Humanities Week in Review

Week of January 17th – 21st, 2022

This week in Humanities we finished off our Cars and Stars reading assessments. Any students who have been away will catch up on these as they return to school. We also implemented the spelling assessment and will compare their results to the first round done earlier in the year. This week we also read chapter 15 of the novel, Touching Spirit Bear. Students are excited to see the changes in the main character, Cole. 

In Social Studies, students finished creating their posters on the Fur Trade and presented them to the class. As they were presenting, their classmates took notes from the presentation on a teacher provided graphic organizer. Students will now use these notes to prepare for the Fur Trade test next Wednesday. The students have been provided with a comprehensive study guide to help them focus on the most important aspects of the fur trade for their test. All study materials have been posted on Google Classroom for any students who have been away. Students will be allowed to use their study notes during the test. 


Fur Trade Poster-  Jan 20, 2022

Fur Trade test- Jan 26, 2022

Week of January 10th – 14th, 2022

This week in Humanities we began Part 2 of Touching Spirit Bear.  We read Chapter 14 and took notes focusing on making connections to text, self and the world.  We also began our second round of reading diagnostic assessments by completing a Core reading Maze and three CARS reading tests.  We will finish the CARS next week and will begin to compare the results from our first round to see student growth.

In Social Studies, we have continued to move through our historical story in Canada and are now learning about the Fur Trade.  To learn this new material, each student received a small portion of the information explaining the Fur Trade and rewrote the information in their own words.  Students are now working on creating a poster with the most important facts and creating a short presentation explaining the topic.  Classes should begin presentations early next week.


13 Colonies Brochure Overdue 

Fur Trade Presentation + Poster - Early Next week

Week of December 13th - December 17th, 2021 

Please check Powerschool over Winter Break to ensure your child is caught up on all assignments. Any incomplete or missing assignments could affect your child’s report card grades. 

This week in Humanities we finished Part 1 of our novel study, Touching Spirit Bear. All classes finished chapters 12 and 13 on Monday. Tuesday students were introduced to the study guide that helped them prepare for the test on Thursday, December 16th. The test covered all important aspects of Part 1 of the novel. Anyone who has missed the test will complete it January 4th, 2022. 

Students also continued to work on their 13 Colonies Brochure task. As students work on their brochures, their job is to understand the appeal of the 13 Colonies and convince people to move into them. Their brochures should be written in a persuasive manner that clearly communicates their understanding of the information learned. Most students were able to complete their planning graphic organizer early in the week and start their good copies. Good copies are due Friday, December 17th.  


Novel Study Test on Thursday, December 16th, 2021 

13 Colonies Brochure Due Friday, Dec 17, 2021 (Can complete over break if not done)

Week of December 6th - December 10th, 2021

We continued reading our novel study, Touching Spirit Bear.  The students wrote “I am” poems from the perspective of Cole Matthews.  The poems require the students to envision they are someone else, and imagine the person’s thoughts and feelings in a specific moment of their life.  In this case, they are imagining they are Cole leading up to and after the bear attack.  We have now read up to chapter 11 and have started to see our main character, Cole, make a huge transformation.  Students should be preparing for our first test by completing chapter notes after we finish reading.  The test will be on Thursday, December 16th, 2021 and will cover events from chapters 1-13

We completed our notes on The British and the students were introduced to our final task in the unit, 13 Colonies Brochure.  The purpose of this task is for the students to demonstrate their understanding of the British in North America and use that information to convince someone to settle in the 13 colonies to combat the French colonization.  The students only began to work on this yesterday in class so they will need more time next week and perhaps into the new year to complete. 


I am Poem Due Friday, December 10th, 2021

*Upcoming* Novel Study Test on Thursday, December 16th, 2021

Week of November 29th - December 3rd, 2021

What a week!  We ended the week with a bear attack!  Students enjoyed reading chapters 6, 7 and 8 from our novel study, Touching Spirit Bear.  After each chapter, students are recording the main events, interesting vocabulary and connections to self/text/world. 

As mentioned during Parent Teacher Conferences, we began teacher led reading strategy lessons this week.  We began with “Finding the Main Idea”.  When practising this skill, students should ask themselves, “What is the passage/paragraph mostly about?”  We also learned that sometimes the main idea can be found in either the first or last sentence of a passage.

We were able to put this reading strategy into action while learning about the British in North America.  Students are learning a new note taking strategy where we are reading the information with the class and finding key information and main ideas.

As always, all lessons and material can be found on the Google classroom if you want to review our lessons or re-read the ebook, Touching Spirit Bear.


French Journal Entry Overdue

Week of November 15th - November 19th, 2021

This week in Humanities, we have continued on with our novel study, Touching Spirit Bear. Students are loving the book and asking if we will read more chapters every day. All classes have finished up to chapter 5 and have worked on chapter notes and character traits. We are working on analyzing the characters, their actions, thoughts, behaviours and emotions. 

In social studies we have been working on the French Journal Entry. Students have been using the information from their French Colonization notes to inform their journal entry, taking on the role of a French Settler from Canadian history. As they write, they are to imagine they are going through the same adventures that their person experienced, bringing in their thoughts and emotions. Students had 6 classes to work on their journals and they will be due on Monday.  Only 7-1 and 7-2 will have 1 more class period to finish. If students are not finished, it is considered homework. 


French Journal Entry Due Monday, November 29th, 2021 (73,74,75, 76)

French Journal Entry Due Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 (71, 72)

Week of November 15th - November 19th, 2021 

This week students started their first novel study of the year, Touching Spirit Bear! So far the novel has been a hit, and students are engaged with the story and intensity of the main character.  All classes have read Chapter 1 & 2, and some began Chapter 3.  For this novel study students are taking notes after each chapter that they will be allowed to use on their novel study test, and also when working on related tasks.  If your child was absent this week they are encouraged to access the online PDF of the novel on Google Classroom, as well as look at the note taking template, and comprehension questions for Chapter 1 and 2.  

All 6 classes finished their study of early French colonization (slides and note taking form also in Google Classroom if your child missed a day of these lessons), and were introduced to their new task: creating a journal entry through the eyes of someone we learned about in class. More details about this assignment will be described next week, it is loaded in to Google Classroom as well for anyone wanting to have their child show them what they’ll be working on all next week.  


Touching Spirit Bear Chapter 1 & 2 Comprehension questions (individual classes have different due dates due to varied progress)

Week of November 8th - November 10th, 2021

This week, the students learned about Indigenous Veterans’ Day and also reviewed Canada’s military history.  On Monday, November 8th, students learned about the importance of Indigenous Veterans’ Day and even heard about the most decorated Indigenous war hero, Tommy Prince.  Following this, each student wrote a letter to an anonymous Indigenous veteran.

We reviewed figurative language in writing.  Figurative language uses figures of speech to be more effective, persuasive, and impactful.  Students created definitions, examples and put these into action in our Remembrance Day Poems.  After a brief review of Canada’s military history, students demonstrated their understanding of Remembrance Day and it’s meaning to them by creating an original poem.  These poems were then transferred onto postcards to be sent to Canadian veterans.

On Wednesday, November 10th, all homerooms watched the virtual DMC Remembrance Day assembly and observed a moment of silence at 11:00.


Hide Ending (Overdue)

Figurative Language Remembrance Day Poem 

Indigenous Veterans’ Day Letter

Week of November 1st - November 5th, 2021 

This week in Humanities, students had their first test on Colonization, Imperialism, and Mercantilism. The tests have since been marked and grades will be posted on Powerschool shortly. Most classes have had their tests handed back and have been asked to bring them home to show parents and guardians.  Classes have now moved on to French colonization and will begin to understand the impact it had on existing societies. Students will be filling out a notes graphic organizer as they listen to their teacher provide the important information.  

In literacy, students have been working on the Hide Ending writing. This piece of writing focused on creating an intense setting to continue the tone of the story, and use specific details and vocabulary to build suspense and vivid imagery. Students were provided an editing checklist to go over their work before submitting it on Google Classroom. There will be no more class time to work on their writing and it will be due Monday November 8th.  


Hide Ending Due November 8, 2021

Week of October 25th - 29th, 2021

This week in Humanities all classes completed their units on Colonization, Imperialism and Mercantilism on Wednesday. Students will be having a test on this material on Tuesday, November 2nd. On Thursday students were given a study guide that covers the major topics for this test, all materials (including the slides that students were taught from, and their organizer that they took notes on) can be found on Google Classroom. 

Students were told about the test on Wednesday, and were given prompts on how to effectively use their study guides in order to ensure they are prepared for the test. 

Students also began working on their first creative writing task, creating an ending to the short story Hide. They spent time in class working on planning out a dynamic setting, before beginning their rough drafts. Their primary focus on this task will be creating an intense setting to continue the tone of the story, and use specific details and vocabulary to build suspense and vivid imagery. 

Over the next week students will finish writing their stories, and then be using an editing checklist to go over their work. They will then make revisions, before submitting their final copies. 

** We will be beginning our first Novel Study in mid November, with the book “Touching Spirit Bear”, by Ben Mikaelsen. Many students enjoy having their own copy, if families would like to order one in advance it can be found on Amazon:


November 2nd: Unit Test: Colonization, Imperialism and Mercantilism 

Story writing - Ongoing through the week

Week of October 18th - 22nd, 2021

In Humanities this week the students focused on three important tasks: 

1. Core Maze Reading Assessments

2. Hide (Completing the reading and beginning our own suspenseful story writing)

3. Indigenous Societies Oral Presentations

The Core Maze Reading Assessment is a three minute reading test that measures how well students understand what they read silently.  This information in combination with our CARS and STARS reading assessments and a spelling assessment (will be administered next week), will create a very clear picture of your child as a reader.  This information will be communicated to you during our November Conferences along with areas of strength, target areas and how to support your child at home.

All Humanities classes completed the short story, “Hide” this week.  While listening to the teacher read the story, students were looking for clues (look for something the author emphasizes), setting (look for the author describing using 5 senses) and details (look for dialogue or hints about backstory)  Students will be using these clues, setting and important details as an example when they begin writing their own suspenseful ending to “Hide” next week!

After completing their research of the three Aboriginal Societies, students demonstrated their understanding through an oral presentation.  The students included information about the structure of the societies, the role of women, the government structure and decision making prior to European contact.  It is vital to have a strong understanding of this to fully comprehend the impact of European settlers.  Students could work independently, in pairs or some groups of three.  Teachers were looking for content (Does the student speak clearly, with confidence and expression, at a consistent, conversational pace? ) and oral speaking (Does the student speak clearly, with confidence and expression, at a consistent, conversational pace?)  After the presentations, students handed in their scripts for assessment.


Secret Path Art

Indigenous Societies Oral Presentation (Script)

Week of October 12th - 15th, 2021

This week in Humanities, students worked on two new tasks. The first is a story writing unit, but in grade 7 we are focusing on some important skills. Students are working on intensifying their writing using suspense! We are teaching students to create dynamic setting, using foreshadowing and very intentional word choices. To introduce these skills we began the short story Hide by Rebecca M. Senses, which students have been loving. We are working on pulling out clues, setting and important details from the story.

In Social Studies, we are wrapping up our Indigenous Societies unit and putting all the information we learned together. We watched the music The Stranger by Gord Downie and created a web of adjectives describing everything from the video. The video focused on Chanie Wenjack, a student who died trying to escape Residential School. Students then focused on one scene from the video to create an art piece incorporating the adjectives from the video. 


Secret Path Art

Every Child Matters Article Summary (Overdue)

Pre-Contact Indigenous Societies Research (Overdue)

Week of October 4th - 8th, 2021

This week in Humanities students worked on using their summarizing skills after reading the article, “Every Child Matters” (can be found on Google Classroom for reference). Previously we practiced this skill after viewing, and learned how to transfer it to non-fiction writing as well. Students read, annotated, pre-planned, and created a final piece of writing that included an editing stage as well.

Students continued their Aboriginal Societies research work as well, completing their investigation of three key Indigenous groups that lived on the Eastern coast of what we now call Canada. Through this research each child learned to use headings, key terminology, and paraphrasing to isolate specific information. 

Both of these tasks are now completed in terms of class time. Many students have handed them in, and all need to be submitted to Humanities teachers by Wednesday, October 13th at the latest. 


Every Child Matters Article Summary

Pre-Contact Indigenous Societies Research

Week of September 27th - October 1st, 2021

We paused our research of Indigenous societies to recognize Truth and Reconciliation week.  Students were introduced to the idea of reconciliation and they reflected on a time that they learned from their mistakes.  Students created a written response and shared how this moment caused them to grow and change.  Next, Mrs. Feagan shared an Ojibwe oral history story about Turtle Island.  While listening to the oral story, students created sketch notes in their books of key words, images and ideas.  From there, each student chose a specific theme, memorable or significant moment from the story which they turned into an art piece using oil pastels.   

On Wednesday, we learned three core parts of the Indigenous Worldview.  We continued practicing the skill of summarizing key ideas and information.  This information connects to the impact of Residential schools on the culture of Indigenous communities. 

Finally, on Friday, the day Dr. Martha Cohen School recognized Orange shirt day, students reviewed the origin of Orange Shirt Day and Mrs. Feagan shared her personal connection to residential schools.  The entire school community created orange shirts of our paper to commit to an action of reconciliation.  Please ask your child what “reconcili-action” commitment they made today!

We have completed our benchmark Cars and Stars reading comprehension tests.  As a staff, we will be analyzing the data from the entire grade seven student population and identifying trends (areas of strength and areas to focus directed lessons).  Some students may be missing one or two tests and they will be supported to catch up next week.


Turtle Island Creation Story Art Piece

Week of September 20th - 23th, 2021

This week Students began their Cars and Stars reading comprehension tests. There are 5 different tests that assess all different areas of reading comprehension. Teachers will use this data to help guide our learning in the classroom.

Students also began our first Social Studies unit, Aboriginal Societies. Students will be working on a research project learning about the Mi’kmaq, the Haudenosaunee, and the Anishinabe. These are the three aboriginal groups that colonists first came into contact with when they arrived. Students will learn about how the three groups lived their lives, their culture, and core values. 


Smash and Grab Summary Writing, September 20th, 2021

Week of September 13th - 17th, 2021

This week, the students learned how to create effective summaries.  Students participated in direct instruction, teacher lead examples and whole class discussions.  After the main lessons, students watched a short film, “Smash and Grab”, and then using a graphic organizer, collected the most important information.  Using this information and a checklist about “What makes a good summary”, students created a piece of summary writing for assessment.

We also visited the Learning Commons again this week to return, renew and check out new books.  Your child is expected to bring a silent reading book with them to all core classes.  Please ask your child which books they are currently reading.

Students did a mixed-media project this week as well, focusing on the concept of “moments in time”. They learned about the significance of being able to capture a moment, and did a personal reflection on what place, event, or feeling they would try and preserve forever through a photograph. Each child learned several new art techniques to layer, create gradients, and burnish with colours, before developing their own personal polaroid art piece. 


Smash and Grab Summary Writing, September 20th, 2021

Polaroid Art, September 16th, 2021

Week of September 7th - 10th, 2021

Our first literacy task of the year was to create a letter to self.  Students created dot jot notes while answering prompts covering a variety of topics.  Next, the students were given a teacher created example of how to construct the letter.  Students created a first draft of their letter and then were given the opportunity to have their teacher edit before completing the final copy which will be sealed away until June 2022! 

Students also attended an orientation at the Learning Commons since it will be open for student use this year.  Each student checked out one or two books.  Students will bring their reading books to every Humanities period.

This week, students learned about the history and resurgence of Polaroid pictures.  Using this medium as our inspiration, students were asked to remember a memorable time or event.  With this event in mind, they experimented with pencil crayons to create a variety of techniques to mimic watercolour.  Students have created a rough draft of their Polaroid as well as a written explanation describing the memorable time or event.  We will begin our final products on Monday.


Letter to Self, September 10th, 2021

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