Social Studies

Link all pages added below this theme here:

Social Studies Fall 08 page -esp Kenya and mining

Start UP! Your Socials Program Successfully workshop materials

Build UP! Your Socials Program Successfully workshop materials

Grade Level Resources

Grade 4
Grade 5
Some resources for immigration from Ray.

Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 8

The Critical Thinking Consortium has an extensive website of resources related to Social Studies and LA.
Serveral Metro districts are members and teachers can join for free and access the resources if they have a district email.
As of Aug’13 member districts are: Burnaby, Vancouver, Delta, Coquitlam and Surrey.

Researcher’s Workshop Materials – Holly Lloyd
Internet Resources

Workshop Resources:
Ancient Greece Across the Curriculum-Phillis Giovanni & Nadine Keyworth


Elaine Jaltema’s Lit Circle notes

Literature Circle Format, Elaine Jaltema

In my intermediate class (grades 4/5, 5/6, or 6/7) students meet in literature circle groups every week from the end of September until the end of June. I use a format that looks, sounds, and feels like an adult book club. My students love it!

I stopped using the common system of roles (connector, director, illustrator, etc.) in order to put the emphasis on reading and discussing rather than writing and reporting. I have also tried using the method where students read at their own pace and say anything that interests them but my students and I prefer the following format in which everyone reads the same section and can make predictions.

I join the group (or have a student teacher or volunteer with the group) in order to ensure that the group discusses the meaty ideas in the book. It also gives me a fabulous chance for meaningful conversations with kids, especially those who are less visible in a large group.

Here is my process:

➢ I gather multiple copies of 5-7 different novels, usually gathered around a theme. The novels represent a variety in levels and styles. I give short book talks for all of the books, then I give students a little time to look through them and try reading a few pages. Students fill out a request form, listing their top 4 preferences. This system allows the teacher to organize balanced groups and assign books that are suitable for students’ reading levels. I typically put kids into groups of the 5 most popular novels and put the unselected titles away for another time.

➢ Students read an agreed upon section for each week’s meeting – usually about 60 pages which is 1/3 or 1/4 of the book. An average reader reading a grade level book will read a page in 2 minutes or less. Therefore 60 pages per week will take most kids about 2 hours of reading at home. Easier novels usually have less than 180 pages, making it easy to give less capable readers fewer pages to read each week.

➢ Students are not allowed to read ahead of the week’s assigned section so the entire group has the fun of guessing what will happen next.

➢ Keen readers often join 2 or even 3 groups. I put some of these “bright lights” into an easy book for their second book in order to raise the caliber of discussion for the easiest novel. That also means it isn’t obvious which is the “easy read” for the less skilled readers.

➢ Students have a routine assignment: write down 2 fat, juicy questions and a connection about the week’s reading, look up 3 unfamiliar words in the dictionary and write down their meanings. Fat questions are ones that have no right answer so they can elicit different responses and discussion. As the year progresses, I begin to give an additional weekly assignment which could be writing a reflection or completing a task related to the theme (see next page for examples).

➢ Meetings are scheduled once a week. If I have a volunteer or student teacher, I can schedule two meetings to occur simultaneously. When I do this, I have to work out the meeting schedule before assigning groups to make sure I don’t put my keen readers into groups that are meeting at the same time.

➢ Students sit together with me in a circle in a corner of the room.

➢ I start each meeting by asking students “skinny” comprehension questions just to check that they have read and understood the week’s section. Those who can’t answer the questions at any meeting will have to write a test at the end of the book in order to get credit for the book. Those who are obviously reading with understanding are spared the need for a test. If I have trouble scheduling a time for me to meet with each group, I give the kids the additional assignment to write 2 skinny questions so they can check each other’s comprehension, rather than my having to do so.

➢ Then the kids take over the meeting with me as an observer who sometimes chimes in if there is something I want to say. Children take turns asking their fat, juicy questions. When each child asks a question, classmates raise their hands to give their answer. Answers can’t be simple “yes” or “no”; they need to explain their thinking. Students can’t repeat an idea that has already been said. When everyone who wants to speak has been heard, the questioner answers his/her own question. They go around the circle asking first questions, then second questions, then giving personal connections.

➢ Meetings last half an hour. During the meetings, other students do silent reading or other quiet work.

➢ Most often, the discussion of questions and reporting of connections uses the whole half hour and I simply glance at the students’ other written work to give them a mark. If the group is small, there may be time for them to share some of their other written work.

➢ During the meeting, I am openly marking their preparation and participation. They tend to take care of each other by making sure that everyone gets a chance to give enough answers to get “5” for oral participation. They get 3 marks for having read and understood the section and another 2 marks for completing the written work.

Literature Circles Assessment

Book: _ Section: Date: Teacher:
*Start all Literature Circle meetings by going around the circle, asking literal comprehension questions to determine whether students have done the required reading.

Comprehension √
2 fat questions √
Connection √
3 words √

Preparation 1-5
Oral 1-5
Notes: _

Use the blank spot to record some other task, such as:
• Use a post-it note to mark a short passage (3-5 sentences) that shows powerful writing
• Tell about a time when a character makes a positive difference
• Tell about a time when a character makes a difficult choice and explain how making a different choice would have led to a different consequence
• Tell something funny that happened
• Tell how a character changed
• Record each section on a plot line
• Complete a novel study sheet
• Write 3 animal facts that you learned from this week’s reading
• Write a response:
Response choices:
1. I predict….
2. I didn’t understand….
3. Now I know why…
4. The feelings I had in reading this were….
5. I would like to know….
6. If it was up to me….
7. I really like the following passage…. I like this passage because….
8. The character:
_ reminds me of someone else….
9. I would love/hate to be like
_ because….
10. The author uses suspense when….
11. If only….
12. The author grabbed my attention by….
13. Something that surprised me is….
14. I am enjoying reading this book because….
15. I am not enjoying reading this book because….


Web resources (eg.worksheet generators)

Type in the content of your page here.

Worksheet generators: (please list those you have used in your class)
List by stream and grade if possible & remove if you find the link is dead- If you have a comment please do so.

Time: Clock face
Comment- simple clean easy

Grade 4, 5, 6, and 7 Vancouver Island Math Diagnostic Assessment tests
If you just print them the eat a lot of paper, so I’m trying to group the questions and use them as pre-tests when I begin a chapter.
They are helpful for me. I’ll post them as I do them when I get time. Ray.
End of Grade 3 – Beginning of Grade 4 WNCP.pdf

End of Grade 4 – Beginning of Grade 5 WNCP.pdf

End of Grade 5 – Beginning of Grade 6 WNCP.pdf
End of Grade 6 – Beginning of Grade 7 WNCP.pdf


Grade 4 Science resources


Post ideas/strategies/resources for Gr. 4 science here:


make predictions, supported by reasons and relevant to the content
use data from investigations to recognize patterns and relationships and reach conclusions

Gr. 4 science skills

Processes and Skills of Science make predictions, supported by reasons and relevant to the content
Processes and Skills of Science use data from investigations to recognize patterns and relationships and reach

Gr. 4 Science Content outcomes:

Physical Science Sound and Light identify sources of light and sound
Physical Science Sound and Light explain properties of light (e.g., travels in a straight path, can be reflected)
Physical Science Sound and Light explain properties of sound (e.g., travels in waves, travels in all directions)


Earth and Space Science Weather measure weather in terms of temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, wind speed and direction
Earth and Space Science Weather analyse impacts of weather conditions on living and non-living things


Life Science Habitats and Communities compare the structures and behaviours of local animals and plants in different habitats and communities
Life Science Habitats and Communities analyse simple food chains
Life Science Habitats and Communities determine how personal choices and actions have environmental consequences
Life Science Habitats and Communities demonstrate awareness of the Aboriginal concept of respect for the environment

Light and Sound Unit Plan.doc<– This is a unit I created this summer. Therefore, it’s not 100% done but a good starting point.
See this beginning of a Body unit by Ray Myrtle- Link to Ray’s Science unit- Under construction!
EARTH & SPACE SCIENCE (GR.4) weather-unit-supplements.docweather-unit-grade-4-1.doc
Weather – Unit Plan.docWeather Unit Handouts.doc
<– This is a unit I created this summer. Therefore, it’s not 100% done but a good starting point


Start UP Your Science Program Resources

1. Start UP! Series’13- Start UP Your Science Program -Bill Morphett (Links to workshop handouts)
Start UP! ’13 workshop handouts :
Start up Science Unit.docx
2. Anne MacLean’s Unit Plan:  Mould Terrariums: Building a firm foundation with slimy science (Gr. 4-7) Sept. ’09

– Mould Terrariums: unit overview and introduction – MOULDTERRARIUMS_introduction.doc
– Mould Terrariums: lesson plans (detailed lesson plans, to do lists… everything you need to get organized!) MOULDTERRARIUMS_detailedlessonplans.doc
– Mould Terrariums blacklines (BLM’s) and keys (all BLM’s, notes home, answer keys etc.) MOULDTERRARIUMS_BLMsKEYS.doc

source for jeweler’s loupes:
(note: if you find a Canadian source for the loupes, please post the link here.) These jeweler’s loupes are not essential. Naked eye or ordinarly magnifying glasses will work.

3. Handout from Brian Herrin’s Start UP Your Science Program Workshop (Sept 2010):

PITA Water Workshop – 2010 10 11.doc

Revisions, additions, suggestions: Please post revisions you’ve made to the unit on the relevant page(s) above. (e.g If you’ve made changes to a lesson, post your revised lesson plan or proposed change on the ‘lesson plans’ page.)
NOTE: Suggestions for posting:
a) if posting a comment: include a title/reference (e.g ‘Lesson 1 outline’ or ‘ Observation Log blackline’)
b) if posting a document for download, include a title/reference in the link name (e.g. Observationlog_revised_annemacL)

NOT SURE HOW TO UPLOAD ETC.?? No problem… it’s actually fairly easy. Go to the wikispaces tutorials to find out how (note: there are several ‘tours’ to choose from). If you would prefer, email your files to me ( and I’ll upload them for you.

Comments and questions: Please post your thoughts on the discussion link (at the top of this page)… Remember: this is an open forum for constructive collaboration… your thoughts and ideas are welcome and valuable!!

Volleyball -Gr 4-5

1. Here is a Grade 4/5 introduction to ‘the ball’ – to use before volleyball if hand eye coordination is not great.
Grade 4’s have some trouble before Christmas with regular volleyball.

2. I have also found a some great ideas for ‘team play’ from Holland and a International Volleyball Federation’s conference. It’s based upon 4 vs 4 volleyball. I really like a lot of the ideas here….
See this Wilco Nijland, Netherlands Volleyball Federation and this teaching progression
adaped from Wilco Nijland’s paper by Doug Reimer, UBC’s Varsity Women’s coach

Ray Myrtle

Thanks to Tammy Richardson for editing the unit below for us.
Go to the Premier Sports Award Program to order badges and materials such as posters etc.

A Volleyball Unit for Intermediate Classes in September- October
by Ray Myrtle

Goals: Games are one of the best ways to learn movement, and are an important social and cultural activity. Games involve strategy, thinking while acting, and coordinating with others.

Best Resource: Premier Sports Awards. (Premier’s Sports 604-737-3062) Manuals on many sports are available for about $15 as are free badges for participants when they complete skills level tests.
Also Volleyball BC has a program called Atomic Volleyball for elementary schools and may come to your school and help.
These descriptions assume a 40 minute period.

Week One: These classes are used to introduce the following:
Procedures for preparation for gym class: putting on runners, T-shirts and shorts.
Students change for gym upon arrival at school or at the end of lunch.
Students and put their clothes back in their locker or cloak room.
Try to get gym time just before lunch, because you won’t loose class time changing after class.
Students without shorts participate, but miss a recess.

Usually explaining these procedures take some time so for the remainder of the period I usually play minor games such as Eco-tag. This tag game has three groups: Blue Pinnies (who ‘save’ whites, and tag Reds); Red Pinnies (who tag Whites and are tagged by Blue); and white (no Pinnies) who are tagged by blues. Usually I select 2 blue and about 5-6 red players. Players must stand with arms out (in a T shape), when caught; they are ‘saved’ when someone runs under their arms. Utilize a freeze signal, and rehearse so that students will stop quickly when needed. Freeze signal can be a whistle, or using a drawn out ‘and stop’ (aaaannnndddd stop).
This game is a great warm-up game. By the way, you may have recognized it as a predator/prey simulation game (eg. White represent grass; red represent deer; and blue represent wolves), (adapted from Project Wild).
By varying the numbers you can see what happens to the ecology… what numbers are stable?

Week Two First Class:
Volleyball: (If possible use foam volleyballs or equivalent available form SporTime, Sparlings, etc. or remove some of the air from regular balls so they stay round but you can depress the surface with a strong finger)

1. Warm up activity- Ecology Tag game described above – 5 minutes
Students begin the game immediately as they enter the gym.
While Eco-tag is going on, get out the volleyballs.
First Lesson: Fore arm pass ‘Catch and throw’. (Catching and throwing is a fundamental life skill, volleyball provides an important context to learn this)
2. Demonstrate the ready position:
Teaching Points:
Feet shoulder width apart.
Toes pointing forward (not outward)
Knees slightly bent.
Elbows in front of hips.
Slightly bent over (the posture is like the position one would take if starting a sprint from standing). Have students demonstrate, and move around in that position.

3. Demonstrate: Underhand Catch and Throw against the wall.
Each player has a ball or works in pairs takes turns passing against the ball. Stand about 1.5 meters from the wall in ready position and throw to a wall using straight arms.
Aim to hit the wall about 2 m. above the floor.
Try to throw the ball so that the ball bounces back to your knees. Throw using both hands, and straight arms (the idea is to use a motion like a forearm pass to throw the ball). This is a real challenge for most students.

Circulate around the gym. Watch for ready position, and stop the class by using your freeze signal and sit where they are when you see a common error, and have a student demonstrate the correct way and then continue. Try to keep these ‘interruptions’ very brief, about than 45 seconds. Have the student demonstrator ready before stopping the class. Try to show the skill done correctly, and then BRIEFLY mention a key point or two: “Notice her knees are bent.” Or “Show me where her arms are.”

4. Once the students have some the idea. Introduce short movements side to side, that is, toss the ball, move sideways 2 meters, and catch the ball near your knees. Continue to correct and circulate. As students successfully do this, select pairs to do the toss underhand in pairs in ready position (begin without sideways movement for the first few weeks).

5. When most are able to do this, pair them up by ability, pair high with low, and medium and medium. These are the partners for pairs work.
Have students remember their partners so that they can begin practice quickly. Students without partners RUN to you and are paired up by you.
Continue with underhand Toss (throw) and catch in pairs. The ball should go the height of the top of a basketball backboard. Demonstrate.

Try variations such as: Catch and throw on one leg. Catch and throw with one hand. Catch and throw when back to back to back.

I reply to requests of: ‘Can we play a game?’ with, ‘We’re not ready yet.’

The structure of each class following the first one is similar:

I send a monitor ahead to get out the pinnies (2 blue and 5 red)
3-5 minutes: Ecology Tag, This continues until all the bath room requests etc. are done and everyone is in class.
15-30 minutes: Passing against the wall. Either fore-arm pass. Begin with forearm pass (it’s harder and takes more time to learn, and is easier for children who are not strong). Watch for bent arms, and encourage using legs for power instead of swinging arms. The key to keeping the students focused is to keep challenging the kids by reminding them of their focus…. pass the ball to the wall so that it returns to their knees etc. and changing the activity every 5-10 minutes.

During this phase, gradually (through the unit) progress more quickly through the early stages to the later activities.

Forearm Pass: Teaching Points.
1. Practice hand position. Check
2. Practice putting hands together quickly with arms straight.
3. Arms at right angles to spine, and about parallel to thighs.
4. Neck almost in line with spine (not looking up too much)
5. Use legs for power, not swinging arms.
6. Contact the ball just above the wrist.

Forearm pass drill sequence.
Practice with the Wall
Note: as much as possible, only allow those who can do each skill to go to on.

1. Underhand 2 handed toss to the wall and catch with straight arms near the knees in ready position.
2. As #1 but moving sideways about 2 meters.
3. Toss, (forearm) pass, catch. Repeat.
4. Toss, (forearm) pass, clap hands, catch. Repeat.
5. Toss, clap hands, (forearm) pass, catch. Repeat.
6. Toss, pass, pass, catch. Repeat.
7. Toss, pass continuously but catch when you are losing control. Repeat.
8. Toss, pass continuously and count the maximum consecutive number of passes you can do in one minute.
Practice with a partner
1. Toss, (forearm) pass, catch. Repeat.
2. Toss, pass, pass, catch.
3. Toss, pass, until not in control, catch.

Teaching points for the volley:
Index fingers and thumbs form a triangle.
Contact the ball using all the fingers and most of each finger touches the ball.
The volley is similar to a chest pass in basketball, but done upward and from the forehead. It is not a slap or hit.
Follow through upwards in the direction of the path of the ball.

Volley Drill sequence…
Practice with the Wall.
9. Toss, volley, catch. Repeat.
10. Toss, volley, clap hands, catch. Repeat.
11. Toss, clap hands, volley, catch. Repeat.
12. Toss, volley, volley, catch. Repeat.
13. Volley against the ground check hand position (like a triangle), and smoothness
14. Toss, volley continuously but catch aim for a target and collect the ball. Repeat.
15. Toss, volley continuously and count the maximum consecutive number of passes you can do in one minute.

5-20 minutes Repeat the same activities in pairs, about 5-6 m apart.
0-15 minutes Serving.
1. Serving against the wall
2. Serving in pairs over the net from about 5 m from the net. Partner catches the ball with two hands

0-20 min. Team play.
Begin with 6 or 7 aside catch and throw volleyball.
Usually group students by skill: high, medium, low, (the games will be better for everyone; high courts will move on quickly to games, low courts will move to playing a game but maintaining catch and throw).
Play on badminton courts. Begin using foam or soft volleyballs if possible or reduce the air pressure in the ball slightly (pain is not fun).
Game Sequence:
1. Serve, Catch and volley, Catch and volley, Catch and volley over the net. Continue until an error. Rotate and repeat (don’t keep score).
2. Serve, Catch and volley, Catch and volley, volley over the net. Continue until an error. Then rotate and repeat (don’t keep score).
3. Serve, Catch and volley, volley, volley over the net. Continue until an error. Then rotate and repeat (don’t keep score).
4. Serve, Forearm pass or volley, Catch and volley, volley over the net. Continue until an error. Then rotate and repeat.
5. Regular volleyball.

Complete the unit with Premier Sports Awards tests then games (usually 2-3 periods) while you evaluate, and give out badges when they arrive.

Rough Sequence:
During the unit my classes will change from 90% against the wall to 20% against the wall. Gradually increasing the time spent on the later activities and reducing the early ones.

Weeks 1-3 Introduce Fore arm pass
Wm up 5 min
Forearm pass with the wall: 25-30 min
Practice with a partner. 5-10 min.

Weeks 3-5 Introduce Volley and serve and catch and throw volleyball
Warm-up 5 minutes
Forearm pass with the wall: 15-25 min
Volley with the wall: 5-10 min
Forearm pass in pairs 5-10 min
Volley in pairs 5 min
Serve against the wall. 2-5 min.
Catch and Throw volleyball position, rotation, no scoring. 0-10 min.

Weeks 5-8 Introduce Game.

Warm-up 5 minutes
Forearm pass with the wall: 10-15 min
Volley with the wall: 5-10 min
Forearm pass in pairs 5-10 min
Volley in pairs 5-10 min
Serve against the wall. 2-5 min.
Catch and Throw volleyball 0-10 min. and regular volleyball on other courts for those ready. Introduce scoring.
Record movement to the ball, positioning in the game for report cards

Final 2-3 lessons;

Warm-up 5 minutes
Set up Premier sports tests and record for badges.
Evaluate for report cards.


Link to Ray’s Science unit- Under construction!

Ray’s Science Unit for gr 4/5 science- The Body in 09-10

Step 1. Look at outcomes (find them in All IPRs 2007-2008.xls ):

Science 5:
describe the basic structure and functions of the human respiratory, digestive, circulatory, skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems

Cells, organs, heart, blood vessels, veins, arteries, trachea, lungs, esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, kidney, bladder, colon, brain, spinal cord, nerves, blood cells, nerve cells, bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles tendons, skin, sense organs, membrane, digestion, nutrient, oxygen, carbon dioxide, pulse, reflex
Related Topics:
Optional Additional topic: Math 4:
*recognizing that area is measured in square units; *selecting and justifying referents for the units cm2 or m2; *estimating area by using referents for cm2 or m2; *determining and recording area (cm2 or m2);
Math 5 C2 demonstrate an understanding of measuring length (mm) by: *selecting and justifying referents for the unit mm; *modelling and describing the relationship between mm and cm units, and between mm and m units

Optional Additional topic:PE 5:
A3 analyse the relationship between nutrition and physical activity
A2 define the components of fitness as being muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, and flexibility

Optional Additional topic: Health & Career Ed 5
C2 describe strategies for contributing to a healthy, balanced lifestyle, including healthy eating, integrating regular physical activity, and maintaining emotional health
C4 describe practices that help to prevent: communicable diseases (e.g., washing hands frequently, covering mouth when coughing or sneezing, avoiding contact with the body fl uids of others, getting adequate rest and nutrition); non-communicable diseases (e.g., regular physical activity, healthy eating, stress management)

Optional Additional topic: Health & Career Ed 4
Gr 4- C2 describe choices they can make for healthy eating, based on Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating
Gr 4 C4 differentiate between communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases (e.g., communicable diseases can be spread/contracted from person to person; non-communicable diseases cannot be “caught” from someone with the disease
C8 describe how to remove or reduce hazards and risks for injury in a variety of settings, including on the road
C3 describe the physical changes that occur during puberty (e.g., height, weight, muscle development, body shape, oily skin, body odour)

Step Two Plan ideas on Planning Sheet:UBD Template 09.doc

Use the Learning Outcomes spreadsheet to identify the Outcomes. (See above)
Then fill in page one.

Go to Page Two of the ‘Understanding by Design style’ Template and read IRP page 243 (Gr. 5 Assessment), re more detailed outcomes.

First two weeks outlined. Planning time so far 3 hrs

Body 09a.doc

Lung Volume Name.doc The Skin.docSecB Tea Res The Skin.doc
Link to Body Quiz Page

Link re Math- Measurement – learning ‘size’ of cm/mm and cells DNA- a very cool simulation:

CELL SIZE AND SCALE thumb/e/e8/Digestive+

Body quiz

Build UP! Your Socials


Deb Borgenstrom’s Start UP! Your Social Studies

differentiated instruction social studies.pptx

Research Units:

grade 4 The Greatest Canadian Explorer.doc
Unit on explorers

grade 5 I am Canadian.doc
Unit on Canadian Identity

grade 6 What’s So Great About Canada.doc
Unit comparing Canada to other countries in the world

grade 7 The Lost City unit.doc
Unit researching the Olmec, Minoans and Mesopotamia to see if one of these might be the lost civilization of Atlantis


Assessing Notes.doc
presentation delivery rubric.doc


Presentation Ideas.doc
Trying to find something more creative for your kids to do with their notes? Want to give the students choice in how they present? Try these!