unit is designed to help students learn about the five major geographical
regions of Canada and to understand how the landscape, resources, and climate in
each of those areas have influenced the lives of Canadians.
Learning Levels: Grades 4-9Author(s): Elaine Melanson
How have Canadians responded to the challenges and opportunities of our varied landscape, resources, and climate
have these geographical factors influenced our development as a people in
terms of our settlement patterns, land use, industrial/economic growth, and
project allows students to "Seek, Think, and Verify.”
explore and analyze geographical information from various source
This activity provides an excellent basis for discussion of how the actions of Canadians impact our geography in terms of
depletion of natural resources
Student will explore our responsibilities as local, national, and global citizens to be good steward of what we have.
will be expected to:
demonstrate an understanding of the basic features of Canada’s landscape, resources and climate
the effects of landscape, resources and climate on settlement patterns,
economic development, lifestyle and Canadian identity
an understanding of Canadians’ responses to the challenges and
opportunities of the geography of our country
and independently use computer equipment to access and use curriculum-based
effectively use information technology to perform tasks such as the exploration of ideas, data collection, data manipulation, including the discovery of patterns and relationships, and the representation of learning
unit assumes students' have prior experience with ArcView GIS software and
the building of web pages. If your students have not previously used this
technology, you will need to familiarize them with it, or modify the project
as described below.
The unit will last approximately two to three weeks, depending on the number and length of Social Studies classes in the students' timetable.
will work in groups of five, formed by the students or assigned by the
will have access to computers either in the classroom or in a lab setting
If the technology mentioned above is not available in your school, a modified version of this project may be done using individual/group brainstorming, formation of hypotheses, and verification using print resources.
and collaborating within their working group of five, each student will agree to
research one of the five major regions of Canada: the West Coast, the Prairies,
Central Canada (Ontario and Québec), Atlantic Canada, and the Far North.
individually, students will use ArcView GIS and the data found on Disk 1 of the
CD-ROM ArcCanada to analyse such information as landforms, elevation, eco-regions,
natural resources, climate, land potential and inventory, population
demographics, and census data. By layering map themes, students will be able to
individually draw their own conclusions about the region they are studying: its
geographical variations, its people, settlement patterns, land use and
will conference for one class period (or part of a period) with their team
members to discuss their findings and hypotheses. They will provide each other
with feedback about their work to this point.
the Internet, students individually will visit the websites of Statistics
Canada, the Canadian Communities Atlas, the National Library of Canada, and
Environment Canada, to verify their conclusions about the region they have
researched, and discover how Canadians in that region actually have adapted to
and are influenced by the landscape, resources, and climate.
S tep 5
will meet with their group members to bring together their information,
examining and highlighting common and unique findings of the 5 regions. Each
group will publish their hypotheses and subsequent findings on a class website.
This may be a section of your school's website, or you may choose to use
webspace provided by a free site builder/host such as the Nova Scotia Department
of Education’s EdNet web site. (http://ednet.ns.ca) Students will collaborate
on all aspects of the design, organization, and publication of their project web
pages. Each student will be responsible for typing in their own research
material on their group's web pages.
S tep 6
group will present its findings to the class. This may be done in two ways:
In turn, each group accesses its web pages and, using an LCD projector, each group member presents their research to the class.
Each group provides the URL of its project pages to all other
groups. The groups explore all projects, excluding their own, using the
rubric to assess and evaluate the work of their peers.
I have used both of these presentation methods and found them equally effective.
working groups (if applicable)
group roles (Step 1 of Tasks)
conferencing (Steps 3 and 5)
and construction of web pages (Step 5)
of project (Step 6)
evaluating peer projects (Step 6)
selecting working groups (if applicable)
as facilitator and guide throughout the entire process
student work in progress (individual and group) and final product (group
presentation and/or web pages)
Evaluation rubric for final product
might choose to have each student individually evaluate their peer groups, or
have group members conference and give a mark to each of the other groups’
well did I work as an individual?
well did we work as a unit?
Peer Evaluation Rubric
well did the other members of my group work?
get an individual student’s mark for this category, calculate the average of
the marks given to her/him by the members of his working group.)
space and web page builder software
projector (if using group oral presentation format)
data CD-ROM disk 1
Group Evaluation Rubric: Our Home and Native Land
Our Home and native Land P.E.C. Checklist
Peer Evaluation of Group Members: Our Home and Native Land
Self-Evaluation: Our Home and Native Land