Grade 4 Unit
Grade 5 Unit
Grade 6 Unit
Shortly after amalgamation created School District #20 (Kootenay – Columbia), a number of teachers came together to form the Social Studies Leadership Team. Their initial discussions focused on strategies to heighten student interests and abilities in this subject area. From these discussions emerged the idea that future citizens of the Columbia River Basin will require a sold historical and geographical foundation if they are to make informed and rational decisions about the future of their region. In addition, they will also require some basic geographic and knowledge coupled with problem-solving and decision-making strategies. It was at this point that the Social Studies Team committed to creating a program of studies whereby students could learn about the heritage of the Columbia Basin while mastering some basic geographic skills.
A first step was to identify the relevant geographic skills to be taught at each grade level and to blend them with specific learning outcomes specified with the Ministry of Education’s new K-11 Social Studies Program.
The second step involved developing a curricular framework and a content focus for each grade level. The process adopted began with students in the primary grades studying their own neighbourhoods, in the elementary years expanding their horizons to the community level and finally, in senior high school, the focus became analyzing human-environmental interrelationships at a regional level. At each stage the approach taken would be to progress from the known to the unknown using the Columbia River system as the unifying factor. Each unit would be from three to eight hours in duration and the instructional strategies employed would focus on problem solving and decision-making through the use of maps, historical photographs, and journals entries.
At the third stage, Team members worked in small groups or individually to research materials required to design specific activities. School District #20 students were actively involved at this point doing graphic design, creating computerized maps, creating historical sketches, fabricating models and researching specific topics. As rough drafts of units were completed, they were piloted with the resulting suggestions from classroom teachers being incorporated in to the final formats. This process is ongoing.
The project’s final phase involves implementation and evaluation within our own school district and, in the future, at a regional level. Materials will be shared via a web site, through in-service sessions, and at educational conferences. It is hoped that the Project’s methodology and curricular framework can be readily adapted by other school districts within the Columbia Basin Region.
The organizational framework is consistent throughout all Project units. With the exception of the Primary section (kindergarten to Grade 3) which reflects a more seamless structure, all the units have three basic components: a content section focusing on some aspect of local history; a relative location mapping section tied to the sites introduced in the content section; an analysis section designed around aerial photos, topographic maps, and historical photographs. Basic mapping skills such as using symbols, determining direction, calculating distances, ordering events chronologically, and analyzing information are introduced and reinforced in a sequential fashion. The intent is for students to interact with the materials with a minimum of direction.
Each unit has its own teacher’s guide, which provides an overview and details the unit’s key components. These include the intended learning outcomes (I.L.O.’s) as specified by the Ministry of Education, the geography skills included in the unit, resource materials provided, and black line masters of all the maps and worksheets. Instructional strategies and suggested approaches are presented in a separate “Activity Sequence” section followed by evaluation criteria and possible extension activities. Where applicable a glossary of terms and resource list are also included.
Columbia Connections Curriculum Project
The CCC project was designed by the Social Studies Leadership Team of School District #20 (Kootenay - Columbia) for Kindergarten to grade 10. This web-based version of the CCC package only- includes grades 4 through 6 for demonstration purposes. Full packages were produced in limited numbers and have all been distributed to schools within School District #20. Thanks to these Team members for their creativity and dedication.
All text and images © School District 20 (Kootenay-Columbia) unless otherwise noted. Thanks to the BC Archives for permission to use various images. Maps were adapted with permission from base maps provided by the Regional District of Central Kootenay. The Team also wishes to acknowledge the support they have received from these groups and individuals. GeoSense Consulting Ltd., Ministry of Forests (Arrow Lakes Office), Milton Parent (Arrow Lakes Historical Society), Regional District of Central Kootenay, School District #20 staff members Sylvia McGregor and Donna Nicoletti, the students of School District #20, and Selkirk College Library. Lastly, we wish to thank the Royal British Columbia Museum's Living Landscapes program and its regional partner the Columbia Basin Trust for their support of the project and site development.
Copyright © Royal