Category Archives: Social Studies Stuff

Upcoming events for this week & next…There are lots!!

  •  You’re invited to attend our EMJS Winter concert @ 1:15 pm, either this Tuesday or this Wednesday, in the school gym. Hope you can make it – I think you’ll find it charming and heartwarming!
  • This Thursday, the Grade 4 and 5 students will be presenting their projects at our “Discover Canada Fair” in the gym. You’re all invited to come and take a look at all their hard work. The launch will be at 10:40. If you are unable to come at 10:40, feel free to drop-in anytime between 10:40 – 11:50 or 12:50 – 2:00.
  • Monday of next week many classes, including ours, are taking a school bus to enjoy the movie “Wonder”!
  • Wednesday of next week the class voted to have a “Secret Santa” party.  A notice went home on Friday about it. We will also test out our kid-made cars that day!
  • The last day of school (for 2017 😉 is Friday, December 22.

The homework for the rest of the week…

…is not spelling.

It’s to practice multiplication facts for 5 minutes a day, and, to hunt for point form facts (re-written in your own words) about your Canadian province or territory for your Vacation Project.  See your Vacation Project handout for details on the kinds of information you are to be hunting down.!

What’s a government?

Tomorrow (Friday, Feb, 26) is the school Canada Fair!

In the school gym, from 9:30 to 11:30.

We’ve worked hard on our projects about Canada – we hope you can come!!

Here’s a small taste of what you’ll see from our class:


Curious to see the blog work the class has been doing?

Just visit:

When you get there, ask your daughter or son to sign you…. and enjoy! FYI – The class has now written over  200+ posts!

Remember, this Friday is the EMJS Canada Fair  The school gym will be packed full of displays about Canada from many, many classes and you’re all invited!!  (From 9:30 to 11:30)

Homework: Tuesday, Feb 16

Do more research for our Time Travel Project and add a post to your own note-taking blog.  Be sure to cite where you got your information!

If you are not sure how to cite a reference, see Mr. T’s recent blog post about this on our class note-taking blog. There is even a downloadable info sheet here for you to use.

A Gr 4/5 class time travels 1,000 years back in time!

A few weeks ago, the class was randomly divided into 6 teams before we entered the EMJS library.  As we entered, each group was told that they were actually were not in the school library, they were on BC’s west coast, in the mountains or in the prairies! To their great surprise, the students also heard that the door to the library had been rejigged as a time travel portal, and that they all had traveled 1,000 years into the past.

Unfortunately, the time travel machine had broken down and they were stranded back in time, probably forever.  And all they had to survive were the things they had brought into the library! Each team immediately brainstormed how they could make shelter, find water, gather food, protect themselves from danger and so on.  The students were very imaginative (and excited) as they tried to think of solutions to this survival scenario.

Eventually, over a number of sessions, students began to gather more detailed information about their landscape, flora and fauna.  (They researched used books and iPads.) With their new found knowledge, they were better able to devise ways to survive.  It was quite interesting to watch the teams evolve in understanding and idea creation as they moved from their imaginations to what they learned about the various environments.

The class then realized that there were already people living in these areas, people who had garnered survival wisdom for many thousands of years – indigenous peoples!  This realization led the teams to dive even deeper into their topics and learn about traditional native peoples ways of building shelters, gathering and/or hunting food, making clothing, etc., etc.

By this point, so much information was being discovered, each student needed a blog to record and share what they were learning. This note taking tool provided an advantage over ordinary paper and pencil note taking, as the blogs could include pictures, videos and active links to websites with even more information.   They were also searchable and sharable.  Students were taught some techniques for doing more targeted web searches, and how to cite the sources they were using.

If you are curious to learn more about the student’s note taking blogs, ask your son or daughter to share with you what they have done.  In a little over two weeks, the class has posted over 150 blog posts about our topic!

Now, this week, the teams are working hard to create 3D dioramas of what they learned! Next week each student will write “Learning Cards” about what they have built to attach to their handmade models.

Next Friday, the 26th, all of the French and English grade four and five classes (and some of the grade threes) will be celebrating and sharing all they have learned about Canada with the whole school!!  Our class is presenting our dioramas about some of the historical life of native peoples, while other classes will be sharing posters about all the provinces and territories of Canada, the cities and towns of BC and so much more.  The whole school will be invited to come. It should be a very exciting, and learning-full day!  You and your friends are invited to come to the gym on the day too, from 9:30 to 11:30 to share in the experience…. it should be quite a memorable time!!



Homework: Nov 2

Students had a rare opportunity to spend some time working on their spelling homework in class today.  The homework is to finish that sheet.  As well, there is another SS test coming up on Thursday. Students will need to know the capitals of all of the provinces and territories of Canada.  Spelling (kand capitalization) counts!  As well, students will need to be able to place the capitals in their approximate location on a map….

Student Vote 2015 Summary Results – With the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge

There is an SS test on the election on Wednesday.

It was announced today.  Students were given a study guides for the test, asked to write the date in the Agenda books, and told to bring their SS duotangs home to study for the test over the (for them) long weekend.

As well, the first 60 point SS test was handed back marked today.  It also should be in the SS duotang.

Wondering how 850,000 Canadian students voted….

… in the 2015 mock federal election?

Here are the results!

On Monday we will elect a government…

… both in Canada, and in our classroom!


In our classroom, regular lessons will mostly be cancelled for the day as the students form “political parties”, elect leaders for their parties, create party platforms about student life in our classroom and in Margaret Jenkins School, make things and prepare for the election campaign, run election campaigns, and participate in a classroom election.

After the election, the classroom will be formed into a mock House of Commons where the students will propose, write, debate and vote upon “laws” and a budget proposed by the elected parties.

It should be an amazing, and highly educational, day!!

Some students have been so excited about this that they wanted to begin preparing over the weekend. This is great – but is purely voluntary. Students are not assigned to work on this on the weekend!

Some guidelines for the election campaign were posted and discussed in the classroom on Friday. Here they are.

First of all, students do not have to form or join a classroom political party – they can just be “citizens”. In fact, we need citizens or the election is likely to become skewed.   🙂

Guidelines for the campaign include the option to make all, some or none of these items (for each party, even a party with just one member). No other items are allowed to be included in the campaign:
• 2 election posters, on legal sized paper
• 1 super-sized election poster (paper to be supplied on Monday)
• a campaign song
• a campaign slogan
• a campaign logo
• a banner (made of 11 x 17 paper and only displayed during the debate)
• a 30 second video or slide show (if student faces appear in these, they can only be shown in the classroom, not online or in public)
• up to 20 copies of a handout or brochure (made on regular sized paper. They can be photocopied at school. Remember that we do not have a color photocopier.)
• up to 4 campaign flags (made on regular sized, or smaller, sized paper)
• up to 15 campaign “buttons” (circular, likely made of paper?)
• 1 extra campaign strategy (that does not reward, or appear to reward, someone for agreeing to vote for a particular party)

Each party will be required to appoint someone in their party (not necessarily the leader) to give a 1 minute speech and participate in a campaign debate. Different people can give the speech or join in the debate.

All citizens (including party members!) have the right to vote for whatever party they wish. No rewards are to be offered as an incentive to get citizens to vote for a particular party.

Posters, songs, logo, handouts, brochures, flags and buttons can only be displayed during the time limited campaign period. Posters can only be displayed on the identified bulletin board. Banners can only be displayed during the speeches and the debate. Their will be a set time for showing the videos and slide shows as well. Not adhering to any of these guidelines may result in the removal of the offending political party from the election!

Oh, and let’s have fun!!!!