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


Math Resources

Link to Ann-Marie Hunter’s Math Resource Page
Supporting Resources: Math Financial Literacy Mini-Projects, by Melissa Salter
Mini projects dec per frac.docx

Link to Carole Saundry-Fullerton’s page:

Mathematical Thinking by Carole Saundry-Fullerton (Math Resources for all grades)

Another great resource for helping students who are having specific problems is Karismath by Shad Moarif:

PITA Fall Conference 08 Workshop Notes:

This Can’t be Math…I Like It! a.k.a. Teaching Math Effectively

Sarah McAllister & Melissa McNenly

Build UP Grades 6 and 7


Build UP Your Life Sciences for Grades 6 &7 Program

Workshop description

Each participant will receive an orientation to two use-it-tomorrow projects:
Invertebrate Adaptations (gr. 6) and Food Webs in Ecosystems (gr.7) both of which address grade-specific Life Science PLO’s. During the workshop we will show examples of scaffolding, differentiation, critical thinking & ongoing assessment to make the science project/research process both engaging and manageable for teachers and their students.

Workshop handouts

wkshop_handout_67projectoverviews.doc wkshop_handout_participants.doc

Here are links to the teacher’s resource and all student handouts for the Grade 6 and 7 projects. I have uploaded the resource in sections.

Grade Six Project: Invertebrate Adaptations

Preface: Project Overview

Part A: Detailed Lesson Plans

Part B: Teacher resources for demonstration lessons* (These are scanned pdf’s… sorry, they’re upsidedown :(… but you can print them off and turn them around 🙂 )

Part C: Blackline Masters (BLMs)

Part D: Critical Thinking Task Resources

Contact to get more Teacher Demo Resources – Ask for Adaptations Section B-



Grade Seven Project: Food Webs/Ecosystems

Background information: I have also posted a food web article and a food web poster project in the Grade 7 Life Science link on the Science wiki. These tasks provide a basic introduction to some of the basic concepts explored in the Food Web Project.

Preface: Project Overview

Part A: Detailed Lesson Plans

Part B: Teacher resources for demonstration lessons* (These are scanned pdf’s… sorry, they are upside down- but you can print them off and turn them right side up 🙂 )

Part C: Student Handouts (Blackline Masters/BLMs)

Part D: Critical Thinking Task Resources



Contact ask for Ecosystems- Teacher Demo Resources -Section B




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!!

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!