Planning a Unit

This can be daunting task. Don’t panic.

Sometimes you have to pick and choose what your students will learn. We don’t have time to do everything. As History teachers, we have a little lee way in what we can focus on as the skill sets are not askeep-calm-and-pretend-it-s-on-the-lesson-plan-44 prescribed as they would be in English or Math. Historical Inquiry can be built into any lesson on any topic.

My school board recently switched to a focus on “assessing by expectation” rather than by Achievement Chart categories. This change means it becomes a lot less complicated to plan and create tasks and tools which allow the student to show their mastery of the expectation.

The “Planning sheets” below allow teachers to list their tasks, the direct curricular links and then (for their own professional information) the achievement category. This can then provide a framework in which to develop lessons to fit the tasks and assessments. Piece of cake!

CGC1P Planning Sheet (2)

CHV2O Planning Sheet (2)

CHC2D Planning Sheet

Once I have the framework for my assessments, I plan the themes of my lessons. This is a typical month for my Canadian History (applied) course. You can see I am constantly making revisions (pencil, people) and the theme is enough for me to remember what we did when a student asks.

There isn’t much in the boxes as I have a pretty clear idea of what activities will go with which themes. I’ve also been at this game long enough that sometimes I just go in and “wing it [not recommended for new teachers].”

You can also see evidence of the problem I face every year: getting to Strand E before the final culminating tasks and the exam.  This year I think I’m on the track to teach about 1982-present. Maybe. CHC2P Lessons

Print Ontario Curriculum

Service Ontario wants to send you PRINT curriculum documents. You just have to tell them.

Click here:  https://www.publications.serviceontario.ca/pubont/servlet/ecom/MainServlet?selectedLocale=en

My source about this little nugget said,

Using the search bar on the page, use general terms to search, eg. science curriculum. I tried searching using the specific title of the curriculum and no matches were found so I found the more general the search term, the better.
 
Some of them are no longer available in hard copy as they are out of print but I think the majority of them are there.
They are free to order and free to ship.

Make sure you get 2013 versions!

 

War of 1812

I love anniversaries. We can relive moments of the past and celebrate (or mourn) the events shaping our present and future.300x133x2013_war_of_1812-300x133.jpg.pagespeed.ic.dpidUbu9Zf

Our current government invested heavy dollars into the commemoration of the War of 1812. The Canadian War Museum created a stellar exhibit showing the four major perspectives of the conflict (American, British, ‘Canada-British’ and First Nations) and there have been a plethora of reenactments along the St. Lawrence River for the 200 year ‘celebrations.’

Sexias and Morton’s team have created a plethora of activities and lessons around the War of 1812 using the Historical THinking Concepts of ‘the Big Six.‘ (If you haven’t invested in this fantastic resource, you should. Buy it here.) 

These lessons help teachers to give students historical inquiry strategies and skills.  Although I’ll come back to these again and again, Sexias and Morton (2013) conclude:

To think historically, students need to be able to:

  1. Establish historical significance

  2. Use primary source evidence

  3. Identify continuity and change

  4. Analyze cause and consequence

  5. Take historical perspectives, and

  6. Understand the ethical dimension of historical interpretations.

It’s Here!

We’ve been hearing about the new curriculum for Social Studies (grades 1 – 6) and for History and Geography (grades 7 – 8).

It’s Here.

http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/sshg18curr2013.pdf

Goals of History

It’s Goal:

The social studies, history, geography, and Canadian and world studies programs will enable students to become responsible, active citizens within the diverse communities to which they belong. As well as becoming critically thoughtful and informed citizens who value an inclusive society, students will have the skills they need to solve problems and communicate ideas and decisions about significant developments, events, and issues. (p  6)

I just have to read it, learn it and then be ready to teach it to Teacher Candidates in September. Luckily, we don’t HAVE to implement it until September 2014.