Citizenship
A. Communities in Canada, Past and Present
B. Canada’s Interactions with the Global Community
The six concepts of social studies thinking – significance, cause and consequence, continuity and change, patterns and trends, interrelationships, perspective – underpin all thinking and learning in social studies. In Grades 1–6, at least one concept of social studies 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 something (e.g., an issue, event, development, person, place, process, interaction). Students come to understand that significance often depends on the context or situation: for example, what is important to one person or group of people may not be important to another. The significance of something is generally determined by its short- and/or long-term impact on people and or places.
|Cause and Consequence|
|This concept requires students to determine the factors that affect or lead to something (e.g., an event, situation, action, interaction) as well as its impact or effects. Students study the causes and consequences of various types of events, situations, and interactions in both the natural environment and human society.
|Continuity and Change|
|This concept requires students to determine what has stayed the same and what has changed over a period of time. Continuity and change can be studied with reference to ways of life, political policies, economic practices, relationships with the environment, social values, and so on. Students make judgements about continuity and change by making comparisons between some point in the past and the present, or between two points in the past.
|Patterns and Trends|
|This concept requires students to study 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 and/or over a period of time (trends). The characteristics may be spatial, social, economic, physical, or environmental. Students discover patterns by making connections between characteristics; they discover trends by making connections between those characteristics over time.
|This concept requires students to explore connections within and between natural and/or human systems, including how they adapt to and have an impact on one another. Students explore various components within a system, interactions between components of a system, and relationships between systems.
|This concept refers to the ways in which different individuals and/or groups view something (e.g., an issue, event, development, person, place, process, interaction). Students learn that different groups have different perspectives, which depend on factors such as beliefs, social position, and geographic location, among others. Students also learn the importance of analysing sources to determine whose perspectives they convey and of gathering sources that reflect 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.
** The word family is used in this document to refer to two or more people brought together in a household or extended households who interact and are connected with one another in their social circles through various relationships (e.g., parents, siblings, extended family members, community members). The word may also be taken to include care providers or a care community who are committed to being there for one another in various ways.
In each strand, the second overall expectation focuses explicitly on the social studies inquiry process, guiding students in their investigations of issues, events, and/or developments. 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 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 social studies inquiry process.
|Students formulate questions, either independently or with guidance from the teacher, and either individually or in groups:
|Gather and Organize|
|Interpret and Analyse|
|Evaluate and Draw Conclusions|
a. Primary sources include, but are not limited to, artefacts, art works, cookbooks, diaries, letters, oral histories, photographs, graphs, satellite images, and some maps and diagrams.
b. Secondary sources include, but are not limited to, current news articles, documentaries and other films, reference books, and most websites.
c. Field studies include, but are not limited to, studies in local neighbourhoods, parks, and school grounds.