(Grade 4) Unit 1: Early Societies to 1500 CE

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Product Description

The Grade 4, Unit 1: Early Societies to 1500 CE packet is aligned with the Ontario Social Studies unit outcomes and indicators as outlined in the 2018 Social Studies curriculum document. This packet features lessons and activities that aid students in gaining an understanding of the following expectations:

  • A1. Compare key aspects of life in a few early societies (to 1500), including at least one First Nation and one Inuit society, each from a different region and era and representing a different culture, and describe some key similarities and differences between these early societies and present-day Canadian society.
  • A2. Use the social studies inquiry process to investigate ways of life and relationships with the environment in a few early societies (to 1500), including at least one First Nation and one Inuit society, with an emphasis on aspects of the interrelationship between the environment and life in those societies.
  • A3. Demonstrate an understanding of key aspects of a few early societies (to 1500), including at least one First Nation and one Inuit society, 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.

Please note that this unit was fully revised and updated as of 08/05/2019. This packet does not contain readings about each of the early civilizations anymore. Rather learning about early civilizations is now part of an inquiry assignment.

About the Unit:

With this unit, students are asked to explore early societies up to 1500 and identify the relationship between early societies and the environment. Through this unit, students practice extracting information on daily life from visual evidence and interpret the visual information to identify what life was like, and how it compares to present-day society. Students also explore the significant physical features and natural processes and events in a few early societies and how they affected these societies in terms of food production and sustainability. Students also explore aspects about each different early society in terms of scientific and technological developments, social organization, the governing of the societies and reasons for conflict.

How Inquiry is Incorporated:

As part of this packet, students are asked to get into small groups and choose a society to become an expert on. Students are asked to explore key aspects of the early society such as culture, political and social organization, daily life, and relationships with the environment and with each other. While students are completing their inquiry assignment, they will also be learning about a civilization during each lesson – the Mayan civilization. The purpose of this is to have a model for which students can reference to help them with their inquiry assignment. Students can also use the civilization to assess and compare their own researched civilization with.

The options for the inquiry assignment civilizations are: Inuit, Six Nations, Ancient Rome, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, Aztec, Medieval England, Indus Valley, and the Inca. In order to facilitate all of the given civilization, making eight groups of 3 – 4 students is recommended. You can also minimize the number of civilizations explored, but please be sure to have at least one group research the Inuit, and one group research the Six Nations.

Lessons Included:

There are 16 lessons included in this packet. Each lesson has a duration that ranges between 1 period to 4 periods.

Lesson 1.1: Introducing the Unit

Lesson 1.2: Exploring the Past

Lesson 1.3: Introducing Mayans

Lesson 1.4: Maya Culture and Beliefs

Lesson 1.5: Exploring Daily Life

Lesson 1.6: Ages of Development

Lesson 1.7: Early Societies and Water

Lesson 1.8: Society and the Environment

Lesson 1.9: Conflict and Cooperation

Lesson 1.10: The Maya "Disappear?"

Lesson 1.11: The Importance of Trade

Lesson 1.12: Exploring Early Societies

Lesson 1.13: Documenting Our Society

Lesson 1.14: Comparing Societies

Lesson 1.15: The Cause of Change

Lesson 1.16: Present-Day Societies

Assignments Included:

With this unit, there are two assignments provided. The assignments included are as follows:

Assignment 1.1: Early Societies - Researching a Civilization Inquiry Assignment

Assignment 1.2: Early Societies to 1500 CE Reflection Journal

Activities, Assessments, and Readings Included:

All activities relate to each of the three unit outcomes. Students are asked to choose different early societies to explore for some of the provided activities. This is to ensure that students are exploring a variety of early societies, rather than just one. This packet features 27 activities, 5 rubrics, 8 readings, 1 self-assessments, 3 exit cards, and 1 reflection.

Please note that due to the nature of the activities in this packet, there are NO answer keys provided.

Questions? Concerns?

I am here to help! If you have any questions about this unit, or any of my units, please leave me a question under the Q&A tab below. Or, you can email me at teachinginawonderland@gmail.com.

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Total Pages
140 pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
N/A
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