Social Studies at Ashbury
In the Social Studies, History, and Geography programs, students use components of the inquiry process to investigate and communicate their findings about significant events, developments, and issues. By applying the inquiry process, students develop the skills they need to think critically, solve problems, make informed judgments, and communicate ideas.
The Grade 4 Social Studies program focuses on Canadian and ancient civilizations. It uses hands-on activities that encourage the students’ curiosity about their environment and the people who helped shape it. Students will investigate and describe the physical and political divisions of Canada. They determine how physical characteristics influence the economy and culture of provinces and territories. Students will use maps, graphics, and print materials to present information about their findings; a brief unit on basic map skills supports these investigations. They also identify and describe economic and cultural relationships that connect communities throughout the country. The study of ancient civilizations focuses on early societies. Students compare key aspects of life in early societies including social organization, daily life, and relationship to the environment.
In the Grade 5 Social Studies program, students will learn about key characteristics of various First Nations and European settler communities in New France. Using primary sources, such as treaties, historical images, and diaries, as well as secondary sources, they will investigate relationships and interactions among these communities. A variety of perspectives will develop their understanding of how historical events in early Canada have had an impact on present-day Canada. Students will also explore the responsibilities of Canadian citizens and levels of government. They will continue to develop their ability to examine current issues from various perspectives by investigating a Canadian social and/or environmental issue from the point of view of a variety of stakeholders. From there, they will develop plans of action to address significant social and environmental issues. As part of Ashbury’s vision to connect with others in the national capital region, students will take trips to Parliament, Rideau Hall, and the Supreme Court of Canada. Students will continue to develop their mapping, globe, and graphing skills to help them extract, interpret, and analyze information. In conjunction with Ashbury’s core value of international understanding, students will practice these skills within the context of Australia and Madagascar.
In the Grade 6 Social Studies program, students will explore the experiences and perspectives of diverse communities in historical and contemporary Canada. They will examine how they have contributed to the development of Canadian identity. In addition, students will explore the global community and Canada’s role in it. They will investigate current social, political, economic, and environmental issues, and develop their understanding of the importance of international action and cooperation. In addition to looking at areas of the world currently in the news, students will take an in-depth look at Canada’s top five trading partners: U.S.A., European Union, China, Mexico, and Japan. In conjunction with Ashbury’s core value of international understanding, Grade 6 students will travel to Discovery School in Cuernavaca, Mexico in order to explore further the connection between Canada and Mexico. In conducting their investigations throughout the year, students will enhance their graphing and mapping skills and develop their ability to extract, interpret, and analyze information from a variety of sources using various technologies.
In the Grade 7 and 8 Social Studies programs, students are taught History and Geography as separate disciplines. Geography and History are presented in both English and French, helping to enhance bilingualism in the Junior School.
In the Grade 7 History program, the study of history focuses on the development of Canada from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. Students investigate the contributions of significant groups and individuals and develop an understanding of Canada’s European roots. They study the early settlements of North America, their impact on the First Nation peoples, and on English-French relations. They examine the economic, social, and political challenges facing New France and British North America, as well as the course of conflict and change in the two colonies that culminated in the rebellions of 1837–1838.
In the Grade 7 Geography program, students will explore opportunities and challenges presented by the physical environment and the ways in which people around the world have responded to them. They will develop an understanding of patterns in Earth’s physical features and of the physical processes and human activities that create and change these features. Building on their knowledge of natural resources, students will study the extraction/harvesting and use of resources on a global scale. They will examine the relationship between Earth’s physical features and the distribution and use of natural resources while exploring ways of preserving global resources.
The Grade 8 Geography program involves the study of people, their environment, and the interactions between them. The course is designed to introduce students to some of the general concepts associated with the study of ‘human patterns’. They will focus on where people live and why they live there, and on the impact of human settlement and land use on the environment. Instead of focusing exclusively on one continent or hemisphere, the course is concerned with the development of a global perspective.
In the Grade 8 History Program students will build on their understanding of early Canadian history. They will examine how social, political, economic, and legal changes in Canada between 1850 and 1914 affected different groups in an increasingly diverse and regionally distinct nation. Students will examine the internal and external forces that led to Confederation and of the impact on long-time Canadians, including First Nations and new immigrants. Through an examination of inequalities in the new nation, students will learn that many of the rights and freedoms we have in Canada today are the result of actions taken by people in this era to change their lives.