Dec. 15, 2017

LITERACY – Social Studies (Canadian Communities, Past and Present)

we will have a test on a Tuesday, comparing the experience of Indegenous people and various immigrant groups to British and French colonizers in Canada. Students do not need to know exact dates but knowing the general time period (what part of a century) is helpful:

Grade 4 curriculum

Indigenous people having lived here for 25 000 years

Grade 5 curriculum
Europeans arrived at the start of the 1500s (just over 500 years ago)

Grade 6 curriculum
– 1775 – Some of Canada claimed by Britain (parts of Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland & Labrador, parts of Maritime provinces…England had smaller amount along the maritime coast….Indigenous people still had the rest of the country as they had for thousands of years
– Late 1700s American civil war – black slaves earned their freedom in Canada by fighting on the side of the British
– 1812 indigenous people fought again on the side of the British — this time in Canada to repel American invaders
– 1867 Canada became a country
– Last half of 1800s Indigenous people & Europeans in Canada made treaties to share the land….but Europeans put in written/English details that Indigenous people didn’t agree to or know about
– Late 1800s Indigenous people put into Reserves by European colonizers
– Late 1800s -1960s European colonizers took indigenous children away from their families to Reaidential schools (last one closed 1996)
– 1870s Chinese workers lured from China to build the cross-Canada Railroad with promise of immigration & permanent citizenship in Canada….after railway built, Chinese expected to pay extra tax to stay or bring their families
– Late 1800s – 1920s – Canada advertised in Europe for more white settlers (England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Germany etc)
– Late 1800s Jewish immigrants came to Canada from many European countries & built the garment industry and many businesses, & helped grow cities (libraries, schools), especially in Montreal

– 2008 – Canadian government apologies for Residential school system



hsnks to a Zev’s mom and dad for teaching us the historical context of and some traditions for Hanukah!

What do Jewish people think about at Hanukah time?

What kind of person do I want to be in the world

How do we balance the scales?


Calendar: Humankind started counting years 5778 years ago

Hanukah beliefs are based on real historical events:

Greeks had a great army & empire and they invaded their neighbours

Greeks invaded Israel and wanted the practice of Judaism to end — wanted them to believe in many gods, not the one Jewish/Christian/Muslim god

A tiny group stood up to the Greeks and reclaimed the temple in Jerusalem — Jewish people consider this a miracle

Hebrew language was used/spoken  in prayer

Yiddish – Language the people spoke in their every day life, combination of German and Yiddish

Ladino – combination between Spanish and Yiddish

Anti-Semitism — form of racism against Jewish people

Eg in canada: 1950s – cap on # of Jewish people

When we light a Hanukkiah, Jewish people put it in their window for all to see


Dec. 13, 2017 – Reading comprehension, summaries, Scatter plots

LITERACY – Reading Comprehension

Many students worked today on reading a non-fiction selection about Icebergs — and followed up questions: Literal comprehension questions (understanding the stated meaning of a text) & Inferential reasoning questions (making inferences based on evidence & background knowledge). Here’s the start:

We used this rubric:

Several other students worked on summary writing, using one of yesterday’s text about Welcoming Newcomers to Canada 1910-1911


  • 1900-1910
  • A million immigrants came to Canada
  • They came from Britain and other European countries
  • About half came from Britain (500, 000)
  • Many Canadians with English (British) heritage [“Anglo-Canadians”] started to complain that the government was letting in “low quality” immigrants from other countries.

FOLLOW-UP (not summary)    —-    “Low quality” immigrants — We identified this as discriminatory wording & thinking (probably racist) used by the Anglo-Canadians (British or English speaking Canadians). We infer that maybe some non-British immigrants didn’t have a lot of money (e.g. they were from Ireland where there was a potato famine?), or maybe their skin was a little or a lot darker (e.g. Italian Canadians? Or black Canadians?), or maybe they weren’t speaking English yet (e.g. Polish? German?), or maybe they had a non-Christian religion (e.g. Jewish immigrants). The Anglo-Canadians were discriminating against them by complaining about them.

* * * * * *  scroll down to the bottom to see some great pictures * * * * *                taken by Scott during independent reading time


Some students worked on finishing their “interpreting line graphs” assessment. Other participated in a lesson about scatter plots. If they can, those who missed the lesson can check out the screenshots below to help them with tonight’s homework (#3 on the photocopied page of scatter plot questions). Pictures include last night’s blog reading/classroom work too!

And a final photo to chat about tomorrow with curious students who actually read our blog post tonight!!! 🙂


Dec. 12, 2017 – Immigration 1870-1920

this blog post is a work in progress – please be sure to check back later, too 🙂

LITERACY – Social Studies (Immigration to Canada)

Continuation from yesterday: Dec. 11/2017

We explored the online  Canadian History Virtual Museum   to learn more about immigration to Canada between 1870-1920. Main points to understand:

  • the need for more settlers in Western Canada provinces & territories
    • prairies needed farmers in Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan
    • British Columbia
    • Western territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories)
  • the need for railways to transport settlers to the west from where they arrived (Halifax – east coast)
  • Advertisements in Europe & the United States to attract newomers to Canada
    • advertisements in Europe in train stations and in other public places paid for by train companies and ocean liner companies
  • reactions of English Canadians (Anglo-Canadians) to settlers who didn’t speak English (racism)

Dec. 11, 2017 – Immigration, Interpreting graphs

LITERACY – Social Studies

Canadian Museum of History links:


Shared Reading — Critical Literacy

Whose voice is represented? Whose voice is missing?



For homework……..students will write a summary of important points from the following introduction to “The Last Best West”  (source: )



Students worked on completing their Interpreting Graphs assessment from last Friday.

Click here to check out  videos of students explaining some of their thinking about graphs, on our SeeSaw blog.