Sunday, September 04, 2011

September 7-9

Contact me by e-mail at:

Things that are static -- not requiring regular change -- can be found at my website:

This blogsite will have all of the changing material -- lesson plans and links to assignments. I will try to ensure that all assignments are posted here.If you see something underlined, it means that you can click on the item to have it appear. I will do this for all pdf documents, PowerPoints, videos, and even some music.

Course outlines are posted in the material for the first class this semester - go to the Wednesday, September 7 posting.

Social Studies 8

We will begin with a Geography unit. Expect a unit test at the end of this, worth around 75 marks. This will be in roughly 3 weeks. It will be based on map reading and the use of Canadian Oxford World Atlas (7th edition). We will also have a number of quizzes worth from 5-30 marks throughout the unit. You will not always be warned ahead of time about quizzes -- so it is important to keep up.

If you are struggling, be sure to see me outside of class for extra help!

You will need the following material for the Geography unit: a ruler, pens, pencils, and coloured pencils, erasers, whiteout, a portable computer storage device (USB key, with at least 1 GB of space on it -- which you can use in all of your other classes too), and lined paper.

Keep all of your material in order in either a section of a bigger binder, with work from other courses, or a smaller Social Studies binder. The choice is yours. You should also have section dividers to separate units. Keep all work to study from for the final exam at the end of the course. After unit tests, you can take this work out and leave it safe at home if you do not want to keep carrying it around -- just don't lose it.

National Geographic has some nice overview PowerPoints for this unit. See Map Elements and Map Skills.
Social Studies 9

Last minute staffing changes resulted in a change in my teaching schedule. I will now be teaching Social Studies 11 in first block -- instead of Social Studies 9. I hope to catch up with you all in senior courses in the future.

Social Studies 11

We will begin with the Government unit and start with the old red text to deal with ideologies. You will get the Counterpoints text, which we will use for most of the semester, once we get past ideologies -- which Counterpoints does not deal with well.

Expect your first unit test on Ideologies/Parties/Elections to be on Thursday, September 23. The mark breakdown is most likely to be as follows: 30 multiple choice question (1 mark each); 4 items to label on a diagram (1 mark each); 5 definitions - you write a sentence or two about each term or name (2 marks each); 2 long answer questions from a choice of 4 options (6 marks each). The test should, therefore, be out of about 66 marks.

  • Wednesday, September 7- Outline and expectations PowerPoints. paper course of course outline. Final Exam table of specifications (link from here to additional exam material). Handout: What is Government? Complete the questions for Thursday.
  • Thursday, September 8 - Hand out textbooks. Complete anything missed from yesterday's introduction. Discuss whether or not government is necessary. Introduction to the three branches of government. Read pp. 2-6 in red Government text. Do #1-4, p. 6.
  • Friday, September 9 - Take up homework. Introduction to ideologies. Origins of the Political Spectrum. Read pp. 7-15 in Government text. Do #1-5, p. 11 and #1-6, pp. 15-16. To identify your own ideology, take the online Political Compass Quiz.
History 12

Our first unit is an introduction to History and the Writing of History.

Be aware, this is a lecture course. Because almost all students who sign up for this course are university or college bound, I have structured the course in this way to help you make the transition to post-secondary studies easier. Class work will be done entirely outside of class time. I will give you a plan at the start of each unit, which sets out a suggestion about when you should complete what. You may handle this differently if your personal timetable requires that you rearrange the work. However, the due dates are clearly set down. If they present problems for you, I need to know ahead of time and will likely arrange an extension, if the circumstances warrant doing so.

***Note, this is the first year in my school career as a student and teacher that there has been no Provincial scholarship exam in History 12. There will be a class exam based entirely on the material taught in class. This will include 100 multiple choice questions and two essay questions -- one of which will involve the interpretation and integration of primary and secondary documents.

A bonus assignment can be done to boost your mark this year. This is the Glossary Assignment. You create a glossary of 20th century history, using the information you would ordinarily put together in making flash cards. This is a massive assignment, but the payoff of up to a 5% increase in your final mark is also very significant. Most students achieve 1-2% bonus. I have given out only a handful of 5% marks over the years.

You must be sure to visit The History Guide for excellent background material supporting this course.

Expect to write your first quiz on or about Thursday, Sept. 15. There will likely be 15 multiple choice questions (1 mark each), 10 definitions -- where I give you the definition and you give me the term or name (1 mark each), 5 definitions -- where I give you the term or name and you provide the definition or why the person is important (2 marks each), and one essay (worth 18 marks - with 6 for composition and 2x6 for content). The test will most likely be out of 53 marks.

All Topic #1 work is due by 4:30 p.m. on the day of the test. Essay #1 is due a couple of weeks later.

If you get the chance, take 76 minutes to watch a panel of historians talk about History's Value Today.