By Mr. Alex Ross, Head of Social Studies, Junior School
Using social responsibility, innovative inquiry and active empathy as touchstones, our social studies program cultivates a real interest and respect for the past while giving students the opportunity to reflect on the present. Students are encouraged to share opinions, understand others’ perspectives and demonstrate an ability to think critically, as their cultural literacy evolves in tandem with their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
It has been a busy term in social studies in the Junior School— below are a few highlights from various grade levels:
In JK, students worked on land acknowledgements with Diamond Point, Indigenous Education Coordinator. Ms. Point also discussed Indigenous traditions and stories connected to her artwork. The children learned a few phrases and words in Halkomelem, the Musqueam language, such as body parts.
In kindergarten, students learned the names of animals in Halkomelem and started their animal research project, connecting the animals and their importance to Musqueam culture. They discussed Earth Month and the ways in which we can help with environmental conservation.
Grade 2 commemorated Earth Month by exploring the causes of plastic pollution, its consequences, and what they can do to reduce it. While studying the relationship between people and the environment, students also looked at how houses around the world are adapted to their climate and enjoyed designing a home suited for the tropical rainforest.
In grade 6, students made connections between needs, wants and human rights, explored examples of human rights activism, and investigated human rights issues and violations around the world. Students have been researching and analyzing various statistical measures, drawing conclusions about the respective levels of poverty in Canada and a country of their choice.
In grade 7, students are developing expertise in a focused topic pertaining to an ancient civilization of their choosing. Students will be sharing their newfound knowledge by creating and displaying an artifact. Topic examples include a Roman aqueduct, ancient Chinese kites, King Tut’s tomb, and the Trojan horse.