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Social Sciences and Humanities

 

 

Elementary Social Studies

 

Primary/Junior Lesson Plans | Junior/Intermediate Lesson Plans | Additional Resources

 

Primary / Junior Lesson Plans

Collecting Oral History

(Any Grade) Subject Strands: Language, Social Studies.

A Critical Challenge Approach to Aboriginal Art

(Any Grade) Subject Strands: Social Studies, Visual Arts, Language Arts.

Food Traditions Interview

(Any Grade) In this lesson, students interview an elder or someone from another culture to learn about foods in different times or places. This gives students broader insight for thinking critically about their own food choices.

Responsibility

Grade 1; Primary. Students learn about how Aboriginal peoples demonstrate responsibility for themselves, others, and the environment around them. Students make connections to similar ways in which they demonstrate responsibility. Rights, Property, Shared Environment, Heritage and Citizenship.

Respecting Mother Earth

Grade 1; Primary. Students explore Aboriginal and other community perspectives on respect for the land, and develop a personal connection to protecting the earth. Recycle, Waste, Respect, Environment, Farming.

The Things We Need

Grade 1; Primary. Students identify the needs of humans, how these needs are met in different cultures, and who is involved in meeting these needs.
Staple Diet, Shelter, Food, Recreation, Cooking.

Naming Ceremony

Grade 2; Primary. Students learn about names and naming traditions, and examine how these and other aspects of culture and community are passed on through the generations. Heritage, Traditions, Celebrations, Families, Cultures.

Social Celebrations - Remembrance Day

Grade 2; Primary. Students learn about the contributions of Aboriginal people to Canada’s military since 1812.
Remembrance Day, Canada Day, Victoria Day, Aboriginal Solidarity Day, Chinese New Year, World War I, World War II, Korean War.

Seasonal Traditions

Grade 2; Primary. Students use a medicine wheel as the framework for learning about seasonal traditions common to their cultures and their community.
Cultures, Generations, Medicine Wheels, Life, Cycles of Nature, Traditions.

Seventh-Generation Stewardship

Grade 3; Primary. Students use the Aboriginal concept of seventh-generation stewardship as a framework for exploring their responsibilities for the land, animals, air, and water for future generations. Urban, Rural, Natural Environment, Water.

Feasts of Thanksgiving

Grade 3; Primary. Students explore Aboriginal foods and feast traditions, and make connections between Canadian Thanksgiving and other thanksgiving celebrations.
Early Settlers, Celebrations, Thanksgiving, Origins, Feasts.

What Settlers Learned From Aboriginal People - Food Preservation

Grade 3; Primary. Students research how food was preserved and stored by early settlers and Aboriginal people, and share the information in a feature article for a children’s magazine. Early Settlement, Medicinal Plants, Transportation, Hunters, Gatherers, Food Preservation.

What Settlers Learned From Aboriginal People - Technology

Grade 3; Primary. Students research how food was preserved and stored by early settlers and Aboriginal people, and share the information in a feature article for a children’s magazine. Tools, Technologies, Inventions, Survival.

Exchanges Between Communities

Grade 4; Junior. Students learn about goods and services produced by Aboriginal communities in Ontario and how they are exchanged for goods and services from other Ontario communities. Goods, Services, Trade, Exchange.

Walking In Someone Else's Shoes

Grade 4; Junior. Using shoes as a metaphor, students research and share information about the differences between the physical regions of Ontario and Canada.
Communities, Regions, Population, Language, Environment.

Celebrating National Aboriginal Day

Grade 5; Junior. Students learn about the importance of National Aboriginal Day and celebrate it with their classmates. Ceremonies, Celebrations, Commemorate, Summer Solstice, Heritage.

Using and Making Maps

Grade 5; Junior. Using maps, students explore and compare a North American Aboriginal nation that existed at the time of European contact with an early civilization on another continent. Regions, Civilizations, Maps, Geography.

Achievements of Aboriginal People in Canada

Grade 6; Junior. Students research the contributions and achievements of Aboriginal people in Canada. Achievements, Contributions, Recognition.

Current Aboriginal Perspectives

Grade 6; Junior. Students invite members of the Aboriginal community into the classroom for a presentation and/or interview to explore present-day issues facing First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people. Land Claims, Status, Rights, Poverty, Residential Schools.

Different but Similar - Comparing Algonquian and Iroquoian Nations

Grade 6; Junior. Students research and compare key social and cultural characteristics of nations within the Algonquian and Iroquoian groups. Nations, Dialects, Language, Knowledge, Lifestyle.

Issues Facing First Nations Today

Grade 6; Junior. Students gain an understanding of the treaty-making process and the impact that the treaties made between Aboriginal peoples and the federal government are still having today. They participate in a simulated negotiation of an agreement to share a territory. Treaties, Land Claims, Government, Negotiation, Agreement.

My Own Blanket

(Grades K-4) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts, Math

First Nations Oral Traditions

(Grades 4+) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Drama

Examining Folklore

(Grades 4+) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Dance.

Story Telling

(Grades 4+) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Drama.

Culminating Projects

(Grades 4+) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies.

Who Am I?

(Grades 4-6) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts.

First Nations In The Media

(Grade 6) Subject Strands: Social Studies - Heritage and Citizenship, Language Arts - Media Literacy.

The Four Sky Dwellers and The Tree of Peace

Mohawk Nation Lesson Plan (Grades 1-6; Level Primary/Junior) Subject Strand: Social Studies.

The Tipi, The Circle Model and Governance

Blackfoot Nation Lesson Plan (Grades 1-6; Level Primary/Junior) Subject Strands: Political Science, Law, Architecture

Four Directions, Four Aspects of Self

Cree Nation Lesson Plan (Grades 1-6; Level Primary/Junior) Subject Strands: Social Studies and Language

Giving Thanks

Mohawk Nation Lesson Plan (Grades 1-6; Level Primary/Junior) Subject Strand: Social Studies

Mi'kmaq Creation Story

Mi'kmaq Nation Lesson Plan (Grades 1-6; Level Primary/Junior) Subject Strands: Language Arts, Drama, Social Studies, Science

 

Junior / Intermediate Lesson Plans

Collecting Oral History

(Any Grade) Subject Strands: Language, Social Studies.

A Critical Challenge Approach to Aboriginal Art

(Any Grade) Subject Strands: Social Studies, Visual Arts, Language Arts.

Collecting Oral History

(Any Grade) Subject Strands: Language, Social Studies.

A Critical Challenge Approach to Aboriginal Art

(Any Grade) Subject Strands: Social Studies, Visual Arts, Language Arts.

Who Tells The Story?

(Grade 7) Subject Strands: History - New France.

Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Grade 7; Intermediate. Students examine similarities and differences in culture, values, goals, and interests within and across Aboriginal, French, and English populations in New France. Similarities, Differences, Comparing, Contrasting.

Exploring Cultural Differences

Grade 7; Intermediate.  Students learn about cultural similarities and differences among Aboriginal groups and between the French and Aboriginal people in New France. They also learn about the impact the similarities and differences had on relations among Aboriginal groups and between Aboriginal groups and the French. Conflict, Cooperation, Homogeneous, Diversity.

Important Aboriginal Women

Grade 8; Intermediate. Students research an Aboriginal woman from the past to learn about her contribution to the lives of Aboriginal women and children. Individuals, Events, Change.

Lives of Metis and First Nation Peoples in Western Canada in the 1890s

Grade 8; Intermediate. Students research and compare how Métis and First Nation peoples lived in western Canada in the last decade of the nineteenth century. Ways of Life, Harmony, Integrating.

The Red River Rebellion

Grade 8; Intermediate. Students explore the roles of key individuals and groups in the Red River Rebellion and the impact of the conflict on the development of western Canada. Causes, Results, Treaty #6.

Treaties 1-8

Grade 8; Intermediate. Students research Treaties 1 to 8 and develop an understanding of their impact on the past and present lives of First Nation peoples, and consider what future impact they will have. Land, Resources, Exchange, Rights.

Treaties and Legislation - Transforming Lifestyles

Grade 8; Intermediate. Students examine the seven treaties signed by First Nations in western Canada and the federal government between 1871 and 1877 (Treaties 1 to 7) and the Indian Act of 1876 and compare the lives of First Nation peoples in western Canada before and after the treaties were signed and the legislation came into effect. Transformed, Lifestyles, Concessions, Culture.

Food Traditions Interview

In this lesson, students interview an elder or someone from another culture to learn about foods in different times or places. This gives students broader insight for thinking critically about their own food choices.
 
 

Additional Resources

Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden

Originally published as Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians: An Indian Interpretation by Gilbert Livingstone Wilson, Ph.D.Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota (Studies in the Social Sciences, #9), 1917. Ph. D. Thesis.

From the website: "Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians is not, then, an account merely of Indian agriculture. It is an Indian woman's interpretation of economics; the thoughts she gave to her fields; the philosophy of her labors. May the Indian woman's story of her toil be a plea for our better appreciation of her race."

Originally published as Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians: An Indian Interpretation by Gilbert Livingstone Wilson, Ph.D.Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota (Studies in the Social Sciences, #9), 1917. Ph. D. Thesis.

From the website: "Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians is not, then, an account merely of Indian agriculture. It is an Indian woman's interpretation of economics; the thoughts she gave to her fields; the philosophy of her labors. May the Indian woman's story of her toil be a plea for our better appreciation of her race."

Wabanaki: People of the Dawn

This video and learning guide package focuses on the Mi'kmaw people of Nova Scotia.  (Level Intermediate/Senior)

Takuginai (Pronounced Ta-Koo-Gee-Nye - Look Here)

This website is an extension of the popular children's program produced by IBC- the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation featuring puppets such as Johnny the Lemming, Malaiya, Isaaci, Puuki and Meesee. The Inuit version of Sesame Street.  A great way of learning about Inuit life today. Suitable for Elementary and Junior levels.

The Gift of Language and Culture

A website for Cree language education, with curriculum resources from nursery to grade 9.

Using First Nations Literature in the Classroom

From the website: "This unit consists of four sections. Each section begins with a chart that summarizes the objectives that will be covered in that particular section as well as what types of activities will be used to achieve the listed objectives. Following the summary chart, you will find a description of the activity, samples of how charts (templates) are to be completed and links to any templates."  The website suggests that these lesson plans can be adapted to literature from any culture, so long as the literary resources are available.  From Saskatchewan.

Where We live - Who We Are

From the website: "The heritage and history of some Canadians go back much further in Canada than those of others. These first inhabitants developed technologies that enabled them to live in balance with the environment in which they lived. In each region of the country, they developed different cultures and ways of life, depending in part on the climate and the natural resources available to them. This activity explores the history of how different Aboriginal groups interacted with the environment in which they lived. Aboriginal peoples of Canada adapted to change in the past, and continue to do so today."  (Level Junior/Intermediate) 

The Fur Trade: "Jimmy Goes Home"

From the website: "The following lesson plans are designed to help students gain a better understanding of Aboriginal and European contributions to the development of Canada. Comprehension questions draw out some of the pertinent points of the story; a mapping exercise helps students with a spatial representation of the story, and a journal writing exercise gives students a chance to creatively empathize with the characters of the story. Additional activities contrast two different types of aboriginal housing as well as compare bartering to a monetary system of exchange. The story and lesson plans are aimed at grades 4 through 6 and can be used as an integrated unit that incorporates Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies."  (Level Junior)

Lessons From The Land: The story of a cultural journey through the NWT. 

Courageous Spirits: Aboriginal Heroes of our Children

Edited by Jo-ann Archibald, Val Friesen, and Jeff Smith, with narration by Shirley Sperling. 1993

Produced by the Mokakit Education Research Association. The project began as a Canada-wide contest for Native students writing about Aboriginal heroes. This anthology of student writing about the achievements and contributions of Aboriginal heroes was the result. The works of 55 Native students from grades 2-12 are showcased. These heroes are mainly community people that have touched the lives of the students. They range from parents, grandparents to political leaders, athletes and movie stars. Heroes include Bill Reid, Susan Aglukark, Chief Dan George, Sitting Bull, Tecumseh, Joseph Brant, Tom Longboat, and Graham Greene. The goal of this text was to link heroes with self-esteem. The editors have succeeded by interspersing the student writing with the adventures of the Trickster. When combined with the Teacher's Manual, Courageous Spirits is a valuable teacher resource for grade 2 to high school.

Lesson Plans:  Aboriginal Heroes (Ontario Curriculum Gr. 1-8, language), Governance (Saskatchewan curriculum, Gr. 6)

World Issues

Lesson Plans | Additional Resources

Lesson Plans

Cultural and Historical Contributions
Grade 10; Senior. Students identify aspects of everyday Canadian life that are Aboriginal in origin, and explore key contributions such as Aboriginal Canadians’ role in the two world wars. Local, National, Global.

Geotechnologies and First Nations Issues
Grade 11; Senior. Students study the role played by geotechnologies in addressing First Nation issues by examining a variety of community projects in Canada. Land claims, reserve management, resource inventories.

Aboriginal Peoples' Rights in Canada
Grade 11; Senior. Students explore the context and history of Aboriginal rights in Canada and examine current issues and perspectives through research, writing, and discussion. Rights, Benefits, Laws, Treaties.

Shaping the Political Landscape
Grade 11; Senior. Students study the background, aims, and actions of national Aboriginal organizations and their influence on Canadian government policies. Political, Interest Groups, Influence, Government.

Resource Development and Its Impact
Grade 12; Senior. Students study the economic, cultural, and social impacts of resource development on Aboriginal communities. Traditional lands, Social, Cultural, Impact.

MTV’s Rebel Music: Native America 

Link to the Episode

Link to the Lesson Plans

From the website, “Around the world, young people are taking a stand.  They refuse to accept current social and political barriers, and are raising their voices to demand change for a better future.  They are the driving force of political upheaval today.  They know what they want. They are fearless -– often putting their lives on the line.  And their common expression is music. The anthems of protest rise up in underground punk-rock shows in Yangon. Revolutionary hip-hop in the barrios of Caracas. Drumbeats in Istanbul street protests. The pulse of electronic dance music across Native American communities in North America.  The soundtrack is global. And the noise is amplifying as youth connect with each other, onstage and online, and find their collective strength to ignite change for the future on a surge of sound and ideas. Rebel Music is their story.”

In this episode of MTV’s series “Rebel Music” viewers are given a chance to see “Native America”.  The episode features young native artists Frank Waln, Inez Jasper, Mike Cliff and Nataanii Means.  As they talk about their experiences, communities and music, each of these artists helps to paint the changing landscape for native youth across Canada and the United States.  The episode itself covers issues including the alarmingly high rates of missing and murdered aboriginal women, land disputes across North America, life on reserves and Native activism.  Along with the release of this episode of the show, MTV has also provided detailed lesson plans for educators who may want to use the episode as an aid in teaching this content.  

Additional Resources

The First Nations', Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada:  2006 Census Data

In this lesson written by The Critical Thinking Consortium with editorial input and subject matter expertise from Statistics Canada's Education Outreach Program and Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division, students will use census data to learn about Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.  Data will then be used to infer the needs of a young and growing Aboriginal population.  (Level Intermediate; Grade 9)

The Fight to Revitalize Canada's Indigenous Languages

A 2010 article in University Affairs about endangered indigenous languages in Canada and various revitilization projects that intend to give voice to ancestral knowledge and connect children, youth, adults, and elders through cultural and linguistic programming.
 

First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada’s Report on Education for Reconciliation and Social Justice: Kindergarten – Grade 2

A report that addresses how teachers can bring reconciliation initiatives like Shannen’s Dream, Jordan’s Principle and the “I am a Witness” campaign into classrooms.  The report offers specific subject areas these initiatives can be included in, and maintains that placing a focus on social justice is central to working towards reconciliation in the classroom.  It also provides links to school and teacher resources as well as information about ongoing projects that schools can become a part of.

 
 

Law

Lesson Plans | Additional Resources

Lesson Plans

The Tipi, The Circle Model and Governance: Blackfoot Nation Lesson Plan
(Grades 10-12; Level Senior) Subject Strands: Political Science, Law, Architecture.

Mikomosis and the Wetiko: A Teaching Guide for Youth, Community and Post-Secondary Educators

Indigenous Law Research Unit at the University of Victoria, 2014

This teaching guide is attached to a graphic novel that tells the story of a Cree man that was executed for obeying the laws of his people and society.  The novel looks at how Canadian law and traditional Indigenous law are often in conflict with one another and how this has negatively impacted Indigenous peoples in the past and present.  The teaching guide is complete with a background of the novel, lesson plans and supplemental resources.

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Additional Resources

Know Your Rights - Aboriginal Rights

From CBC Radio: "We ask the question: "What is the number one issue right now when it comes to Aboriginal rights?"  Not surprisingly, there is more than one 'number one' issue."  (Please note that the link goes to the radio show's website, and you have to scroll down and find this episode manually.)

 

Philosophy

Lesson Plans | Additional Resources

Lesson Plans

Aboriginal Philosophy

Grade 12; Senior. OPTA recently initiated a project that seeks to incorporate First Nations, Inuit, and Métis philosophies and pedagogies into the current philosophy curriculum. These lesson plans have been made in collaboration with the Department of Aboriginal Education at University of Toronto's OISE.Indigenous Epistemology, Medicine Wheel, Historical Injustices, Aboriginal Ethics and the Environment.

The Four Sky Dwellers and The Tree of Peace: Mohawk Nation Lesson Plan
(Grades 10-12; Level Senior) Subject Strand: Philosophy.

Mi'kmaq Creation Story:  Mi'kmaq Nation Lesson Plan
(Grades 10-12; Level Senior) Subject Strands: Philosophy.

Additional Resources

Four Directions Teachings

An interactive and engaging website resource for learning about indigenous knowledge and philosophy from five First Nations of Canada:  Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and M'ikmaq.  The website "honors oral traditions by creating an environment where visitors are encouraged to listen with intent as each elder/ traditional teacher shares a teaching from their perspective on the richness and value of cultural traditions from their nation."

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