Social Studies

Key Concepts - Grades 5 to 8

K to 4 | Grade 5 | Grade 6 | Grade 7 | Grade 8


Grade 5: People and Stories of Canada to 1867

Cluster 1 - First Peoples
  • ways of life (daily life, leadership, culture, beliefs, interactions between communities)
  • mapping (major physical regions, vegetation zones, bodies of water, traditional territories)
  • stories (pre- and early contact interactions)
Cluster 2 - Early Europeans (1600-1763)
  • exploration and settlement
  • mapping places of historical significance (L'Anse aux Meadows) and European countries that established colonial empires (Portugal, Spain, France, England, Holland)
  • daily life (French, English, First Peoples)
  • individuals' contributions in settlement of Nouvelle-France (Champlain, Talon, Frontenac, Bourgeoys)
  • the Acadians
  • Nouvelle-France
  • British conquest
  • stories (European explorers and traders, interactions with First Peoples...)
Cluster 3 - Fur Trade
  • daily life
  • mapping (places and regions of historical significance to the fur trade and the Metis)
  • interactions between First Peoples and Europeans
  • western and northern exploration
  • settlement (Selkirk and Metis)
  • stories (coureurs de bois, Radisson, Groseilliers, LaVerendrye, Kelsey, Fraser, McGill)
  • Metis Nation
  • Hudson's Bay Company and North West Company
  • historical significance of Canadian place names
Cluster 4 - From British Colony to Confederation (1763-1867)
  • cultural diversity
  • interactions between First Peoples, Metis and Europeans
  • daily life
  • United Empire Loyalists
  • War of 1812
  • Selkirk Settlers
  • 1837 to 1838 Rebellions
  • Confederation
  • Immigration
  • mapping (four provinces in 1867, traditional Metis lands and communities of western Canada)

Grade 6: Canada: A Country of Change (1867 to Present)

Cluster 1 - Building a Nation (1867-1914)
  • treaties and reserves
  • immigration and hardships
  • cultural diversity
  • daily life
  • interactions/relationships between groups (First Nations, Inuit, Metis, Anglophones, Francophones, Cdn. Government)
  • individuals and events of this time
  • entry of Manitoba into Confederation
  • 1885 Resistance
  • North West Mounted Police
  • gold rushes (Fraser River, Cariboo, Klondike)
  • Canadian Pacific Railway
  • Prime Ministers (1867 -1914)
  • mapping (major landforms, bodies of water, major settlements of Rupert's Land, original provinces in 1867)
Cluster 2 - An Emerging Nation (1914-1945)
  • Remembrance Day
  • World Wars (Canada's involvement-First Nations, Inuit, Metis contributions)
  • Winnipeg General Strike
  • the Depression
  • Women's Suffrage
  • urbanization, and technological developments
  • Prime Ministers (1914-1945)
Cluster 3 - Shaping Contemporary Canada (1945 to Present)
  • people and places (factors that shaped contemporary Canadian life)
  • Prime Ministers (1945-present)
  • World conflicts (Canadian involvement)
  • global events and forces (Canadian involvement)
  • United Nations, the Commonwealth, Organization of American States
  • industrial and technological advancements
  • inventions (kayaks, snowmobiles, Canadarm, insulin, canola...)
  • Aboriginal rights
  • evolution as a bilingual and multicultural nation
  • mapping (provinces, territories, capital cities)
Cluster 4 - Canada Today: Democracy, Diversity and the Influence of the Past
  • democracy (ideals, responsibilities, rights)
  • Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • citizenship
  • Canadian identity
  • individuals (past and present) and achievements
  • self-determination (First Nations, Inuit, Metis)
  • government (main features, political parties, leaders, electoral processes-municipal, provincial, federal, First Nations)

Grade 7: People and Places in the World

Cluster 1 - World Geography
  • maps (latitude, longitude, parallels, meridians; map projections)
  • mapping (continents, major landforms, major bodies of water, major climatic zones, major vegetation zones, major population clusters, time zones, more and less developed nations)
  • factors that influence population movement
  • more and less developed nations
  • appreciation of global natural environment
Cluster 2 - Global Quality of Life
  • citizenship rights (Canada and elsewhere)
  • Universal Human Rights
  • quality of life (environmental, social, cultural, government factors)
  • Remembrance Day
  • emigration/immigration
  • International organizations (United Nations, Amnesty International)
  • individuals who influence World Affairs
Cluster 3 - Ways of Life in Asia, Africa, or Australasia (1 contemporary society)
  • mapping (major cities, landforms, bodies of water of a society)
  • ways of life
  • cultural issues
  • indigenous peoples
  • historical events
  • government
  • economic activities (work and trade)
  • impact of technological change, urbanization, industrialization and westernization within selected society
Cluster 4 - Human Impact in Europe or the Americas (1 contemporary society)
  • mapping (major cities, landforms, bodies of water of a society)
  • urbanization
  • climate change
  • social, political, and cultural issues
  • historical events
  • economic activities
  • food production and distribution
  • sustainable development
  • consumerism
  • student roles as citizens in an interdependent world

Grade 8: World History: Societies of the Past

Cluster 1 - Understanding Societies Past and Present
  • world views
  • general descriptions of societies/civilizations
  • origin and development of human life
  • transition from hunter-gatherer to agrarian ways of life
  • influence of natural environment on development of a society
  • sources of historical evidence and information
  • knowing the past and understanding history
Cluster 2 - Early Societies of Mesopotamia, Egypt or the Indus Valley (3500 to 500 BCE)
  • general world overview and major achievements (location, contributions, beliefs) of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus Valley, China, the Mayas and Incas
  • one in-depth study of Mesopotamia, Egypt, or Indus Valley:
    • mapping (major landforms, bodies of water, population)
    • clusters
    • art
    • architecture
    • science
    • influence of natural environment on ways of life
    • significance of people, beliefs and events
    • impact and significance of development of writing
    • governance
    • technologies and achievements (irrigation, tools, construction, weapons, transportation)
Cluster 3 - Ancient Societies of Greece and Rome
  • general world overview and major achievements of China, Greece, Rome, Persia and the Mayas and Incas from 500 BCE to 500 CE
  • world religions that emerged during this time (Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Judaism)
  • Ancient Greece
    • rise and decline
    • social organization
    • citizenship and democracy
    • life in Sparta and Athens
    • Greek myths
    • technologies and achievements (architecture, transportation, weapons, aqueducts…)
  • Ancient Rome
    • rise and decline
    • governance
    • trade
    • empire building
    • war and territorial expansion
    • mapping (expansion of Roman Empire)
    • technologies and achievements (architecture, transportation, weapons, aqueducts…)
Cluster 4 - Transition to the Modern World (Circa 500 to 1400)
  • general world overview including achievements and contributions in art, architecture, literature and science from China, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas
  • impact of the fall of Rome
  • Islamic achievements
  • Chinese achievements
  • Crusades
  • Arab conquests
  • Viking invasions
  • Medieval Europe
  • Mongol Empire expansion
  • Ottoman Empire expansion
  • mapping (conquests, invasions, expansion of the various groups and Empires)
  • impact of technological development
Cluster 5 - Shaping the Modern World (Circa 1400 to 1850)
  • general world overview including achievements and contributions in art, architecture, ideas, literature, science and technology of Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia, and the Americas
  • expressions of the Renaissance (art, architecture, philosophy, literature, science or technology)
  • interactions (between Europeans and Indigenous peoples- slavery, diseases, intermarriage, missionaries)
  • global exploration and territorial expansion
  • mapping (voyages of European explorers-Columbus, Caboto, da Gama, Magellan, Cook)
  • individuals and ideas of the Protestant Reformation
  • impact of Industrial Revolution on individuals and societies