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Aboriginal Voices in the Curriculum

A guide to teaching aboriginal studies in k-8 classrooms

Elementary, Secondary, Middle

Description

This document assists teachers in integrating First Nations study into the K-8 curriculum on a consistent basis, rather than teaching a single isolated unit on First Nations culture for a short period each year.

This is a comprehensive document prepared for Toronto teachers by a team of writers and reviewers for the Toronto District School Board. 

The purpose of the guide is to 'provide support for teachers as they incorporate the teaching of Native Studies into their classroom programs', though it could be seen as a framework for study of any cultural entity within Canada's population. The guide provides:
 
  • A framework for authentic interpretation of a culturally-bound lifestyle and philosophy;
  • Detailed information regarding the history and present-day life of First Nations in Ontario and;
  • Lists of resources (e.g. print, photo, electronic, video).
 
The guide also makes specific reference to Overall and Specific Curriculum Expectations for kindergarten to grade 8, in all subject areas generally, and Social Studies/History, and Language Arts/English most comprehensively.
 
Although it does not provide any lesson plans, the resource suggests ways to include relevant First Nations information and related activities (e.g. the guide includes some informative charts and maps that could be copied for student use). This resource is more of a teacher resource than a child-ready plan. There is ample evidence of thoughtful, long-term commitment to making this information available.
 
The document headings are:
I. Introduction: What is "Native Studies"?
II. Curriculum Considerations
III. Identifying and Dealing with Bias
IV. Curriculum Connections
V. Recommended Resources
Please note:  To order this resource by email, contact:

General Assessment

Strengths

This resource is impressive in its detail and thoroughness. It stands as a compendium for Toronto teachers on First Nations study in Canada. It is also an excellent resource for teacher in other parts of Canada.

This resource is valuable in that it covers a topic in which there are few current and well-researched resources.

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The resource does not explicitly teach any skill.  Instead, it provides excellent background material for teaching various aspects of Aboriginal life, particularly cultural history. It also provides detailed criteria for identifying and dealing with bias.

The resource emphasizes holistic teaching. It states that First Nations Studies should be cross-curriculum and based on accurate and current information. It is based on the idea that the study of First Nations should be a study of inclusion, not integration.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Kindergarten
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Being Together: I Am Unique
        • Being Together: I Belong
    • Grade 1
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship: Belonging and Connecting: Moving Forward with the Past: My Family, My History and My Community
        • Citizenship: Belonging and Connecting: My World: Home, School & Community
    • Grade 3
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Connecting with the World: Global Citizenship
    • Grade 4
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Alberta: The Land, Histories and Stories: Alberta: A Sense of the Land
        • Alberta: The Land, Histories and Stories: The Stories, Histories and Peoples of Alberta
        • Alberta: The Land, Histories and Stories:Alberta: Celebrations & Challenges
    • Grade 5
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada: The Land, Histories and Stories: Physical Geography of Canada
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      • Social Studies
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        • Democracy: Action and Participation: Citizens Participatiing in Decision Making
    • Grade 7
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      • English/Language Arts
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        • Explore Thoughts, Ideas, Feelings and Experiences
      • Science
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        • Interactions and Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
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      • English/Language Arts
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        • Explore Thoughts, Ideas, Feelings and Experiences
      • Science
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        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
  • British Columbia
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    • Kindergarten
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      • Social Studies
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        • Self, Family, School: Identity, Society & Culture
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      • Social Studies
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        • Self, Family, School: Identity, Society & Culture
    • Grade 2
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      • Social Studies
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        • Self, Family, School: Identity,Society & Culture
    • Grade 3
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      • Science
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        • Life Science: Plant Growth & Change
      • Social Studies
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        • Self, Family, School: Identity, Society & Culture
    • Grade 4
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Cultures, Exploration, and Contact: Identity, Society & Culture
    • Grade 5
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      • Social Studies
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        • Canada – From Colony to Country: Economy & Technology
        • Canada – From Colony to Country: Governance
    • Grade 6
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      • Health & Career Planning
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Health and Career Education: Goals and Decisions
      • Social Studies
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        • Canada and the World: Governance
        • Canada and the World: Identity, Society and Culture
        • Canada and the World: Skills and Processes of Social Studies
    • Grade 7
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      • Health & Career Planning
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Health and Career Education: Health
      • Science
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        • Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Ancient World Cultures: Economy and Technology:
        • Ancient World Cultures: Governance:
        • Ancient World Cultures: Human and Physical Environment
        • Ancient World Cultures: Identity, Society and Culture
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Health & Career Planning
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Health and Career Education: Healthy Relationships
      • Science
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        • Earth and Space Science: Water Systems on Earth
      • Social Studies
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        • Civilizations from 500-1600: Society and Culture:
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 1
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      • Social Studies
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        • Connecting with Others
    • Grade 2
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      • Social Studies
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        • Communities in Canada: The Canadian Community
    • Grade 3
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      • Science
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        • Growth and Changes in Plants
      • Social Studies
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        • Communities of the World: Connecting with Canadians
    • Grade 4
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      • Social Studies
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        • Manitoba, Canada & the North: Places & Stories- Canada's North
        • Manitoba, Canada & the North: Places and Stories - Living in Canada
    • Grade 5
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Peoples and Stories of Canada to 1867: First Peoples
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada - A Country of Change (1867 to Present): An Emerging Nation (1914-1945)
        • Canada - A Country of Change (1867 to Present): Building a Nation (1867-1914)
        • Canada - A Country of Change (1867 to Present): Shaping Contemporary Canada (1945-Present)
        • Canada - A Country of Change (1867 to Present):Canada Today: Democracy, Diversity and the Influence of the Past
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
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        • People & Places in the World: Human Impact in Europe or the Americas
    • Grade 8
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World History: Socities of the Past -Understanding Societies Past and Present
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability:Area of Inquiry: Indigenous Peoples
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • You and Your World: Community
        • You and Your World:Groups
    • Grade 2
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      • Social Studies
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        • You and Your World: Changes and the Physical Environment
    • Grade 3
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      • Science
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        • Plant Growth & Changes
      • Social Studies
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        • Provincial Identity: Citizenship
        • Provincial Identity: Peoples
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies: Exploring the Landscapes of Canada
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Cultures: An Introduction to Culture
        • World Cultures: Canada: Reflections on a Multicultural Mosaic
        • World Cultures: Environment and Culture
        • World Cultures: Expressions of Culture
        • World Cultures: Some Elements of Culture
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Empowerment: Cultural Empowerment
        • Empowerment: Economic Empowerment
        • Empowerment: Introduction
        • Empowerment: National Empowerment
        • Empowerment: Political Empowerment
        • Empowerment: Reflection
        • Empowerment:Societal Empowerment
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Culture
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Economics
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Plant Growth & Changes
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • An Introduction to Culture
        • Canada: Reflections on a Multicultural Mosaic
        • Expressions of Culture
        • Some Elements of Culture
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interaction of Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth's Surface
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 4
    • Grade 5
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      • Health Education
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        • Family Life
      • Social Studies
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        • Our Northern Land and Its People: The North's Resources
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Circumpolar World: Connections: Canada & the Circumpolar World
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Changing World: Middle Societies
        • The Changing World: Modern Societies
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Kindergarten
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Identity
        • Place
        • Roots
    • Grade 2
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 3: Plant Growth and Changes
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Provincial Identity: Citizenship
        • Provincial Identity: Heritage
        • Provincial Identity: Peoples
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • An Introduction to Culture
        • Environment and Culture
        • Some Elements of Culture
        • World Issues
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Interactions Within Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • An Introduction to Empowerment
        • Cultural Empowerment
        • Economic Empowerment
        • Reflection
        • Societal Empowerment
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Health Education
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Healthy Living 8: Healthy Self
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • An Introduction to Canadian Identity
        • Citizenship
        • Decades of Change
        • Exploring Canadian Identity
        • Reflections on Canadian Identity
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Systems: Growth and Changes in Plants
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Our Northern Land and Its People: The North's Resources
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions and Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Circumpolar World: Connections: Canada & the Circumpolar World
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Changing World: Middle Societies
        • The Changing World: Modern Societies
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Language: Oral Communication
        • Language: Reading
        • Language: Writing
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Heritage and Identity: Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities
        • People and Environments: The Local Community
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Language: Oral Communication
        • Language: Reading
        • Language: Writing
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Language: Oral Communication
        • Language: Reading
        • Language: Writing
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Growth & Changes in Plants
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • People and Environments: Living and Working in Ontario
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Language: Oral Communication
        • Language: Reading
        • Language: Writing
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • People and Environments: Political and Physical Regions of Canada
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Language: Oral Communication
        • Language: Reading
        • Language: Writing
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Conservation of Energy & Resources
        • Forces Acting on Structures and Mechanisms
        • Properties of and Changes in Matter
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • People and Environments: The Role of Government and Responsble Citizenship
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • English/Language Arts
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Language: Oral Communication
        • Language: Reading
        • Language: Writing
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • History
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada, 1800-1850:Conflict and Challenges
        • New France and British North America, 1713–1800
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Form and Function
        • Interactions in the Environment
    • Grade 8
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies: Expressing Aboriginal Cultures: Challenges
        • Native Studies: Expressing Aboriginal Cultures: Identity
        • Native Studies: Expressing Aboriginal Cultures: Relationships
        • Native Studies: Expressing Aboriginal Cultures: Sovereignty
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: Challenges
        • Native Studies: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: Identity
        • Native Studies: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: Methods of Historical Inquiry
        • Native Studies: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: Relationships
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • English: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices (Univ. Prep) Challenges
        • English: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices (Univ. Prep) Identity
        • English: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices (Univ. Prep) Relationships
        • English: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices (Univ. Prep) Sovereignty
        • English: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices (Univ. Prep) Writing
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues of Indigenous Peoples in a Global Context (Univ./College Prep.) Sovereignty
        • Issues of Indigenous Peoples in a Global Context (Univ./College Prep.) Challenges
        • Issues of Indigenous Peoples in a Global Context (Univ./College Prep.) Identity
        • Issues of Indigenous Peoples in a Global Context (Univ./College Prep.) Relationships
      • History
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World History: The West & the World (Univ. Prep.) Communities: Local, National, and Global 2
        • World History: The West & the World (Univ. Prep.) Methods of Historical Inquiry and Communication
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Plant Growth & Changes
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • An Introduction to Culture
        • Canada: Reflections on a Multicultural Mosaic
        • Some Elements of Culture
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions Within Ecosystems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Cultural Empowerment
        • Economic Empowerment
        • Empowerment
        • Political Empowerment
        • Reflection
        • Societal Empowerment
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Identity: Citizenship
        • Canadian Identity: Exploring Canadian Identity
        • Canadian Identity: Reflections on Canadian Identity
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • To construct his/her representation of space, time and society
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • To construct his/her representation of space, time and society
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Iroquoian Society around 1500
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Iroquoian Society around 1500
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Canadian Society 1820
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Quebec Society around 1905
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Québec society 1980
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Canadian Society 1820
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Quebec Society around 1980
        • Geography, History and Citizenship Education: Québec society 1905
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Community Comparisons: Dynamic Comparisons
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Saskatchewan: Dynamic Relations
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada: Dynamic Relations
        • Canada: Resources and Wealth
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 6: Canada & Our Atlantic Neighbours -Interactons and Interdependance of Nations
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7: Life Science: Interactions within Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Individual in Canadian Society: Power & Authority
        • The Individual in Canadian Society: Resources & Wealth
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies 10: Community and Kinship: Aboriginal Perspectives
        • Native Studies 10: Economies: Aboriginal Perspectives
        • Native Studies 10: Governance: Aboriginal Perspectives
        • Native Studies 10: Identity and Worldviews, Aboriginal Perspectives
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies 30: Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
        • Native Studies 30: Economic Development
        • Native Studies 30: Governance
        • Native Studies 30: Land Claims and Treaty Land Entitlements
        • Native Studies 30: Social Development
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 1
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Self, Family, School: Identity, Society & Culture
    • Grade 2
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Self, Family, School: Identity,Society & Culture
    • Grade 3
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Plant Growth & Change
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Self, Family, School: Identity, Society & Culture
    • Grade 4
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Cultures, Exploration, and Contact: Identity, Society & Culture
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada – From Colony to Country: Economy & Technology
        • Canada – From Colony to Country: Governance
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Health & Career Planning
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Health and Career Education: Goals and Decisions
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada and the World: Governance
        • Canada and the World: Identity, Society and Culture
    • Grade 7
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth

Themes Addressed

  • Human Rights (1)

    • Cultural Diversity
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

    • Rituals, Spirituality and Worldviews

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

This resource makes a very good case for the importance of being aware of bias in all of us. It also provides a very good outline that could be used at any level, by any teacher, regarding ways to identify and to deal with bias.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:

Satisfactory- absence of bias towards any one point of view

Good- students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed

Very good- based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory

Ensuring a systems-thinking approach is taken by the students will require preparation and planning on the part of the teacher

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  •  Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

The resource facilitates respectful consideration of First Nations people and their roles, both contemporary and historical.  Ensuring this complexity is part of the students' experience with the resource will depend on the teacher's planning and preparation.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

This is not a document that presents actual lesson plans. There are several suggestions for action-based learning.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  •  Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Poor/Not considered

Again, this would be up to the individual teacher. The information provided and list of recommended resources are concise yet varied.

This resource investigates various perspectives, how we come to have them, and the dangers and strengths of holding such points of view. Development of the resource ideas would help youths develop their ability to express their own values/beliefs and to recognize their own biases and that of others.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

This resource has a First Nations focus but the framework could also be used for studies of other cultural groups.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  •  Satisfactory:   connection is made to the natural world
  • Good:  fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good:  fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good

This resource is specifically developed for Toronto School District K-8 teachers but it could also be adapted to other areas, particularly in Eastern Canada. However, the resources listed do include authors from across Canada.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  •  Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Very Good

The resource is built on the ideal of promoting understanding.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Poor/Not considered

This is not a document that presents actual lesson plans.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Very Good

The purpose of this resource is to raise awareness of the importance of including information and understandings about First Nations Peoples in all teaching, not just in a two-week 'unit' in Social Studies.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  •  Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Poor/Not considered

The resource is not a document that presents actual lesson plans. This would be left to the creativity of the teacher.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  •  Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Very Good


There are numerous suggestions for activities that would cover a range of student abilities and interests.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  •  Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good

The recommended resources are rich with authentic First Nations work. The resource points out certain material that would benefit from meetings with First Nations Elders and citizens to share stories, crafts, and experiences with students.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  •  Satisfactory: learning is made concrete. Working with real objects,  using real sources of information
  • Good: learning takes place in a real-world context. Simulation, mentorship
  • Very good: learning provides experience beyond the classroom.  Addressing real world issues and problems 
Cooperative Learning Poor/Not considered

Again, this would be up to teacher discretion. The resource does make references to specific lesson plans available to Ontario teachers in their provincial curriculum.

Cooperative Learning: Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
  • Satisfactory = students work in groups
  • Good = cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good = cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not considered
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Poor/Not considered
Peer Teaching: Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
  • Satisfactory = incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good = an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Good

Although these are no case studies in the traditional sense, there is a wealth of information presented about many of the activities, beliefs, and teachings of the First Nations people. This information is limited, however, to First Nations groups around the Toronto area.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Very Good

There is a plethora of suggested activities.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.