Grade 5 social studies is one of my favourite subjects to teach, but would you believe it was one of my least favourite subjects as a student? Well, 99% of the time I was in an elementary social studies class, we were reading a textbook and answering questions about it. I love reading, but even I found that boring! Reading comprehension is not what social studies is about.
A few years ago, I was teaching kids how to translate patterns. One boy was really struggling with it. I asked if he spoke another language, thinking we could use translating words as a jumping-off point. He said he spoke Mandarin but admitted that he didn’t “feel right” or “comfortable” speaking it at school. He turned to a friend and asked – “are we allowed to speak our language at school?”
Classroom Library Ideas: How to build a diversity audit into your classroom library inventory spreadsheet
Making a classroom library inventory spreadsheet doesn’t have to be a complicated process! In this post, I explain how I built a super-simple diversity audit into my classroom library inventory system.
A few years ago, I read Mike Jung’s Unidentified Suburban Object to my fifth-grade class for the first time. As always, I introduced the protagonist before I began. Her name is Chloe Cho, so I wrote that on the board. One of my students, who shared her last name, shoved his hand up in the air and asked why his name was on the board. “Because that’s the character’s last name,” I said…
February is Black History Month in Canada and the US, and I’ve got a free article with questions for you English and/or Social Studies teachers! The Colored Hockey League was founded in 1895. They were a huge hit in Nova Scotia, but they’re virtually non-existent in our history books. What caused their untimely demise?
Here are some picture books and related material about Black history in Canada. Use them for Black History Month and throughout the year! Any books that were written by Black authors have been tagged with the #OwnVoices hashtag.
When I teach about puberty, I want all my students to understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to how their bodies and their classmates’ bodies work. I especially want to push back against the stigma around discussing menstruation. The way I see it, puberty education and social justice are inextricably linked. This is what I do to bring in social justice perspectives when I teach my fifth-grade students about puberty!