Social Studies 7 to 9


Grade 7

The Ancient World to the 7th Century


Social, Political, Legal, Governmental, and Economic Systems and Structures, including at least one Indigenous to the Americas:


Sample activities:

  • List and describe aspects of current Canadian laws and government structures that have evolved from ancient civilizations (e.g., rule of law, democracy, senate, representation).
  • Describe examples of individual rights in ancient civilizations and compare them to individual rights in current Canadian society.
  • Compare various social roles within a selected ancient culture in terms of daily life and how people met their basic needs (e.g., work, family structures, gender roles, class systems).
  • Create a chart or other representation to illustrate the economic and social hierarchy of roles and classes in a selected ancient culture (e.g., slaves, farmers, builders, merchants, artisans, scribes, teachers, priests, rulers).
  • List goods and services that people in ancient civilizations used in trade (e.g., items needed for survival and comfort, goods and services that could be offered for trade).
  • Explain how and why monetary systems evolved from bartering.



Grade 8

7th Century to 1750


Assess the significance of people, places, events, or developments at particular times and places (significance):

 Key questions:

Alexander Mackenzie recording his arrival at the Pacific, 1793. Painting by John Innes. SFU & Native Sons of BC

Make ethical judgments about past events, decisions, or actions, and assess the limitations of drawing direct lessons from the past (ethical judgment):

Key questions:

  • How are different groups represented in various cultural narratives?
  • What lessons can we learn from the loss of languages due to imperialism?

Social, political, and economic systems and structures, including those of at least one indigenous civilization

Changes in population and living standards:

Sample topics:


Grade 9

1750 – 1919


Assess the significance of people, places, events, or developments, and compare varying perspectives on their historical significance at particular times and places, and from group to group (significance):


Sample activities:

  • Compare and contrast the events considered by English-Canadian, French-Canadian, and First Peoples scholars to be the most significant during this period.

 Assess the justification for competing historical accounts after investigating points of contention, reliability of sources, and adequacy of evidence (evidence):

Key questions:

Posters like this one were put up in all coastal areas of BC in 1942. They warned Japanese Canadians that they were not allowed to remain on the coast.
The waterfront at New Westminster in 1860. The ship is the Vickeray from San Francisco, the first vessel to load cargo at the little port. BC Archives B-06377

Compare and contrast continuities and changes for different groups at the same time period (continuity and change):

Key questions:

  • Why did Baldwin and LaFontaine succeed where Mackenzie and Papineau failed?
  • In what ways has the colonization of Canada made life better or worse? And for whom?

Imperialism and Colonialism, and their continuing effects on Indigenous Peoples in Canada and around the World:

Sample topics:

Aboriginal people relied on the world around them to provide all their needs. This woman was a member of the Nlaka’pamux (Ing-khla-KAP-muh) people, who live along the Fraser River. All her clothing is made from animal skins, even her hat, which is decorated with bird feathers. Canadian Museum of Civilization 23212

Global Demographic shifts, including Patterns of Migration and Population Growth:

Sample topics:

A group of Aboriginal leaders at St. Mary’s Mission on the Fraser River, 1867. BC Archives O-09263
Chinese businessmen in front of their New Westminster shop, 1895. VPL 8056

Key questions:

  • Did immigrants benefit from emigrating to Canada?
  • How did the arrival of new groups of immigrants affect Canadian identity?

Nationalism and the Development of Modern Nation-States, including Canada:

Sample topics:

At the time of Confederation in 1871, British Columbia was a rough frontier outpost. Many of the residents had come from Britain and tried to create a small model of the mother country far from home. This fashionable group in Victoria has just enjoyed a game of lawn tennis. To this day, Victoria keeps some of its British flavour. BC Archives C-03924
A Chinese work gang takes a rest from the backbreaking labour of building the railway, 1880s. Glenbow Archives NA3740-29

Local, Regional, and Global Conflicts:

Sample topics:

Discriminatory policies and injustices in Canada and the World, such as the Head Tax, the Komagata Maru Incident, Residential Schools, and
World War I Internment:

Sample topics:

Above: From 1914 to 1941, the Asahi (a Japanese word meaning “morning sun”) was one of the best baseball teams in Vancouver. It was the pride of the Japanese community. All the best players wanted to belong. The team disbanded when most of the players were sent away from the coast during World War II. Sanmiya Family Collection. Japanese Canadian National Museum 94/41.018
A large group of strikers is arrested near Savona in April 1912 during the battle by IWW railway construction workers against the Canadian Northern Railway. Their only crime seemed to have been their effrontery in going on strike. Image E-00230, Royal BC Museum and Archives.

        Key question:

  • How might specific examples of past incidents of inequality (e.g., Head Tax on Chinese immigrants, internment of Japanese Canadians, residential schools, suffrage, discriminatory federal government labour practices related to gender and sexual orientation) be handled today under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Physiographic Features and Natural Resources in Canada:

Sample topic:

This painting shows the Canadian Pacific wharf on the Vancouver waterfront on a busy day in 1887. A freight train is arriving from Eastern Canada. So is a coastal steamboat, bringing mail and passengers from Victoria. Gordon Miller painting


Sample activities:

  • Compare and contrast physical features and natural resources in different regions of Canada.
  • Role-play negotiations between a wide range of stakeholders involved in the decision to build a new mine or oil pipeline. 

Key questions:

  • What effect has the physical geography of Canada had on Canadian and regional identity?
  • What perspectives do different groups (e.g., environmental groups, people employed in the forest industry, First Peoples, urban and rural populations) have on the use of natural resources?