In our OJCS Middle School Social Studies classes, we have shifted to focusing on the KEY skills that students need to develop as Social Scientists. It’s easy in some subject disciplines to create your won ‘tunnel vision’ on the topics that you need to teach in a school year- and Social Studies is one of those disciplines. Why? The Ontario Social Studies curriculum provides an outline of the Geography and History topics to focus on for teachers in any give school year, such as the reasons for and against Canadian Confederation. With the time contraints felt by teachers in any education system, it can be quite easy to focus on the WHAT.
While the WHAT of our classes is important, we’re focusing on the WHY and HOW for a richer and more meaningful classroom experience. WHY is a particular topic important to learn about? HOW can I best investigate a particular topic as a Social Scientists?
Today in our combined French and English Grade 7 Social Studies, we focused on one of the key skills: formulating inquiry questions for our upcoming unit on ‘Water’. We learned that a rich inquiry question cannot simply be answered with one word, is a yes/no question, and should be directly linked to a detail in the source. The specific source we focused on was photographs. Below you can see some of the different photographs we analyzed and the students discussing the quality of each inquiry question created.
Curious for the other key skills our Middle School Social Scientists are learning? Stay tuned to our blog!
Welcome back! I hope you had a restful and healthy Winter Break with friends and family.
In Grade 7 we are continuing to learn about climate change. Today we had a discussion about the natural AND human causes that contribute to climate change and two important vocabulary words were introduced: mitigation and adaptation. We learned that while mitigation focuses on lessening a consequence, adaptation focuses on making a change that will impact and help deal with the problem.
Tonight there is some brief homework. My apologies that this is posted so late (it ended up as a saved draft). I’ll give students some time at the beginning of tomorrow’s class to complete the question, if needed.
Question: In 1 or 2 sentences, explain the differences between mitigation and adaptation. Then, explain 1 way that Canada is helping mitigate climate change, and 1 climate change adaptation for Canada.
To help with the first part of the homework, you can use Merriam Webster to look at the definitions of each word and then contrast the two. There is also this NASA article that you can refer to.
Looking forward to hearing your answers and our continued discussion tomorrow!
Have a good night,
Grade 7 Class,
We are really looking forward to our trip to MacSkimming tomorrow! Below are the reminders about the trip that we discussed in class today.
Pack tonight- Be Proactive! There is a lot to pack and you don’t want to forget anything. Don’t be rushed in the morning and pack everything up tonight.
It’s better to pack too much and not use it, than to pack too little and be cold during the day.
Pack for the weather and it is going to be cold! Layers are key- t-shirt, thermals, long sleeve shirt, sweater, jacket, snow pants, extra socks, extra mittens, hat, neck warmer. You want to be comfortable for spending the day outdoors.
Food- you want lots of snacks and HEALTHY food to eat tomorrow to replenish all the calories we’ll be spending doing fun outdoor activities. There will be time for a small snack when we first arrive at MacSkimming, and then there will be 1 longer lunch time. MacSkimming has a ‘zero trace’ policy so bring a litter free lunch or be prepared to being any waste back home in your lunch box.
Pack two full water bottles for the day.
Bring a positive attitude and get ready for a fun day!
We’ll meet in Mrs.Bertrend’s room first thing in the morning- be on time! We’ll be leaving first thing and will return by the 3:45pm dismissal.
See you tomorrow!
Mrs.Bertrend and Mr.Cinanni
Grade 7 is learning all about climate in our English Social Studies class. We learned that climate is the prevailing weather patterns of an area in general or over a long period of time, while weather is more short-term and explains the conditions at a particular time.
We have learned that that the global climate patterns are changing, and this has resulted in more extreme weather patterns, such as an increase in natural disasters. This has directly impacted many communities around our planet that are prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes. We each prepared a natural disaster report on a specific region and disaster event. Within the report, students summarized the disaster, discussed the short and long term impacts, and also how the community can better prepare for a future disaster and mitigate the impacts. After finishing our reports, we conferenced with one another and shared what we learned.
Next up, we learned how to create and read climate graphs. We had a fun ‘mystery city’ climate graph assignment, where we had to graph mystery ‘City A’, ‘City B’, and ‘City C’ based on their climate data. We had to guess which capital city in Canada belonged to each climate graph- we’re not going to give you the answers that easy though!
Take a look at an example of each mystery city below and then leave a comment with your guesses!
CITY A- Which Canadian Captial Could It Be?
I almost wrote grade 6 in the subject, but you’re moving on up!
Thanks for the great discussion today in class about what is an informed citizen and the importance of being an informed citizen. Lots of great and different ideas! We also talked about how we can become more informed citizens in ways such as reading or watching the news. It’s important to have a critical eye when you are looking at any reliable source to identify any bias- why has the news group decided to share the story in this way?
Tonight for homework I would like you to find a news article from one of the sources below. You are looking for a news article sharing an issue or story that you were unaware of, but feel that both you and your classmates should know about it. An example of this is during the summer I read an article about the Amazon Rainforest fires. I was shocked that I hadn’t heard about the fires yet and that more people were not discussing it. As you shared today during our discussion, after we learn about issues we can actually have an action piece and help them!
Source 1: https://ottawacitizen.com/
Source 2: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada
Source 3: https://nationalpost.com/
Come prepared tomorrow to summarize the article and talk about why it is important for others to be aware of the issue presented.
Welcome back! It was wonderful to see each of you today and to hear all about your fun-filled summer! A really big welcome to our new students who have joined the OJCS Middle School family!
Over the first week of school, please familiarize yourself with our Social Studies blog page. On the page you will find how to subscribe to your homework and events Google calendar, our school and classroom behaviour expectations, the new homework policy, as well as important posts and updates from our class. Please come as questions you have about the blog or any questions as you get set up with your schedule and new routine over the first week of school.
Thank you for your participation today in our activity and discussion about what we want our classroom to look and feel like, what tools you need this year to be successful, and what you hope to learn about this upcoming year together.
Have a wonderful evening!