By Raman Sarai

Grade Four Label



In the grade 4 overview, the Social Studies Curriculum covers how students understand the past including social organization, daily life and relationships to the environment from the time 3000 BCE and 1500 CE.  With the refreshed curriculum it explicitly states including a First Nation and Inuit society from this timeframe.  Many of the revisions to specific expectations include stating “ including at least one First Nation and one Inuit society.” 

tree 1920x560

Tree of Life by Donald Chretien. The Ministry of Education is using this painting, with the author’s permission, to illustrate their page.


From Ontario Ministry of Education


Phase 1: Subjects/Courses Updated

  • Social Studies 4-6, History 7-8
  • Canadian and World Studies 9-10 (History)


Current Status:

  • April 20, 2018 - released to sector
  • September 2018 - mandatory implementation
  • Fall 2018 - release resources to support implementation, developed by Indigenous individuals and organizations


Phase 2: Subjects/Courses to be updated

  • Social Studies 1-3
  • Canadian and World Studies 9-10 (Geography, Civics and Citizenship)
  • Canadian and World Studies 11-12 (select courses to be determined)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities, 11-12 (select courses to be determined)



By Risa Gluskin

sculpture bridgepoint April 2016

Detail from William Lishman Sculpture Garden, Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, Toronto. Photo courtesy of Val Dodge from April, 2016.


It’s April 14th and the snow is falling. Regardless, the last quarter of the school year is in progress. We all know how fast it will move!

I wanted to take this opportunity to ask for your input (comments and contributions). I’m aiming to include more posts on social science related topics. However, I’m having a tough time getting writers on the subject. If you’re teaching social sciences and are willing to write, please contact me. If you have students or student teachers who’d like to write, please have them contact me.

In upcoming posts I’ll be examining the topic of instructional leaders/consultants and learning coaches. In my very preliminary research – and to my surprise – I’ve found that there are some school boards that still have subject-specific instructional leaders or consultants. It’s a surprise to me because my board (Toronto), which used to have them for geography and civics, history, family studies, and K-8 social studies, switched to a non-subject-specific learning coach model a few years ago.

Though I admit I am curious as to the rationale for the cutting of subject-specific positions, I am respectful of the incredible work that some coaches are doing. I hope to profile some of these people in the upcoming months. I’m also going to report on a new development in my board where there is a pilot program that combines subject-specific coaching with classroom teaching in a hybrid-demonstration classroom type situation.

If you’re a learning coach or instructional leader in Ontario, please feel free to contact me so that I can learn more about the different models across the province and can report on them.


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By Jean-François Bertrand


Students from Collège Catholique Samuel-Genest presented their project to raise awareness about stereotypes in media at the semi-annual Youth Action Showcase. Photo courtesy of Jean-François Bertrand.


For over half of grade 10 students in Ottawa’s French and English school boards, the “Active Citizenship” stream of CHV20, the one that deals with civic engagement, is a hands-on experience.

The program is called DILA, for “A Day of Information for a Lifetime of Action” and is created and run by Youth Ottawa, a non-profit organization with the goal of empowering and engaging young people for positive change.  

By Risa Gluskin

Here are some challenges I am facing in my ongoing efforts to become an inquiry teacher. I am currently teaching grade 11 World History. See my previous posts to read about my inquiry goals.

Vincenzo Camuccini La morte di Cesare

At least it’s not this bad! I survived the Ides of March.

Vincenzo Camuccini, La morte di Cesare, 1804/05,


“Just tell us what to think!”

So went the cry of a flustered student in an inquiry lesson on the Persian Empire. In my mind, all was as it should have been; students were working away on interpreting information about how well the Persian leaders balanced freedom and control. It wasn’t easy but it should have been doable, I thought. 

I pressed on, throwing out lines like, “part of the process of learning is struggling.” Of course I believed that to be true, but I might have been pushing too hard. I was overloading my students with information. I told myself that it’s okay because all of their tests are open notebook, but it might have been too demanding.

For the next unit (Rome) I have vowed to cut down on the quantity of information in order to make the inquiry more manageable, less frustrating.