Overview of Provincial and Territorial Curricula

Here is a brief overview of the major outcomes or approaches to Social Studies from most of the provinces in Canada. Those that are not included are those for which I could find no information on-line.

Click the icon to go to the province/territory's social studies curriculum documents.

Click the province / territory name to visit their entire collection of curriculum documents.

The pending release of the Western Canadian Protocal on Social Studies has changed the focus for the grade 5 program. When this document is released and adopted byt provinces, this project will be better suited to the grade 4 curriculum.

Western Canadian Protocal


For the purposes of the Framework, the following definition of social studies has been developed:
Social studies is the study of people in relation to each other and to their world. It is an interdisciplinary subject that draws upon history,geography, economics, law, political science, and other disciplines. Social studies focuses on people's relationships with their social, physical, spiritual, cultural, economic, political, and technological environments. Social studies helps students become active and responsible citizens within their communities, locally, nationally, and globally, in a complex and changing world.4

British Columbia


Prescribed Learning Outcomes

It is expected that students will: identify and clarify a problem, issue, or inquiry gather and record a body of information from a variety of primary and secondary sources develop alternative interpretations from varied sources defend a position on a regional issue in light of alternative perspectives use an outline to organize information into a coherent presentation design, implement, and assess strategies to address community problems or projects

Students will study some of the historical experiences that brought Canadians together. They will study the First Nations Peoples from an historic as well as current perspective and will focus on some major events (e.g., the fur trade, Confederation, building of the railway) which have helped shape our country. They will explore some of the causes of these events, study the groups of immigrants the events brought to Canada, and discuss how the lives of the various peoples were/are influenced by them.

In this unit students will learn about the resources, industries, agriculture, and economy of Canada and will begin to identify interdependent relationships when resources are used for industry and agriculture to meet human needs and wants.



Unit Summary for Grade Five Students will explore the identity of Canada. They will learn about its geography, that is, its landforms, river systems, climate, and vegetation. They will also learn about places within the country, its national and regional symbols, and its people, especially, heroes. While learning about the country, students will develop and practice skills in interpreting and creating maps. They will also research various topics that will require them to conduct interviews and access, organize, and present information.



GRADE 5 FOCUS: CANADA TOPIC A CANADA: ITS GEOGRAPHY AND PEOPLE This study focuses on the human and physical geography of Canada. The study includes people in Canada; where they live; how they make their living and how they relate to their environment (climate, vegetation, natural resources, physical features, land use). The intent of this unit is to develop an awareness of the diversity in Canada’s physical geography and an understanding of the role geography plays in determining where and how Canadians live.




Heritage and Citizenship: Grade 5 - Early Civilizations Overview The study of Heritage and Citizenship in Grade 5 focuses on early civilizations. Students investigate the importance of the environment in shaping these civilizations and identify how various human needs (e.g., food, shelter) were met. They investigate and describe the influence of early civilizations on modern society (e.g., with respect to science, technology, language, art, and government).

Quebec (pdf document)

Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation (pdf document)


Northwest Territories


Curriculum resources available for purchase.

Last updated: November 6, 2001 15:03
Webmaster: Miles R. MacFarlane
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