Social Studies K to 3



Identity and Families

People, places, and events in the local community, and in local First Peoples communities:

 Search for:

Annual powwow in Kamloops, 1999. Aboriginal people from all over N America attend the gathering. Keith Thirkell photo
This dramatic painting shows one of the ocean-going canoes made by the Nuu-chah-nulth people of Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island. Gordon Miller painting


Grade 1

Local Communities


 Explain the significance of personal or local events, objects, people, or places (significance):


 Sample activities:

  • Research the history of a significant event or person in the history of your community

Diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives within the local and other communities:

Sample topic:

Thunderbird headdress by Richard Hunt. Bob Matheson photo

Relationships between a community and its environment:

  • Search for:

Sample topics:

Feller buncher at work. Courtesy Western Forest Products
Open-pit mining at the Island Copper Mine near Port Hardy, c 1980. Courtesy Island Copper
Troller at work off Dundas Island on the North Coast, 1994. Peter A. Robson photo
Lake of the Hanging Glacier Provincial Park. Walter Lanz/Image Makers

Key events and developments in the local community, and in local First Peoples communities:

 Sample topics:

  • Community milestones (e.g., the founding of the community, the opening and closing of local businesses, the construction of new buildings)
  • Celebrations and holidays
  • Cultural events
  • Growth or decline of a community

 Key questions:

  • What is the most significant event in your local community’s history?
  • How is your community different now from what it was like before settlers arrived?
Totem poles are still being made by Aboriginal carvers. They are a familiar sight in British Columbia. Jacqueline Windh photo
Early prospectors panned gold from gravel bars beside the river. The artist William Hind came west from Toronto in 1862 to paint the exciting scenes of the gold rush. BC Archives PDP 01207

Natural and human-made features of the local environment:

Sample topics:

Helmcken Falls, Wells Gray Provincial Park. Walter Lanz/Image Makers
The Fraser River near Clinton. Rick Blacklaws photo
Mt Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Keith Thirkell photo
Science World BC, Vancouver.
The BC legislative buildings at night. Roy Luckow photo
South end of Lions Gate Bridge, 1938. VPL 15015-14


Grade 2

Regional and Global Communities


Explain why people, events, or places are significant to various individuals and groups (significance):

Sample activity

  • Identify significant people and places in BC, Canada, and the world.
  • Search for:
    • A community name, eg.
    • Trail
    • A person, eg.
    • Heinze, historical owner of Cominco mines

Diverse characteristics of communities and cultures in Canada and around the world, including at least one Canadian First Peoples community and culture:

 Sample topics:

  • Key cultural aspects (e.g., language, traditions, arts, food)
  • Cultural diversity within your community
Speaking Great Silence by Susan Point. Kenji Nagai/Spirit Wrestler Gallery

How people’s needs and wants are met in communities:

 Sample topics:

  • How people acquire goods and services (e.g., by buying or renting, or through public funding)
  • Needs and wants in different communities: different needs and wants depending on the climate; different goods and services depending on the size of the community (i.e., small versus large)

Key questions:

  • How do the local environment and culture affect the goods and services available in your community?
Bugaboo Provincial Park in the Purcell Mountains, south of Golden. Walter Lanz/Image Makers


Grade 3

Global Indigenous Peoples


Explain why people, events, or places are significant to various individuals and groups (significance):

 Key questions:

  • Why are stories important to indigenous people?
  • Why do Elders play an important part in the lives of First Peoples?
  • What values were significant for local First Peoples?
Bill Reid was an artist who belonged to the Haida people who live on the Queen Charlotte Islands. He made many beautiful sculptures. This one is called “The Raven and the First Men.” It shows the first people emerging from a clamshell, as told in one of the Haida creation stories. The sculpture is on display at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Collection of the UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, Canada. Bill McLennan photo

Sequence objects, images, or events, and explain why some aspects change and others stay the same (continuity and change):

Sample activities:

  • Use examples to show that events happen in chronological sequence (e.g., last month, yesterday, today, tomorrow, next month).
  • Organize and present information in chronological order (e.g., before, now, later; past, present, future).

Key questions:

Former Alert Bay residential school, 1995. Les Bazso/Vancouver Province

Recognize causes and consequences of events, decisions, or developments (cause and consequence):

 Key questions:

  • How might present-day Canada be different if First Peoples had not been moved to reserves?
  • How has the way of life changed for indigenous people?
Aboriginal students at a residential school at Alberni on Vancouver Island in the 1930s. BC Archives B-01060

Explain why people’s beliefs, values, worldviews, experiences, and roles give them different perspectives on people, places, issues, or events (perspective):

 Sample activities:

  • Distinguish between fact and opinion on a selected problem or issue.
  • Identify features of indigenous cultures that characterize their relationship to the land.
  • Explain indigenous peoples’ use of oral tradition rather than written language.

Key question:

A modern artist, Gordon Miller, used old photographs to make this painting of a Haida village as it looked 150 years ago. The Haida are a coastal people. The village, called Ninstints, is gone now, though some of the totem poles remain. Gordon Miller painting

Make value judgments about events, decisions, or actions, and suggest lessons that can be learned (ethical judgment):

 Key questions:

Cultural characteristics and ways of life of local First Peoples and global indigenous peoples:

 Sample topics:

  • Potential First Peoples and global indigenous people for study could include:
    • Local BC First Peoples
  • Worldview, protocols, celebrations, ceremonies (Potlatch and Chapter 1 of Far West, Potlatch), dance, music, spiritual beliefs, art (NW Coast Aboriginal Art), values, kinship, traditional teachings
Petroglyph on a beach boulder at Mackenzie's Rock. Roy Carlson photo

Interconnections of cultural and technological innovations of global and local indigenous peoples:

Sample topics:

18-m canoe on the shore of Nitinat Lk, c 1914. Courtesy Angela Newitt
“The Inside of a Habitation in Nootka Sound,” well-known engraving from Captain Cook’s Third Voyage Around the World published in 1784, shows quantities of fish hanging from drying racks, dried fish piled up in corner, and fish on sticks roasting over fire. 62.NK

Governance and social organization in local and global indigenous societies:

Sample topics:

Cedar plank house at Haina, a Haida village, 1888. Richard Maynard/RBCM PN701

Oral history, traditional stories, and artifacts as evidence about past First Peoples cultures:

Sample topics:

Relationship between humans and their environment:

 Sample topics:

  • Protocols around the world that acknowledge and respect the land
  • Reshaping of the land for resource exploration and development.
Inside the powerhouse at BC Hydro's Revelstoke Dam project on the Columbia R, 1983. The generating units are under construction. Vancouver Sun