School Project Guides

Book lists, reference materials, online databases and resources that can be used for elementary and middle school projects in social sciences, science, history, and geography.

School Project Guides List

Grade 1 Science - Daily and Seasonal Changes

Grade 1 students will assess the impact of daily and seasonal changes on living things, including humans. Students will investigate daily and seasonal changes and demonstrate an understanding of what daily and seasonal changes are and how these changes affect living things.

Grade 1 Science - Energy in our Lives

Students will assess uses of energy at home, at school, and in the community, and suggest ways to use less energy. They will investigate how different types of energy are used in daily life; demonstrate an understanding that energy is something that is needed to make things happen, and that the sun is the principal source of energy for the earth.

Grade 1 Social Studies - Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities

Students will describe some of the ways in which people’s roles, relationships, and responsibilities relate to who they are and what their situation is, and how and why changes in circumstances might affect people’s roles, relationships, and responsibilities as well as their sense of self. They will investigate some aspects of the interrelationship between their identity/sense of self, their different roles, relationships, and responsibilities, and various situations in their daily lives. Students will develop an understanding that they and other people have different roles, relationships, and responsibilities, and that all people should be treated with respect, regardless of their roles, relationships, and responsibilities.

Grade 1 Social Studies - The Local Community

Grade 1 students will investigate the physical features and community facilities in their local area. Using basic techniques of inquiry and mapping, they investigate how people live and interact within their community. As they learn more about these interactions, students begin to recognize the role that community plays in meeting human needs. By the end of Grade 1, students will describe how people in the community interact with each other and the physical environment to meet human needs.

Grade 2 Science - Growth and Change in Animals

Growth and Changes in Animals focuses on investigating the distinct characteristics of animals related to appearance, behaviour, growth, and change. Students will study a variety of animals and identify important similarities and differences among them. As well as making the obvious physical comparisons, students will look at ways in which human activities have an impact on specific animals and their survival, and ways in which the animals’ environment has an impact on their development. They will also examine the importance of animals and the need for humans to protect animals and the places where they live.

Grade 2 Science - Movement

The study of moving things will give students a sense of spatial relationships as well as the relationship between non-moving and moving objects. They will learn about the six types of simple machines and how they help humans move things. They will learn that one or more simple machines are used in mechanisms which help objects move.

Grade 2 Social Studies - Changing Family and Community Traditions

Grade 2 students examine the wide variety of cultures and traditions that coexist in Canada. Students investigate family histories and traditions and report on how these histories and traditions contribute to and enrich Canadian society. As well, students will describe major groups in their community, including different types of families, and how traditions and heritage are passed on.

Grade 2 Social Studies - Global Communities

Students will learn about physical and human geography through the study of global communities. They will use the globe and maps as research tools to enhance their knowledge of the physical and cultural features of communities. In addition, they will understand that the environment that people live in will affect their way of life, while determining the similarities and differences of global communities to their own.

Grade 3 Science - Forces Causing Movement

Grade 3 students will learn about the ways in which forces create movement in objects, for example, that some movement results from an imbalance between forces, and some from the release of stored energy. They will learn the two basic types of forces that cause movement. The first is called a contact force such as a push or pull between surfaces that are in direct contact. The second type of force is non-contact such as a magnetic or gravitational force. In addition, the study of forces will enable students to expand their understanding of control by designing and making devices that use a form of energy and can apply a force to another object.

Grade 3 Science - Growth & Changes in Plants

Grade 3 students focus on the characteristics and requirements of plants and their patterns of growth. Students will observe and investigate a wide variety of local plants, from trees to mosses, in their natural environment. They will also learn about the importance of plants not only as sources of food and shelter for people and animals, but as suppliers of much of the world’s oxygen.

Grade 3 Science - Soils in the Environment

Grade 3 students will examine soils and discover that soils are made up of living things and different earth materials. Different kinds of soil have different characteristics and combinations of materials, which determine their animal and plant populations as well as their suitability for particular uses.

Grade 3 Science - Strong and Stable Structures

Grade 3 students will develop their understanding of strength and stability and why it is important in human and animal structures. They will learn the factors that determine a structures strength and stability such as its center of gravity and its shape. They will design and build their own strong and stable structure to support what they have learned.

Grade 3 Social Studies - Communities in Canada, 1780-1850

Grade 3 students will compare ways of life among some specific groups in Canada around the beginning of the nineteenth century, and describe some of the changes between that era and the present day. Using the social studies inquiry process to investigate some of the major challenges that different groups and communities faced in Canada from around 1780 to 1850, and key measures taken to address these challenges. Students will identify some of the communities in Canada around the beginning of the nineteenth century, and describe their relationships to the land and to each other.

Grade 3 Social Studies - Living and Working in Ontario

Grade 3 students will investigate aspects of the interrelationship between the natural environment, land use, employment opportunities, and the development of municipal regions in Ontario. Students will investigate some of the environmental effects of different types of land and/ or resource use in Ontario municipal regions, as well as some of the measures taken to reduce the negative impact of that use. Students will describe major landform regions and types of land use in Ontario and some of the ways in which land use in various Ontario municipalities addresses human needs and wants, including the need for jobs.

Grade 4 Science - Habitats & Communities

Grade 4 students will begin to explore and compare ways in which communities of plants and animals satisfy their needs in specific habitats. In their investigations, they will also study some of the factors that affect various habitats, including changes that occur naturally and changes brought about by people.

Grade 4 Science - Light & Sound

Grade 4 students will encounter a variety of materials that transmit, reflect or absorb energy. By focusing their investigations on the way these materials affect or are affected by sound and light, students will deepen their knowledge of the types of properties materials can have.

Grade 4 Science - Pulleys & Gears

Grade 4 students will broaden their understanding of structures by looking at 2 special kinds of wheels: pulleys and gears. Pulleys are used singly or in combination to move an object from once place to another. Gears can be used in combination to change speed and direction of movements. Students will design and build pulley systems and gear systems, and will explore the advantages of each kind of system.

Grade 4 Science - Rocks and Minerals

Grade 4 students will examine different types of rocks and minerals found in the earth’s crust and learn about their characteristics and properties. They will also discover that rocks and minerals are useful for many things and that their characteristics help to determine their use.

Grade 4 Social Studies - Early Societies, 3000 B.C.E - 1500 C.E

Grade 4 students will compare key aspects of life in a few early societies, 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. Grade 4 students will demonstrate an understanding of key aspects of a few early societies 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.

Grade 4 Social Studies - Political and Physical Regions of Canada

Grade 4 students will identify Canada’s political and physical regions, and describe their main characteristics and some significant activities that take place in them. Students must assess some key ways in which industrial development and the natural environment affect each other in two or more political and/or physical regions of Canada. Students are required to investigate some issues and challenges associated with balancing human needs/wants and activities with environmental stewardship in one or more of the political and/or physical regions of Canada.

Grade 5 Science - Conservation of Energy and Resources

Grade 5 students will study the demands modern society places on non-renewable sources of energy, and the development of alternative and renewable sources. They will deepen their understanding of how devices use energy by designing, constructing and operating their own devices. In addition, students will expand their knowledge of the different sources of energy and classify them as renewable and non-renewable.

Grade 5 Science - Forces Acting on Structures and Mechanisms

Grade 5 students will identify the forces acting on and within structures, and will give simple quantitative descriptions of these forces. They will focus on ways of making mechanisms accomplish specific tasks with less effort. They will learn that forces from a natural phenomena have an effect on society and the environment.

Grade 5 Science - Human Organ Systems

Grade 5 students study the human body, focusing on five major organ systems - the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, excretory, and nervous systems. Using models and simulations, students will learn where the major internal organs are located and will explore the functions and interactions of organs within specific systems. In studying the structure of organs, students will learn that all living tissues are composed of different kinds of cells.

Grade 5 Science - Properties of and Changes in Matter

Grade 5 students will now begin to explore the underlying concept of matter. They will learn about the 3 states (solid, liquid, gas) and the characteristics of each. They will also explore changes of state and investigate the difference between physical changes (usually reversible) and chemical changes (non-reversible).

Grade 5 Social Studies - Indigenous Peoples and Europeans Prior to 1713

Students will analyze some consequences of interactions among and between First Nations and European explorers and settlers, from the perspectives of the various groups involved, in New France prior to 1713. Grade 6 students will describe significant features of and interactions between some of the main communities in Canada prior to 1713, with a particular focus on First Nations and New France.

Grade 5 Social Studies - The Role of Government and Responsible Citizenship

Grade 5 students will assess responses of governments in Canada to some significant issues, and develop plans of action for governments and citizens to address social and environmental issues. Students will investigate Canadian social and/or environmental issues from various perspectives, including the perspective of the level (or levels) of government responsible for addressing the issues. They will demonstrate an understanding of the roles and key responsibilities of citizens and of the different levels of government in Canada.

Grade 6 Science - Biodiversity

Grade 6 students focus on the use of classification systems as ways of learning about the great diversity of species and of organizing the study of species. Students will learn how all living things including humans are connected and how this biodiversity is important for a healthy planet. Through the use of classification systems they will learn the roles of different species and how they are connected to this diverse system. Humans make choices that affect diversity and it is important to recognize different viewpoints, for instance that of a developer and that of local residences whom are concerned about the environment. By considering different viewpoints and biases students will learn to make informed decisions towards their own viewpoints.

Grade 6 Science - Electricity and Electrical Devices

Grade 6 students will develop a deeper understanding of how electricity can be used to send signals. Students will learn about a specialized area of study called electronics, and will explore devices that use tiny electric currents to switch electric circuits on and off, in order to understand how electronic systems are able to control very complicated processes automatically.

Grade 6 Science - Flight

Grade 6 students will continue to broaden their understanding of the gaseous state of matter by focusing on the properties of air. Students will learn about the properties of air that make flight possible. Flight occurs when a structure incorporates certain properties of air. They will apply their knowledge to design a flying device and test it. They will evaluate the impact of flying devices to society and the environment.

Grade 6 Science - Space

Grade 6 students will develop an understanding of earth and space and of the relationship of earth to the other bodies in the solar system. Investigations will involve extensive work with models of the different bodies to allow students to explore their size, position, and motion, as well as relationship to one another.

Grade 6 Social Studies - Canada’s Interaction with the Global Community

Grade 6 students will explain the importance of international cooperation in addressing global issues, and evaluate the effectiveness of selected actions by Canada and Canadian citizens in the international arena. They will investigate some global issues of political, social, economic, and/or environmental importance, their impact on the global community, and responses to the issues. Students will describe significant aspects of the involvement of Canada and Canadians in some regions around the world, including the impact of this involvement.

Grade 6 Social Studies - Communities in Canada, Past and Present

Grade Six students will assess contributions to the Canadian entity made by various groups and by various features of Canadian communities and regions. Students will investigate different perspectives on the historical and/or contemporary experience of two or more distinct communities in Canada. They will demonstrate an understanding of significant experiences of, and major changes and aspects of life in, various historical and contemporary communities in Canada.

Grade 7 Science - Form and Function

Grade 7 students will learn that there are many factors to consider when building a structure such as its form and purpose as well as social; economic, and environmental factors. They will study the impact that these structures have on the environment. They will learn more about the effects of forces that act on and within different structural forms. Using increasingly sophisticated techniques, students will continue to investigate how different structural forms support or withstand loads by designing, building, and testing solid (or mass) structures, shell structures and frame structures.

Grade 7 Science - Heat in the Environment

Grade 7 students will learn about the positive and negative effects of heat on the environment. They will learn about the many sources of heat and investigate its properties. Students will also be introduced to the particle theory, which explains how heat is a form of energy that can be transformed and transferred.

Grade 7 Science - Interactions in the Environment

Grade 7 students learn that ecosystems consist of communities of plants and animals that are dependent on each other as well as on the non-living parts of the environment. They will also learn that groups of ecosystems make up biomes, components of the biosphere. In investigating ecosystems, students will examine the effects of natural factors, such as climate changes, as well as the impact of technological changes on the environment.

Grade 7 Science - Pure Substances and Mixtures

Students will learn to define and differentiate between pure substances and mechanical mixtures. They will use the particle theory to explain the physical characteristics of matter in order to classify it. They will learn that most matter is either a solution or a mechanical mixture which can impact society and the environment.

Grade 7 History - British North America and New France 1713-1800

Grade 7 students will analyze aspects of the lives of various groups in Canada between 1713 and 1800, and compare them to the lives of people in present-day Canada. Using the historical inquiry process students will investigate perspectives of different groups on some significant events, developments, and/or issues related to the shift in power in colonial Canada from France to Britain. They will describe various significant events, developments, and people in Canada between 1713 and 1800, and explain their impact.

Grade 7 History - Canada, 1800-1850: Conflict and Challenges

Students must analyze aspects of the lives of various groups in Canada between 1800 and 1850, and compare them to the lives of people in Canada in 1713–1800. Students will investigate the perspectives of different groups on some significant events, developments, and/or issues that affected Canada and/or Canadians between 1800 and 1850. Grade 7 will be able to describe various significant events, developments, and people in Canada between 1800 and 1850, and explain their impact.

Grade 7 Geography - Natural Resources Around the World

Grade 7 students explore the many ways that people acquire and use natural resources, and the environmental impact of these actions. They discover how factors such as demand and accessibility determine the importance of resources. They also examine various ways in which human activity affects the sustainability of natural resources. Other items on similar subjects can be found in the same call number area.

Grade 7 Geography - Physical Patterns in a Changing World

Grade 7 students explore how physical features, climate, and vegetation interact to form patterns on the earth’s surface. They investigate the natural forms that contribute to these patterns and identify and explore relationships between natural and human systems. They also analyze and explain a variety of human responses to the physical environment.

Grade 8 Science - Cells

Grade 8 students will continue to develop their knowledge of systems in living things, focusing on the structure and function of cells in plants and animals and on the organization of cells into tissues, organs and organ systems.

Grade 8 Science - Fluids

Grade 8 students will learn about the properties of fluids by experimenting with and investigating the viscosity and density of different liquids and ways in which these properties affect objects placed in those liquids. Students will explore the implications of Archimedes’ principle by investigating and measuring the buoyant forces on different objects. They will learn about the diverse applications of the principles involved in fluid mechanics, including industrial and everyday applications.

Grade 8 Science - Systems in Action

Society depends on the use of a variety of systems to help it function smoothly. Systems whether they are human, mechanical or natural serve different needs for society. Students will develop their understanding of the efficient operation of mechanical systems by designing and building devices and systems and investigating their efficiency. Students will calculate the mechanical advantage of mechanical systems, and will learn about the overall safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of different systems.

Grade 8 Science - Water Systems

Grade 8 students will develop an understanding of the important role that water systems play in global ecosystems. In addition, students will come to understand that large bodies of water such as the Great Lakes greatly influence the climate and weather of the region in which they are located, and that both large lakes and oceans interact with the atmosphere through the water cycle. Students will become aware of the importance of fresh and salt water to the sustainability of life on earth.

Grade 8 History - Canada, 1890-1914: A Changing Society

Grade 8 students examine the social and economic factors, technological advances, and individuals and groups that promoted change in Canada between 1885 and the beginning of the First World War in 1914. They investigate the social and political challenges of increased migration and settlement, rapid industrialization, Canada’s changing role in the British Empire, and Canadian-American relations.

Grade 8 History - Creating Canada, 1850-1890

Students will be assessing the impact of some of the key social, economic, and political factors, including social, economic, and/or political inequality, on various Canadians between 1850 and 1890 as well as on the creation and expansion of the Dominion of Canada. They will investigate perspectives of different groups on some significant events, developments, and/or issues that affected Canada and/or Canadians between 1850 and 1890. Describe various significant events, developments, and people in Canada between 1850 and 1890, and explain their impact.

Grade 8 Geography - Global Inequalities

Grade 8 students will analyze some interrelationships among factors that contribute to global inequalities, with a focus on inequalities in quality of life, and assess various responses to these inequalities. They  will investigate issues related to global development and quality of life from a geographic perspective. Students will demonstrate an understanding of significant patterns in and factors affecting economic development and quality of life in different regions of the world.

Grade 8 Geography - Global Settlement: Patterns and Sustainability

Grade 8 students examine interrelationships between Earth’s physical features and processes and human settlement patterns, and some ways in which the physical environment and issues of sustainability may affect settlement in the future. Students will investigate issues related to the interrelationship between human settlement and sustainability from a geographic perspective. Students will demonstrate an understanding of significant patterns and trends related to human settlement and of ways in which human settlement affects the environment.