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Social Studies

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Social studies is an interdisciplinary, content-rich subject that empowers students to be lifelong learners. It draws from history, geography, civics, economics, and other disciplines. Social studies provides opportunities for students to learn about and appreciate ideas that have shaped Alberta, Canada, and the world over time. Students acquire foundational knowledge and build understandings of relationships between people, places, and environments. They acquire a growing body of essential knowledge on historical and contemporary controversial issues. Students revisit content as knowledge builds from grade to grade. In social studies, students develop skills that will prepare them to lead fulfilling lives and play a significant role in our democratic society.
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Organizing Idea
History: Understanding the history of our province, nation, and world and developing cultural literacy allow us to appreciate the varied richness of our shared human inheritance of original writings, artifacts, stories, beliefs, ideas and great cultural and artistic achievements from different times and places. Lessons of the past and knowledge of diverse experiences help us overcome ignorance and prejudice and recognize our common humanity and dignity.
Guiding Question
What is the history of First Nations and Inuit in the traditional territories of what is now Alberta?
Guiding Question
What did ancient and medieval civilizations contribute to today’s world that has enduring value?
Guiding Question
How did the world change with colonization of North America?
Learning Outcome
Students explore First Nations and Inuit migration patterns, stories, and ideas as they existed on traditional territories before the arrival of people from Europe and other parts of the world.
Learning Outcome
Students explore ancient civilizations and the ideas that have endured over time and have contributed to our heritage and traditions.
Learning Outcome
Students describe key events of European exploration, contact with First Nations, the fur trade, and the expansion of New France.
timeline: First peoples to now; chronology of migrations and settlements
Humans first arrived in North America about 30 000 years ago and migrated throughout the continent.
Skills & Procedures
Explain a simple visual timeline and map showing migration patterns into and across the continent.
The heritage from ancient Greece, ancient Rome, and other ancient cultures continues to inform and influence our lives.
Big ideas, core beliefs, cultural practices, and monuments have endured and continue to influence our lives.
Skills & Procedures
Identify the significance of ancient wisdom in our daily lives.
concept of “The Modern Age” – the European age of discovery, exploration, and colonization (Early Modern Era, 1450–1750): the search for routes by sea to India, the East Indies—Christopher Columbus to the “West Indies” (1492); Vasco da Gama around Cape of Good Hope to India (1497–1499); Ferdinand Magellan’s voyage of circumnavigation (1519–1522)

early contact between Europeans and Indigenous peoples: John Cabot and Grand Banks, sea silver (England, 1497), Jacques Cartier (France,1534–1541), and Ill-Fated Settlement at Cap Rouge

early encounters with Chief of Stadacona tribe Donnacona, taking of his two sons, and deteriorating relations, scurvy, cedar bark tea remedy, finding of “Route to Canada”

origin of name Canada (Kanata), first social club (Order of Good Cheer, 1606), and meeting with Sagamore Membertou (Mi’kmaq)

founding of New France: Samuel de Champlain (1605–1632), Port Royal, Quebec Habitation, Stadacona, Hochelaga, Cross on Mount Royal “claimed” for France
The European origins of the concept of historical eras reflect the dominant Old World-New World perspective.

Although the first European explorers came to North America searching for routes to the East Indies and for spices and precious metals, they found fish and furs that attracted them to explore and colonize New France and North America, and the earliest settlements struggled for survival.

Good relationships dissolved when conflicts arose over taking “captives,” Donnacona and his two sons, back to France where their return trip was delayed and they eventually died.

The country’s name and popular social practices have Indigenous and French colonial origins.

France laid claim to much of early Canada from 1605 to 1760 and left a lasting cultural heritage and footprint.
Skills & Procedures
Recognize the concept of European ages or eras and identify the “Early Modern Era” of colonization.

Explain how fish and furs led to the exploration and colonial development of New France.

Examine the evidence to explain how Indigenous-French relations deteriorated in the early years.

Explain the significance of Indigenous ways, languages, and practices in shaping early Canadian culture.

Construct a timeline showing the key events in the founding, growth, and development of New France from 1605 to 1763.
history of time (chronology):
  • before Christ (BC)
  • anno domini (AD)
  • before common era (BCE)
  • common era (CE)
  • decades
  • centuries
  • millennia
  • time immemorial
Historical time can be represented in timelines.
Skills & Procedures
Construct a timeline and explain its purpose.
Seasonal survival skills shared by First Nations include
  • methods and techniques for transportation on land and water
  • accessing medicines and food sources through gathering, hunting, and planting
  • food preservation methods
  • ways to build shelters appropriate to ways of life and seasons
  • ways to make clothing from the land
Some Indigenous peoples supported newcomers with knowledge and teachings to support survival.

Some new settlers still struggled to survive in North America despite Indigenous support; others adapted better.
Skills & Procedures
Research challenges new settlers faced in what is now Canada and identify how Indigenous communities sometimes supported them.
earliest societies: hunters, gatherers, and cultivators; origin of agriculture

creation stories from local First Nations and Inuit communities, such as Blackfoot legend of Napi and creation stories from Cree, Dene, and Inuit communities

First Nations and Inuit spirituality can include balance within nature, spirit world, earth, and sky.

First Nations and Inuit societies emerged over time with many languages and varied traditions.
Early societies emerged and were organized to provide for basic needs and sustenance.

Societies develop their own ways of explaining human origins on Earth.

First Nations and Inuit cultures are rooted in the land and patterns of nature, which were believed to have spiritual qualities.

Many different Indigenous societies inhabited the land of what is now Alberta and North America before first contact with Europeans.
Skills & Procedures
Explain the ways of survival and means of livelihood of First Nations and Inuit in various local and surrounding communities.

Describe what the local First Nations or Inuit believe about creation and the spirits.

Describe Indigenous stories of the origin of the world and diverse Indigenous groups that inhabited the land of what is now Alberta and North America.
Ancient peoples told stories that were passed down from one generation to the next, such as myths and legends of Greece, China, and Africa.

World religions that believe in one God (monotheistic): Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have common roots.

art and architecture: Greco-Roman, Chinese, and African ruins and monuments, such as Acropolis, Pantheon, Roman Colosseum, Great Wall, Sphinx, pyramids
Classic architecture and monuments were built to last and have lasted. They continue to impress and inspire people today.

World views are a set of beliefs and experiences that influence the way a people or civilization sees the world. They are reflected in stories, religious texts, and architecture.
Skills & Procedures
Read aloud Greek, Chinese and African myths/legends and ask students to retell the stories.

Explain belief systems associated with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Recognize examples of classical architecture and monuments and explain some of the reasons why they were built.

Compare a world view from an ancient civilization to a present one.
legend of Madeleine de Verchères, a 14-year-old Canadienne heroine widely known for rallying to the defence of New France

Most French inhabitants of New France lived behind fortifications.

Since the time of Champlain, relations with the Iroquois had deteriorated and towns and villages lived under fear of attack as the Iroquois sought to retain possession of their lands.

Verchères was one such town, where Madeleine, daughter of the seigneur, rallied the defences in 1692 while her parents were absent from their farm.
Madeleine de Verchères is considered a French-Canadian hero for her role in defending her village against the Iroquois.

Centuries later, Madeleine’s image was used to inspire women to engage in the war effort in Canada.
Skills & Procedures
Weigh different viewpoints: The legend of Madeleine de Verchères can be seen from different perspectives. To whom was the young Canadienne woman a hero? How might the Iroquois view her act in rallying the defences?
French colonial rule – early society in New France: earliest French inhabitants – apothecary Louis Hébert and his family of Paris, Jean Talon, first census, daughters of the King (les filles du roi)

French settlement: seigneurial system, seigneurs and habitants, strip farms, Saint Lawrence and Richelieu rivers
The vast majority of early colonial settlers were from France, and French was the first European language spoken on the continent.

Early French settlers gradually became Canadiens.

New France had a unique system of land holding—the seigneurial system—with strip farms and “rangs” running along the waterways.
Skills & Procedures
Ask questions: What was daily life like for the earliest French settlers, traders, merchants, garrison soldiers, men, women and children? Write a note back to France explaining conditions.

Explain how the seigneurial system of New France worked, outlining the duties and responsibilities of seigneurs and habitants.
Slavery in New France: Slaves and servants were common. Blacks in New France were considered the “property” of white settlers and the Code Noir (rulebook) was used, even though it was not the official law. Enslaved Blacks were brought from Africa and sold as part of the trans-Atlantic trade in goods. Some 3,600 slaves lived in the colony in 1760 when New France fell to the British.
Slaves existed in New France until it was abolished in Upper Canada (1793) and then in all British North American colonies in 1807.
Skills & Procedures
Examine the evidence: Discuss slavery in New France and consider why advertisements would be placed in newspapers offering rewards for the capture of a runaway slave.
expansion of the fur trade to interior and into the North West: finest beaver pelts (castor gross), voyageurs, coureur des bois, and Catholic missionaries. brandy trade, origin of Montreal fur trade, Nor’Westers

the “Black Robes” (Catholic missionaries), Father Lacombe (1827–1916) priest and pioneer
The fur trade was important to New France; the frontier was fortified, and crop production was mostly to sustain the local population.
Skills & Procedures
Weigh differing viewpoints: Why was land important to Indigenous peoples and the French fur traders?

Why was French the first European language spoken in what is now Alberta?
Guiding Question
How do the origins and legacies of ancient civilizations relate to the present?
Guiding Question
What aspects of past civilizations continue to influence the way we live?
Guiding Question
What impact did British colonization have on the remaining British North American colonies in what became Canada
Learning Outcome
Students identify important ideas, social structures, cultural practices, and monumental legacies that ancient civilizations have contributed to modern day.
Learning Outcome
Students analyze some major contributions of ancient Western and Eastern civilizations to life and society today.
Learning Outcome
Students examine the fall of New France, British colonization, and how the American War of Independence altered the course of Canada’s evolution and how changes in Canada are reflected in the Canadian emblems, symbols, and songs.
concepts and vocabulary associated with historical time:
  • before common era (BCE)
  • common era (CE)
  • hindsight
  • looking back on the past
  • years (weeks and months)
  • past, present, future
ancient civilizations, exemplified by Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China

stories, folk tales, and legends, such as
  • Napi and the Rock (Blackfoot)
  • King Midas and the Golden Touch
  • Pandora’s Box (Greek)
  • The Monkey King (Sun Wukong)
  • The Jade Rabbit
  • Pangu and the creation of the world (China)
Ancient civilizations existed but have vanished, leaving only traces remaining today.

People continue to be fascinated with the events, ruins, and remains left behind by early peoples and civilizations.

Ideas and remnants from the past have endured and continue to inspire spiritual beliefs, art, and literature.

Stories, folk tales, fables, and legends capture cultural traditions.
Skills & Procedures
Describe a variety of ancient civilizations in terms of their cultures, ideas, and monuments.

Identify a few remnants and ancient artifacts, such as fire pits, petroglyphs, Clovis weapons, and fossils.

Listen to, read aloud, and retell the stories of First Nations or Inuit peoples and folk tales of early civilizations.

Illustrate an understanding of one or more stories or folk tales.
ancient Greece:
  • Athens as city-state
  • Athens and Sparta
  • gods and goddesses
  • Alexander the Great
  • Olympic Games
  • Marathon
  • Siege of Troy and Wooden Horse
  • Athenian democracy
great thinkers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle asked new questions in a form now known as philosophy, which in Greek means “love of wisdom.

Ancient Rome origin myths:
  • Romulus and Remus
  • Epic of Aeneas
  • City of Seven Hills
  • gods and goddesses
Pax Romana (Roman Empire)

  • The oldest of the three “Abrahamic” religions
  • Jewish people believe that God made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants.
  • After the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt, Moses led them back to ‘The Promised Land’
  • Jewish communities eventually spread, and were forced to relocate, around the Mediterranean, through the Middle East.
  • Based on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe is the Son of God
  • Spread from a small number of Jewish follows of Jesus in the middle of the first century across the Roman Empire
  • After it became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the early 300s AD, it spread rapidly across Europe and around the world.
  • founded by Mohammed, who Muslims believe was the prophet of God (Allah) and received revelations from him
  • the Quran (610 CE)
  • pilgrimage to Mecca
  • march to Medina
  • Islam spread across the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Europe (622–326 CE), and later to Asia, Africa, and around the world.
Ancient Greece contributed to the emergence of democracy, popular myths, athletics, culture, and the arts.

Critical thinking was advanced by the Greeks.

Roman traditions and culture, including Roman law and Roman infrastructure helped Roman influence spread and can still be seen today.

Rome became an extensive empire, and both Judaism and Christianity spread via the Roman Empire.

The three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all originated in the Middle East and share many common and overlapping beliefs and traditions, as well as important differences.
Skills & Procedures
Explain the significance of Athens in the shaping of modern Western culture.

Ask questions related to Athens and Sparta:
  • Which culture allowed more freedom?
  • Which one put more emphasis on order and discipline?
Arrange events in chronological sequence. Create a timeline for the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.

Distinguish between Roman and Greek contributions to modern life.

Recognize cause and effect.
  • What are some of the theories for the cause of the fall of the Roman Empire? It was not the first or last to disappear.
  • How might this apply to other countries or civilizations?
Investigate how the three monotheistic religions that arose out of the Middle East are related, and why Jews, Christians, and Muslims are sometimes called ‘people of the book’?

Draw conclusions from evidence: How is our culture still influenced by early Jewish, Islamic, and Christian cultures?
causes of the fall of New France – critical factors in French abandonment of Quebec
Wars in Europe set the stage for the fall of New France and its abandonment.
Skills & Procedures
Explain cause and effect: What caused New France to fall to the British in 1760 and what was the impact?
oral cultures and traditions: storytelling and art in early American cultures

writing and written languages, originating in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Central and South America, and China

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit had different languages and unique cultural practices, such as Blackfoot peoples and the bison hunt on the plains (Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump).

Maya (Central America), Aztecs and Montezuma (Mexico),
Inca (South America)

ancient Egypt:
  • pyramids
  • Ra and his children
  • Prince and the Sphinx
  • pharaohs
  • papyrus
  • hieroglyphics
  • mummies
  • Queen Cleopatra
ancient China:
  • teachings of Confucius
  • Emperor and Forbidden City
  • gunpowder and fireworks
  • Great Wall of China
  • invention of paper (Han Dynasty, 100 CE)
  • silk
  • trade
Each Indigenous society had its own language and/or dialect.

development of early writing (Mesopotamia)
Chinese writing: characters or pictographs/ calligraphy

Teachings, ideas, laws, structures, and inventions from ancient civilizations have endured and continue to influence our lives.

Ancient China had unique features and these contributed to modern times.
Skills & Procedures
Explain the origin of writing.

Compare two different American Indigenous cultures, such as Blackfoot or Plains Cree and one or more early Central or South American civilization.

Develop a comparison chart on types of writing and communication with assistance.

Compare the origin of one of the first sets of laws with today’s laws.

Describe the land of the Pyramids, how it looked, and what survives today.

Explain some unique features of ancient China and what it contributed to modern times.

looking up information on Internet or in libraries (Maya, Aztec, Inca peoples)

Explain differences between ancient law and today’s law.

Tell a story of what life was like in ancient Egypt.

Explain some features that make Eastern civilizations, like China, different from civilizations mostly founded on European laws and cultures, like Canada.
Middle Ages (medieval times):
  • Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor (800 CE)
  • King of Frankish Empire
  • feudal society (patricians, plebeians, knights, freedmen, slaves)
  • class structure (nobles and vassals, lords and serfs)
  • Hundred Years War
  • Joan of Arc
Anglo-Saxon England:
  • origins of terms (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes)
  • adoption of Christianity
  • monarchy-unification of a divided country
  • Alfred the Great and English traditions
  • Robin Hood, Norman Conquest
  • Domesday Book (first census)
  • Origins of the Common Law
encounters with other worlds: travels of Marco Polo, Venetian merchant (1271–1295 AD): journey from Italy to the Orient/China and back, the Silk Road, visit to Court of Kublai Khan; and, from the Chinese side, travels of Zheng He (1371–1433/5) (building on earlier explorations by Gan Ying, Zhang Qian, and others)

plagues: the Black Death (1347–1351) and its impact
Society in medieval times was structured so that everyone was responsible to the king/monarch and bound by loyalty.

Medieval stories and festivals are still part of our contemporary world, such as the story of Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The Anglo-Saxon tradition laid the groundwork for social and legal organization in England and the British colonies.

Understand how England got its Common Law out of local and social custom.

the origins of the Silk Road trading route from Europe across the Middle East and Asia to China; the connections between cultures and religions (Christian, Muslim, Buddhist) across the area between Europe and China; movement of people, goods, and ideas

The first of the world’s great pandemics was the Black Death.
Skills & Procedures
Explain the significance of Charlemagne’s rule in the medieval era.

Ask questions:
  • Why would a person become someone else’s vassal or servant?
  • Why is Joan of Arc considered a heroine in history?
  • Who didn’t consider her a heroine and why?
Explain the changes in the law in medieval England.

Ask a question:
  • Is the tale of Robin Hood real or fiction?
  • Did he rob from the rich and give to the poor?
Retell the story of Marco Polo’s journey to the Orient and back and what he discovered in the Far East.

Compare the Black Death with later pandemics, including the Spanish Flu and COVID-19.
Quebec under British rule (1760–1776): Royal Proclamation, Quebec Act, Peace of Paris, and conciliation with Canadiens (French Canadians)
Consideration and treatment of the conquered French Canadians was a matter of necessity because Canadiens made up the vast majority of the population.
Skills & Procedures
Examine the evidence: Governor Guy Carleton’s (Lord Dorchester’s) reasons for recommending and supporting the Quebec Act
Acadians and Indigenous peoples: the “Grand Dérangement” (Expulsion of the Acadians, 1755) and the Great Law of Peace (1763) – Proclamation Line and recognition of Indigenous land rights in interior and North West
Thousands of French settlers were expelled with revolution brewing in the American Thirteen Colonies (known as “Le Grand Dérangement” or “the Great Upheaval”). It was immortalized in Longfellow’s poem, “Evangeline.
Skills & Procedures
Construct a timeline listing the events that marked the Acadian deportation and resettlement.
American War of Independence (1776–1783):
  • divided loyalties – American revolutionaries (Republicans/Patriots) and United Empire Loyalists (Loyalists/Tories)
  • Loyalist influence and Tory values – monarchy, respect, responsible government
The British sought to secure peace and loyalty of the Indigenous peoples with the promise of land rights.

The United States is an independent republic born out of a revolution, while British North America (Quebec and Canada) took a different path, maintaining close ties with Britain, “the mother country.”
Skills & Procedures
Ask questions: What is the basis for the First Nations claim to much of the land beyond the settled area of New France?

Critical thinking: What makes Canadians unique when compared with Americans and the British? What do we have in common with each?
symbols, emblems and flags of Canada: flags –Union Jack to Red Ensign to Maple Leaf (1964); coats of arms (Dominion, 1921, Alberta 1907/1980); national anthems – God Save the King/Queen (1744), Maple Leaf Forever (1867), Canada (1939); symbol – the poppy (Remembrance Day, November 11, 1918); and national animal emblem – the beaver (1975)
Changing symbols and emblems tell the story of Canada’s gradual evolution from a British colony to a self-governing Dominion and a more Canadian, less British society over time.
Skills & Procedures
Explain the significance: What do the changes in Canada’s flags tell us about the evolution of our nation?
Organizing Idea
Civics: Canada’s constitutional monarchy, democracy, rule of law, and citizenship are understood through knowledge of the origins and development of various contrasting political traditions and ideas.
Guiding Question
What aspects of past civilizations continue to influence the way people live within societies today?
Guiding Question
What are some of the ways we are governed that can be traced back to the ancient and medieval world?
Guiding Question
What were the earliest forms of government in Canada from New France to British colonial rule
Learning Outcome
Students identify structures and governance of early civilizations.
Learning Outcome
Students understand the history of hereditary rulership (monarchy) and the origins of modern forms of democracy.
Learning Outcome
Students examine how government and society in New France were distinctly French and how it gradually evolved into a British system with its own governors, parliament, and courts.
Different societies and social groups were organized in different ways, and chose leaders in different ways; e.g. hereditary chiefs/kings, military leaders, or leaders chosen for specific skills (healing, religious knowledge/insight) or character by some or all of the group.

West coast and some interior First Nations have traditions of Potlatch (Pacific North West) and gift giving.

talking circles: The circle symbolizes wholeness, completion, and a way of discussing matters.
Two main types of rulers include hereditary and chosen by the people.

Reciprocation through gift giving is a key way to acknowledge and build friendly relationships amongst First Nations cultures.

First Nations and Inuit decision-making practices can include assembling in a circle, saying a prayer, and including everybody in discussion.
Skills & Procedures
Explain who ruled in early societies and how it was determined in ancient times.

Recognize the role of protocols and customs in First Nations and Inuit communities, which were unfamiliar to the ways of early Europeans.
early democracy:
  • origin of word democracy
  • Council of 500
  • male citizens and non-citizens (Athens)
evolution of the Roman tradition through kings/tyrants: There were several phases of Roman government that are important for the origins of democracy, including kings, Roman Republic (consuls, senate and assemblies), and empire (emperor, senate).
Athenian democracy worked to provide rights and representation and determined who was excluded from citizenship.

The Romans practised different forms of government at different times, first rule by kings/tyrants, then a form of democracy during the Republic, and finally Imperial rule with some elements of monarchy (emperors) and some elements of democracy (senate).
Skills & Procedures
Draw a diagram illustrating democracy in ancient Athens.

Explain the difference in the systems of government between the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic, and Imperial Rome.
government in New France: King, Minister of Marine and Colonies, Governor, Bishop, and Intendant (Count Frontenac, 1672–1698), Bishop François Laval (1659–1688), and Intendent Jean Talon (1665–1672), captains of militia – colonial rule by correspondence, playing card money (Jacques de Meulles, 1685), women’s horsemeat protest (les femmes Québecoises, 1757)
French colonial government was top-down from the King in France to the Governor (New France) ruling in cooperation with the Sovereign Council, the Catholic Bishop and the Intendant (colonial administrator) and sparked periodic protests
Skills & Procedures
Identify the weaknesses in the government of New France. How effective was it in making changes or responding to troublesome issues? How long did it take to get a decision?
governing rules and social order: chiefs, kings, queens, and empires; rule by divine right of kings
Most ancient societies had ruling elites who governed the rest of the people. Common examples of these elites were military leaders or hereditary leaders.
Skills & Procedures
Draw a diagram of rule by a chief, king, or emperor in relation to the common people.
medieval social order: feudalism, kings, queens, lords, and loyalties of people as subjects

crown, monarchy, and the rise of Parliament in England (Magna Carta, 1215)
Hereditary rulers and bonds of loyalty held medieval society together.

The common people (noble citizens) secured democratic rights and responsible government.
Skills & Procedures
Identify the profound influence of hereditary rulers and the clan system.

Ask questions:
  • Was the Magna Carta the beginning of English democracy through Parliament?
  • Why did kings need the consent of the nobles to govern (money to fund wars and costs of court, dynastic stability)?
British monarchy and parliamentary democracy:
origin of English charter of democratic rights, terms of Magna Carta (1215), immediate impact in England (King is responsible to council of barons), and contribution to democracy, law, and human rights in Canada

The Magna Carta safeguarded these rights: access to swift justice, protection of church rights, no new taxes without permission, limits on feudal dues/taxes, and protection from unfair imprisonment.

first English council of 25 barons established to watch over the King, and ensure the rights of Magna Carta were respected, eventually becoming the House of Lords in Parliament of England (like the Senate in Canada)

The Great Law of Peace is the constitution on which the Iroquois Confederacy was founded.
The essential principles of liberty in the English-speaking world and the origins of Parliament can be traced back to the Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter).

The Magna Carta made the King (monarch) accountable to a council of barons representing the people, and influenced governments around the world.

One of the two Houses of Parliament, the appointed Upper House (Senate of Canada) is a legacy of the Magna Carta.

The Great Law of Peace set out how the confederacy would be governed, how conflicts would be resolved, and how peace would be upheld.
Skills & Procedures
Examine the evidence: Study some key age-appropriate clauses of the Magna Carta (1215) that would still be relevant today. Why are such ideas as protection from unfair imprisonment still important today?

Compare and contrast the Magna Carta and the Iroquois Confederacy Great Law of Peace.

Weigh viewpoints: Was the Magna Carta a lasting legacy in Canada?
Organizing Idea
Geography: Understanding the world we live in, and the relationship of people and places, is supported by knowing features of the natural and political world, such as oceans, mountain ranges, and boundaries.
Guiding Question
Why do people move and settle in different places?
Guiding Question
Where did the earliest civilizations of the Middle East, Europe, and Asia originate?
Guiding Question
Why is geographic knowledge essential for understanding historical changes, movements of people, and the spread of colonies around the world?
Learning Outcome
Students explain reasons for migration and settlement of ancient civilizations.
Learning Outcome
Students describe ways that ideas, beliefs, religion, and cultural practices spread back and forth between the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia, and eventually to other places around the world.
Learning Outcome
Students locate and discuss how geographic locations of colonies, exploration routes, migrations of people, and changing boundaries is important in understanding past and present developments.
maps and globes related to the early Indigenous and ancient world:
  • Asia
  • Beringia
  • Arctic
  • Tundra
  • Woodlands
  • Plains
  • equator
spatial understanding of key locations and positioning in the Americas and the early world
Skills & Procedures
finding the location of places on a map: legend, directions, distance

Distinguish between types of community, including city (urban) or farm (rural).

Discuss why people, past and present, often choose to settle along rivers.
geographic location and extent of ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Islam, and medieval Europe

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam originated in the Middle East and North Africa, and spread from there into Asia, Europe, and eventually the world to become world religions.

continents, oceans and seas, equator, hemispheres, poles, coasts, valleys, grasslands, desert, oasis
spatial relationships among places in the ancient world and in medieval Europe
Skills & Procedures
Draw a map of ancient Greece (Athens, Sparta, Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea).

Trace the expansion of Islam, beginning in 622 AD.

Identify and explain landform features in areas under study.
First Nations and Inuit communities lived across North America at the time of French European contact.

exploration routes to the Pacific coast: routes of James Cook (1768–1778), George Vancouver (1792–1793), Alexander Mackenzie (1793), David Thompson (1799–1800), and Simon Fraser (1807)
Indigenous peoples lived in many different places, spoke different languages, and had differing cultural practices.

Many major river systems in Western Canada got their names from early explorers.
Skills & Procedures
Interpret maps showing different Indigenous cultural and language groups across North America at the time of French European contact.

Locate the routes of early exploration in Western Canada.

Ask questions: Why are the major rivers named after European or American traders and explorers? What are the names of the rivers in the local Indigenous language?
natural disasters and their impact: famine, wars, disease, drought, floods, and fires

balance of nature and respect for the environment
Natural disasters impacted early and ancient civilizations; armies and disease.

wildfires and wind breaks, conservation of scarce resources (water)
Skills & Procedures
Study and explain a chart showing impact of natural disasters on populations.

Recognize the value of natural conservation and management of scarce resources (protected lands, burial grounds).
migrations of people from across Europe to Britain (Germanic peoples, including Saxons, Angles, Jutes) and Norman Conquest of England

Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire (1162–1227): largest land empire in human history

routes of European exploration and trade: travels of Marco Polo and early Eastern trade along the Silk Road from China to the West

The Silk Road originated as a network of trade routes connecting East and West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century.

The Silk Road originated during the Han dynasty (207 BCE–220 CE) and was expanded by the Chinese imperial envoy Zhag Qian, as well as through military conquests.

The Great Wall of China was extended, in part, to protect the trade route.
People migrate from place to place for different reasons, including
  • fleeing conflict
  • seeking refuge
  • military campaigns
  • religious passion
rise and fall of the Mongol Empire (1162–1300): all-powerful ruler (autocratic ruler) governing without any limits

The Silk Road derived its name from the lucrative trade in silk that was carried out along its route. In addition to economic trade, it was also an important route for cultural exchange, including Chinese philosophy, religions (Buddhism), and innovations such as paper and gunpowder.
Skills & Procedures
Create maps showing migration routes of peoples during the Roman Empire.

Explain the scale and importance of the Mongol Empire in human history.

Draw a map of early trade and cultural encounters by tracing the journey of Marco Polo to China and back, and Zheng and the main trading routes and cities of the Silk Road.

Recognize and explain the origin of the two-way silk and spice trade with China and the Orient.

Describe some of the significant encounters between different peoples, either in person or indirectly through the goods they produced, along the Silk Road between Europe and Asia.
historical maps showing changing boundaries of New France (1610–1760) and British North America (1763, 1783, and 1815)
New France and British North America expanded and boundaries changed over time.
Skills & Procedures
Trace the changing boundaries of New France and British North America between 1610 and 1815.

Analyze the maps: Why did the colony of New France grow so slowly compared to the American Thirteen Colonies?
Organizing Idea
Economics: Knowledge of basic economic concepts, such as needs, wants, resources, labour, innovation, trade, and capital, will build toward an understanding of economic systems.
Guiding Question
How do people meet their needs and wants and make a living?
Guiding Question
How did bartering evolve to money exchange in order to better meet needs and wants through trade and business?
Guiding Question
How can available resources and products inform trade and choice, past and present?
Learning Outcome
Students explain how work, money, and resources can help people meet their needs and satisfy their wants.
Learning Outcome
Students examine the development of bartering into a system of money exchange and explore how businesses meet the needs of communities.
Learning Outcome
Students compare resources, products, and choice to trade in early colonies and present day Alberta.
Resources needed to fulfill needs and wants are not equally plentiful everywhere.

Once basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter) are obtained, humans seek more for themselves and others.
Working for a living in early times was different than what it means in today’s society.

People produce products (crops, livestock) or services (tending the fields).
Skills & Procedures
Identify the different types of societies: meeting basic needs (subsistence) and producing more than people need for immediate use (surplus).

Compare jobs in early times with those today.

Read a bar graph showing production of products.

Define what the differences are between needs and wants.
Bartering is an exchange of goods or services without money.

Money has advantages over bartering by being more portable and by having an exact value.

Trading involves buying and selling goods or services.

Merchants and businesses sell goods and services to raise money to purchase other things.
basic economic concepts of trade and exchange, goods and services, bartering, money exchange, exports (leather goods, wool) and imports (silks, spices)

the mutual benefits of trade and exchange of goods/services, and potential problems in trade relations
Skills & Procedures
Play a game of bartering goods and services.

Draw a sketch of a barter exchange in the Silk Trade with China.

Read and interpret a pie graph showing share of trade (imports/exports) of various products.
Metropolis and hinterland is a way of describing the trade relationship between a mother country or dominant trading centre and outlying colonies, societies, or communities (Paris, France and New France, Montreal and the North West).

Main products of New France produced for export to France included furs, fish, whale blubber, and wheat.

Main staple products imported into New France from the mother country included ships, muskets, blankets, woolen goods, horses, pots, and metal goods.

Products produced in New France for local consumption included bread, maize (corn), oats, barley, peas, cattle.
New France supplied France with highly prized furs (beaver pelts), fish, and wheat (for bread) and imported most of its finished goods. The mother country limited the New France economy by supplying staple products.

The fur and fish trade were profitable for France and the colony was expected to produce products to feed the people: food, drinks, canoes, wooden goods, and wheat for bread.

The French trade system was triangular trade (mercantilism) linking France, New France, and the West Indies (sources of sugar, fruits, and vegetables).
Skills & Procedures
Draw a map diagram of triangular trade linking France, New France, and the French West Indies. Label the three-cornered trade flows and products going in and out of France.

Make a concept map to illustrate the production of goods in New France—for export and for home consumption. Show linkages between wheat and bread, cattle and leather goods.
concept of money in exchange for surplus production

distribution of natural resources: Compare places that are resource rich and resource poor in ancient times and today.

renewable and non-renewable resources
Money (currency) was invented to represent value in exchange.


People depend on resources that are either renewable or non-renewable.
Skills & Procedures
Read a pie graph showing shares of production (produce and finished products).

Distinguish between resource rich and resource poor places and communities (plenty and scarcity).

Explain the difference between resource rich and resource poor societies.

Distinguish between renewable (water) and non-renewable (coal) resources.
Commodities are resources or goods produced by people (craftsmen and modern industries) and exported to other places.

silk and spice trade of the Mongol Empire, including ancient China
Societies develop natural resources and export to other places to sustain local economies.
Skills & Procedures
Compare the city state of Venice (in Marco Polo’s time) with Alberta today. Where did products go from Venice? Where do products go from Alberta? Draw lines on a map to compare.
Alberta has historically been a resource economy, producing goods, services, and ideas that people in the province, in Canada, and around the world need and want. Resources and products include oil and gas, coal, livestock, grains, food, honey, softwood.

Products exported include oil and gas, sulphur, cement, stone, minerals, and fuels.

discovery of oil at Leduc No. 1 and the post-World War 2 oil boom
The resources that Alberta produces have changed over time.
Skills & Procedures
Explain why Alberta is a leading resource-producing region and why its products are needed or wanted in other parts of the country or the world.

Compare the products produced in Alberta in 1945, 1980, and 2020.

How has Alberta’s economy diversified over time?

Why might it be good and necessary for the Alberta economy to continue diversifying in the future?
Indigenous principles and values in bartering, trade, conservation, and sharing of resources

cooperative relationships: Roles and responsibilities were based on individual gifts and skills, and then tasks were shared in a cooperative way.
Individual members of the community contributed to the common good in a meaningful way.

Sharing and generosity have always been valued in Indigenous communities.

Trade and gift giving was common among First Nations and Inuit.
Skills & Procedures
Describe collaborative practices of local First Nations or Inuit to meet the needs of the community for survival.

Explain roles and responsibilities in local First Nations or Inuit communities.

Explain how trade relations and exchange of goods worked in local First Nations or Inuit communities.
earning money, saving, and investing: People work for a living, earning money in the form of income; save money for the future; and invest money in hopes of a profitable return.

Enterprising merchants and producers of goods/services demonstrate entrepreneurial abilities, creating opportunities for work.
Today, most people work for a living and are rewarded for their activities or paid for their business labour.

Employment is created by entrepreneurs in the form of jobs paying wages and salaries.
Skills & Procedures
Describe how a business provides jobs, goods, and services and can affect a neighbourhood.

Identify local businesses that help communities address needs and wants.
Organizing Idea
Financial Literacy: Responsible choices to build a thriving life for self, family, and society are supported by knowledge, skills, and understanding of earning, investing, spending, borrowing, and financial security.
Guiding Question
What’s important to you in your life, and where does money rank in those priorities?
Guiding Question
What do we need to know about shopping at the supermarket or local grocery?
Guiding Question
What are the essential principles and advantages of knowing the basics about making wise and responsible financial choices?
Learning Outcome
Students explore personal priorities in life, what comes first, and why money is needed in society.
Learning Outcome
Students examine money and the value of goods that are vital when shopping for food and essential needs.
Learning Outcome
Students develop insights about wise management of what they have.
Money buys stuff we need for life and things we want, but some of the most important things in life can’t be bought (e.g., love, a sense of belonging, friends).

Money is needed to purchase things and to secure some of life’s basics, including food, clothing, and shelter.

Money can be a benefit (access to better things), but can also cause problems such as greed and debt.
Being money wise involves making hard decisions about priorities.
Skills & Procedures
Examine what is most important in life, the source of comfort, well-being, and happiness. Can money buy happiness?

What happens when you pursue only money and ignore other important things?
Being money wise is important when you go shopping for food and essential supplies.

Managing your money involves making a few decisions each day, including how much to keep for savings, drinks, and treats, and how much to share with friends.
Going shopping is a real-life situation that provides a test of how much you know and have learned about the value of money, what things cost, and how to make sound decisions about personal spending choices.
Skills & Procedures
Plan for a shopping trip. Make a shopping list, identify your household needs, review the weekly specials, and plan to stay within your spending limits.

Consider the cost of everyday things: How much is a chocolate bar? Milk? Bread? How much can be bought with $1, $10, $100?
Being “money smart” is a basic skill in today’s world and it’s important to be able to manage your own money and resources.
Building a foundation of good habits of caring for the things you have at an early age helps you to make the most effective use of your resources. Knowing the value of money and how to manage it is helpful in everyday home, school, and extra-curricular activities.

There are many ways of giving to others, regardless of whether you have money, but managing your money well can mean that you have more ways to share or donate to worthy causes.
Skills & Procedures
Personal money matters: What money is spent on you – per day, per week, over a month? What proportion goes to basic needs, entertainment, or fun activities? Do you stock up or save some things in case you need them later? Do you share with others?

Discuss how saving can start at an early age. An individual does not need to wait to have more money or be older to start saving money.
Being money wise is essential to setting priorities and building a foundation of good financial habits.
Your money decisions reflect your values—what you think is most important, your sense of what’s right and wrong.
Skills & Procedures
Practise personal financial decision making: What’s a wise purchase?

Which purchases are questionable or unwise? How can you tell one from the other?
Planning a meal involves shopping for food and involves making choices. A number of factors need to be considered, including price, quality, nutrition, and balance of diet.
Meal planning requires many considerations.
Skills & Procedures
Practise shopping at the supermarket and the grocery store. Make up a shopping list, set a limit for spending, and then purchase the items. How wise have you been in making your decisions?

Examine your purchases. Have you bought all the items? Did you stay within your limits? Are there examples of where you saved money in making purchases?
the value of saving – for desired purchases and for help during a “rainy day” (when losses are suffered and others need your help)
Saving is part of wise personal planning. It allows you to save-up for bigger purchases and also comes in handy during a “rainy day” or period of financial losses affecting you or your family members.
Skills & Procedures
Plan a party for your class with a budget of $100. How much would you spend for food so that everyone has enough? How much for fun activities? If you have money left over and it was yours to decide, what would you do with it?
Paying for goods and services: Money (currency and bank notes/dollar bills/credit cards) are used to purchase goods today. Flashback – Bartering goods/products led to the introduction of money.

Spending money: Consumers today have plenty of choice, far more than in colonial times: spend (on cars or iPhones), save (for a house), invest (in a company), and donate (to a charity/good cause).

Choosing to keep some money for yourself for later (pay yourself first) before you spend it can be an important first step to prudent money choices and a wise lifelong habit.
Choice related to money involves trading one thing for another.

The outcome of a choice related to money may have consequences that can be both intended and unintended.

Borrowing money to buy goods carries risks as well as rewards. Lending money is the same. Borrowing more than you can afford is unwise.
Skills & Procedures
Make a list of the many forms of money in today’s economy: coins, bills, plastic, electronic.

Ask a question: What happens when a colony/province/family lives beyond its means (borrows money and spends more than it earns in income)?