Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 13-17

Contact me by e-mail at:

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

Notice to Parents: Because of the current labour dispute, only grade 12 marks are supposed to be provided on report cards. Written comments are proscribed. This does not mean that we are not reporting marks to students and parents regularly.

If you want an update regarding marks or other information you need only e-mail me at the address above. I am happy to give a full account that goes well beyond what a report card provides.

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 Monday, January 30 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 another week. 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 11

Expect your first unit test on Ideologies/Parties/Elections to be on Wednesday, February 15 -- or thereabout. This will allow extra time to write into break for those who need it. We will start the new unit before the test.

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.

During Friday's class, the media lib-dub filming will take place. This will significantly disrupt the class, but should be heaps of fun. Either dress ethnically or regionally or print off a colour flag of where your family comes from to hold up when the camera arrives.

  • Monday, February 13 - Hand in Best Election System assignment (on the bottom of the elections handout from last Thursday). Note: We are beginning the next unit today and this material will not be on Wednesday's test. We are doing so to test on the day indicated in earlier blog-posts. I will explain my flash card bonus mark policy today. Begin Legislative Branch - focus on the House of Commons. Be sure to look at the Parliament of Canada website. Download, read and study from the Guide to the House of Commons. Read pp. 231-233 sidebar. Do #1-3 in the sidebar on p. 233. Study for the test Wednesday.
  • Tuesday, February 14 - Take up #1-3 in the sidebar on p. 233. Reminder of the physical layout of Parliament. Video - Government in Canada; Citizenship in Action; Our National Parliament; the Inside Story and questions. Discuss the job of a Member of Parliament - within and outside the House of Commons. Go online to read On the Job With a Member of Parliament). Read 226-231. Do #1-3, p. 231. Study for the test next class.
  • Wednesday, February 15 - Unit test on Ideologies, Political Parties and Elections -- the material we have studied since classes commenced. Complete the homework from Tuesday for next class.
  • Thursday, February 16 - Test post-mortem. Take up homework, #1-3, p. 233. Introduction to the Senate – Pros and cons of present setup (Be sure to look at the Senate material at Mapleleafweb). Essay Writing. There will be an essay question on what shall be done with the Canadian Senate on the next unit test. Introduction to Essay Writing. Read pp. 47-54 in Red Government text. Do #1-4, p. 48 and #1-5 and 7 on p. 54. For homework, come up with a three column table listing: reasons to keep the Senate as it is; reasons to change it; reasons why we should get rid of it. Rough out a plan for writing an essay response to this question on the next unit test. If you have time at the end of the class, discuss it with people around you.
  • Friday, February 17 - I cannot predict how much of this class will be usable, so will assume the worst as far as teaching time is concerned. We will do what we can. Introduction to the executive branch. Role of the Queen & Governor General. Read “Constitutional Monarchy” on p. 222-224 & "The GovernorGeneral" on p. 234. Identify points for and against getting rid of the Queen and Governor General. Should Canada become a Republic? Why or why not? Identify 3 reasons for and 3 reasons against doing so. Look at the Monarchist League of Canada and the Canadian Monarchist Online websites for arguments supporting the monarch; see Citizens for a Canadian Republic for arguments against retaining the monarchy. There has also been an active debate in Australia and New Zealand on this topic. Web searches would yield useful information.