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Grade 4, Social Studies, Heritage and Identity, Early Civilizations: Medieval Times

Overall & Specific Expectations

Social Studies:
A2. Inquiry: use the social studies inquiry process to investigate ways of life and relationships with the
environment in two of more early societies (3000 BCE1500 CE), with an emphasis on aspects of the
interrelationship between the environment and life in those societies (FOCUS ON: Interrelationships).
A2.2 gather and organize information on ways of life and relationships with the environment in
early societies, using a variety of primary and secondary sources in both print and electronic
A2.6 communicate the results of their inquiries, using appropriate vocabulary (e.g., nomad,
peasant, serf, merchant, noble, feudalism, god/goddess, privilege, hierarchy, culture,
civilization, rural, urban) and formats (e.g., an annotated map showing how a society situated
on a flood plain was affected by and responded to its environment; an oral presentation on the
impact of medieval cities on the environment; a stop-animation video on the lives of children in
a society that followed animal migration routes or lived in different locations during different
seasons; a chart and presentation comparing farming techniques of different societies).
A3. Understanding Context: demonstrate an understanding of key aspects of a few early societies (3000
BCE1500 CE), each from a different region and era and representing a different culture, with
reference to their political and social organization, daily life, and relationships with the environment
and with each other (FOCUS ON: Significance).
A3.2 demonstrate the ability to extract information on daily life in early societies from visual
evidence (e.g., art works such as paintings, sculptures, carvings, masks, mosaics; monuments;
artefacts such as household utensils, religious articles, weapons).
A3.3 describe significant aspects of daily life in two or more early societies (e.g., with reference
to food, housing, clothing, education, recreation, spiritual/religious life, family life,
A3.8 describe the social organization of some different early societies.

1) evaluate the impact of pulleys and gears on society and the environment;
1.1 assess the impact of pulley systems and gear systems on daily life
2. investigate ways in which pulleys and gears modify the speed and direction of, and the force exerted
on, moving objects;
2.3 use technological problem-solving skills (see page 16) to design, build, and test a pulley or
gear system that performs a specific task

Language Arts:
1. generate, gather, and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience;
1.1 Purpose and Audience: identify the topic, purpose, and audience for a variety of writing forms
3. create a variety of media texts for different purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms,
conventions, and techniques;

3.4 Producing Media Texts- produce media texts for specific purposes and audiences, using a
few simple media forms and appropriate conventions and techniques.

A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms,
traditions, and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
A3.1 describe, with teacher guidance, how forms and styles of dance reflect peoples different
social and political roles in various communities, times, and places (masquerades and court

Visual Arts:
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms,
styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
D3.1 describe how visual art forms and styles represent various messages and contexts in the
past and present.

Integrated subject unit plans reinforce lesson materials, skills, and big ideas. Students practice skills in
various settings, with diverse subject matter and mindsets. Initially, students will be assigned a group
(serf, clergy, royalty, etc.) and a role within that group. Students will then research and Round Robin
their findings with their group membersthis sets a foundation for exploring interrelationships
between group types throughout the rest of the unit (i.e. kings meals versus serfs meals).
Students are encouraged to make connections and think critically, such as one student who gains a
deeper understanding of the power of pulleys and gears (a big idea), especially to catapults (a real-life
example), and how that technologyand all technologyhas evolved societies into present day (won
wars, built bridges, etc.).
Students will practice their writing and media skills by creating and maintaining a blog that details the
mindset of a person from the Middle Ages (i.e. king, nun, merchant, baker, knight) and reference
materials learned in class. As such, students have the opportunity to organize and articulate their
thoughts, and develop perspectives and to extend their understanding through research.

4 weeks of 50 minute periods.

Learning skills:
Responsibility: (group work, teacher-lead instruction, homework)
Organization: (culminating activitychoose from multiple options & regulate own deadlines.
Conduct research for option, if necessary.)

Independent work: (homework, blogs/journal entries, I-Search paper, webquest)

Collaboration: (Round Robin, group work meal plan, some group work options as part of
culminating activity, such as iStop Motion Claymation video, post on each others blogs,
interact with each others castle & village in Minecraft).
Self-regulation: (I-Search paper, culminating activity options are time-consuming and not
overnight projects).
Creating Pathways to Success:
I-Search paper relies heavily on articulating connections to self, practicing metacognition,
and documenting the learning process (Why did I choose this? What did I learn? Why did
I do it this way? What would I change?)
This unit integrates four subjects Social Studies, Science, Language Arts, and Visual Arts. Students will
complete activities that complement, correspond with, or coincide with lesson materials in other grade
4 subjects. For example, student will learn about medieval tools and technology, such as catapults,
which coincides with Sciences pulleys and gears subject matter.
Students will be assigned an occupational role from the middle ages (serf, clergy, royalty, etc.) and
maintain a blog that details the daily life of someone from that time period. Moreover, students have
the opportunity to choose their culminating activity from options such as building a castle and village
in Minecraft (science), write and illustrate a story on paper or through (art), or
using iStop motion to create a Claymation skit that represents a moment in the Middle ages such as a
feast or baker selling his wares (art & media).
I recognize that components of my rationale conflict with Nicola Findlays article, which argues that
cross-curricular connections may be superficial and interest is subjective, so I have also included an Isearch project to which a student identifies their own research topic that resonates with them, and
facilitates their own research and reflective process through a guided format. I have attached some
information about I-search research and papers.