Category Archives: socials studies

Go Green or nahh

Throughout the last week in socials we looked at some advertising videos from the different parties running in the upcoming national election. We then each researched one of the four parties: Green, NDP, Liberal, and Conservative within our quads to gain a better understanding of the parties’ views and goals. From the information I have gathered and read through as well as all the campaign videos I have watched, I have to say that I am routing for the NDP. Now, personally I don’t 100% agree with any party, but in my opinion NDP should win the election.

The Green party is just asking for people to change their lifestyles too much and I just don’t think it will work out. Also, they have great aspirations, but people aren’t going to start walking to work when driving is clearly more convenient. I agree with the fact that when driving we are polluting the air around us, but it is just not realistic for people to stop driving around. The Green party thinks that when they win the election they will put small business first. Yes, I agree that small businesses contribute greatly to the economy, but putting all the focus on them can start to put larger business out of business. Also, if people don’t put small businesses first, the Green party will simply fail.

The Conservatives just haven’t really delivered what they say they will. They are kind of like Tim Hortons, when we asked for them to lead like an everything bagel lightly toasted with butter they decided to be a burnt plain white bagel with lots of creme cheese.

Liberals I don’t really know what to say except I wouldn’t vote for them if I was legal age to vote. The provincial liberal party has left a sour taste in my mouth. The way they treated the teachers was unfair and disrespectful. I understand that this was a provincial issue, but in the end liberal is liberal.

Now for the NDP, I agree with more of their points then the points of any other party. Childcare should be more affordable for all families. During the teacher strike especially (caused by the provincial liberal party and Christy Clark) I noticed a lot of teachers were having troubles finding child care for their children and would have to bring them to the picket lines to strike with them. If the NDP wins, making childcare affordable for all families will not only help the many lower income families out their, but also help with their goal to strengthen the middle class.

amira brar

Are we really learning, or just knowing…

During our last few Social Studies classes, we have spent a lot of time discussing our report card marks. I am fully aware we already had a class discussion regarding the marks, but prior to that, we also had a class discussion about “influential people” and how everyone is different. So, a question that comes to my mind is, if everyone is really different, then why are we all marked based on the same criteria?  I realized that it would be a pain for teachers to have to come up with a marking criteria for every individual student. However, I also know that when I signed up for the TALONS program a couple years back as well as through continuous re-evaluation during reporting periods, I have an IEP (Individualized Learning Plan). Well, if I’m allowed to have my own learning plan, why can’t I have my own marking plan as well? That’s why we are in TALONS, because we think differently and essentially we are all different. I am extremely busy, I play a lot of sports both in and out of school. After playing multiple games, I also need some down time to to relax (although this rarely happens), but, of course I always have homework. Exceeding expectations is something I could definitely do, IF I had the time. I mean after playing two games and having a practice, not to mention, travelling to 3 different cities to do so, I’m probably not about to go ham on a blog post. Although I am very serious about doing well in my academics, athletics and community involvement are very important to me as well. I believe that successfully balancing the multiple facets of school life will benefit me most.  Learning to deal with hardships and problems will benefit me extremely for life long learning and I believe that I am doing my best considering that I have not given up all that I enjoy and I am still doing well in school. Needless to say, the fact that I have to listen to people complain about their marks for an entire class, when I could actually be learning, is valuable time wasted. I don’t understand what the big deal is if someone’s grade went from a 90% last term to 86% now, it’s still an A. Go for a run tomorrow, read a book, do something that makes you happy and lighten up a bit, you’re in grade 9 or 10. Harvard isn’t about to give you a scholarship solely based on your grade 9 and 10 marks, so chill. Everyone needs to know that yes we all signed up for TALONS, but maybe we thought it was going to be different. Suck it up, finish what you started. You can’t show up to a game, start losing 3-0 and just give up and stop trying. Take the Calgary Flames, for example, did they just give up? No, they gave the Vancouver Canucks a run for their money and won the series. Finish this program in the way you want to finish it, but just know that whenever you lose, you always win – there is always something to gain from the experience.

Now that I’ve done my ranting on my own time, here is my document of learning:

We have officially passed the halfway mark of the semester and have been discussing PLO B2 “evaluate the impact of interactions between Aboriginal peoples and European explorers and settlers in Canada from 1815 to 1914.”

I feel like this was a very emotional topic to discuss as it involved a lot of controversy and discrimination. During one of our classes we read a booklet about the Residential schools that were put into place in Canada, and it’s such a gross thing to think about. Children were ripped away from their families just so people in power could further strive by taking away their religion and beliefs as well? When we discussed this topic in class a lot of people seemed surprised at the damage that had been done to many innocent people who attended these schools. I have to say, when I learned about Aboriginal peoples throughout elementary school and middle school we always studied their culture, art, and everything they had that made them happy. I now realize, high school is not only a big jump school wise, it’s also a big jump academically, socially and emotionally. Who knew there were so many negative impacts that Canadians had on Aboriginal peoples? We made little blankets out of felt and buttons in grade 5, now here we are in grade 10 discussing the deaths and tragedies many had to go through until 1996!!! That’s only 19 years ago, some of my peers’ siblings were born before that! It’s honestly such a terrible thing, and to think that it happened in Canada, a “free” country… it doesn’t seem so free when you hear about what has happened, but “who cares” because that was in the past? Well, most people seem to forgive and forget, but do we ever really forget? Many people were scared for their life, or ended their lives because they could no longer handle the selfish, cruel, discriminatory actions of the government. This PLO (B2) is not one that you can ever really stop learning about, as we discussed in class, there was little or no evidence on the people and protocols of the Residential schools, so the researching will never really end.

Although, residential schools no longer exist, I see many similarities in today’s schools.  The hierarchy is still here, although in a different form. I believe there are ‘groups’ of students when feel like they have more popularity and power than others. People think when they have numbers, they have power. Power to cut into lines, power to block the hallways with their “squads”, and the power to influence others to follow their beliefs or to shame others into believing they are too ‘different’. The same thing that happened to thousands of people in a huge manor, most likely happens to a person every now and then in the hallways of our schools. It’s very unfortunate that many people end their lives because they are being bullied or don’t feel right being who they are. These children who ended up in the residential schools did the same thing, they could no longer handle the pressure  of being bullied because what they believed in wasn’t the “right” thing to believe in, so some of them just left everything. Although there are many measures in place today to reduce bullying and help those who are victimized from it, it still exists.  It may not be in the same direct form as residential schools, but social media has given it new roots and it may be more prevalent than we know.

I have many questions regarding this PLO B2, and I bet my classmates have many as well. Here are some of the questions that really cause me to wonder:

Were the students that were forced to go to Residential schools mentally impacted once they graduated and got back to reality?

Were the students allowed to return to their families again?

Did any of the students ever go back to following their own religion with they got out?

Is this same thing still happening today?

I think these questions are all very good questions, but the one that I really would like to know is if similar things are happening today that are like what happened to the innocent Aboriginal people.

While discussing this PLO in class, we also covered other PLO’s such as B1, C4, and A1-3. A 1-3 are PLO’s that I think will be applied almost everyday in class, but I believe that B1 and C4 have to relate with the government’s role in all of this nonsense and how daily lives of not only the students forced to go to these schools, but also their families who must’ve suffered great losses.

Throughout this half of the semester, I hope to increase my knowledge and skills sets in all the Grade 10 Social Studies PLO’s.

amira brar



John O’Neill – Final Address

Final Address:

I never failed… I just always lost. I didn’t care about what was going to happen to Canada, I just wanted Britain to withdraw from Ireland. I lived in poverty and misery as a young child. Spent most of my days and nights eating potatoes because that’s all we could afford. I didn’t want my children to experience the same childhood, which is why I joined the Fenian Brotherhood. We raided multiple times into Canada from our US bases in hopes of putting pressure on the British, but we never succeeded. All we wanted was for Ireland to be a free country and for the British to leave us alone. I mean was that really too much to ask for? I’m really disappointed right now, it seems as if we helped get the British out of Canada rather than get the British out of Ireland. How does that work? No, its okay, we didn’t go down without a fight and that’s all that really matters, I think. My time may have not been now and it may as well never come, but one wish I have before I die is that Ireland will become a free country, be free of British rule, and be free of misery. We never failed, we just always lost.

Check out the video I recorded of my final address here!

-John O’Neill (Blog Post 1 & Blog Post 2)

I worked hard for my country to be free, risked my life many times to try and free Ireland from British rule, but I always lost. It really disappoints me that the British are still in Ireland. All I hope is that one day Ireland can be a free country!





YO it is my midterm

hi everybody! this is my social studies midterm assignment. hope you really like it!

PLO Evidence/Activity How does it reflect your proficiency with PLO?
A1 – apply critical thinking ·      Blog Posts·      Eminent Person·      Daily Conversation I applied the skill of critical thinking throughout my blog posts, eminent person study, and daily conversations regarding social issues. In my blog posts I summarized the events my character went through while defending his position. I particularly like the way I began and ended my address, mentioning how the rebels never failed, they just always lost. My blog posts also included critical thinking as demonstrated during  the posts about my character’s points of view.
A2 – demonstrate effective research skills ·      Blog Posts·      Final Address·      Role Play·      Eminent

·      Eminent Blogs

I demonstrated effective research skills throughout my both my eminent and confederation blog posts, my final address, and my eminent person study. My blog posts contained information from reliable sources (according to the CRAAP test) and was portrayed in my own words. My final address was essentially a summary of the research for my character. I believe the clear and concise nature of my blog posts and final address demonstrates effective research skills because I had to find the information, sort through it and summarize the main ideas in my own words without leaving out important information. Finding reliable sources can be very time consuming and this was especially the case for my eminent person study. Although there were many articles on my eminent person (Hayley Wickenheiser), less then half of them passed the CRAAP test. I believe that by utilizing the CRAAP test to eliminate unreliable resources and once again filtering through this large amount of information to write an interesting and informative time limited speech demonstrates effective research skills.
C1 – describe the evolution of responsible government in Canada in terms of government structure and key contributing events – Classroom discussions & debates- Research for blog posts- CRAAP testing I believe that I had success with prescribed learning outcome C1 through our classroom/quad discussions, researching for blog posts, and CRAAP testing. During classroom discussions, especially quad/group discussions, I learned a lot about the rebellions of 1837-38. I learned about the causes and consequences of these rebellions through other characters’ debates.  For example, when Nadia and Crystal’s characters had their role play improv on their raids in upper and lower Canada. Through their conversation I gathered more knowledge on their characters views and goals of the Confederation. Furthermore, having conversations with my classmates about their opinions on these rebellions also contributed to my learning. For example, when I was preparing my debate with “the Queen” we discussed her POV’s on the rebellions as well as her overall opinions on the whole confederation. From small conversations like the one with Sara, I learned a lot of smaller details and opinions on the Confederation that really helped me see the bigger picture and how all the pieces fit together.We also had a class discussion and small class brainstorm on the Durham report earlier in our Confederation unit from which I learned as well.  I enjoy the  topic of this PLO and found it quite interesting as it helps me understand historical events that  led to the development of Canada’s government!
B4 – Describe the factors that contributed to a changing national identity from 1815 to 1914 Needs improvement Throughout this first term in socials I don’t think we quite touched on this topic. Although we may have talked about the Durham report, we did not quite speak much of the Boer War, Naval Act, or Alaskan Dispute just to name a few. I think this may have been due to the fact that we focused mainly on the Confederation of Canada, but I still wish we talked a bit more about immigration influencing Canada’s identity. I assume we will go more in-depth with these topics as we continue with our social studies throughout the second half of the semester.
B3 – evaluate the influence of immigration on Canadian society from 1815 to 1914 Needs improvement I believe that our class has not yet touched the topics in this prescribed learning outcome this term. Although, through my character John O’Neill I read some information about the Irish potato famine, the articles I found about  the famine didn’t quite end up passing the CRAAP test, so I’m not quite sure if what I read was reliable! We also didn’t learn about some of the significant events such as the Great Migration or Chinese Head Tax that lead to trends affecting immigration to Canada from 1815 to 1914. This may have been because our main focuses in socials thus far have been eminent, confederation, and empires; however, I am hoping we will get to learn more about these topics as well as the underground railroad, European farmers, Sikh loggers, and Chinese railway workers in the next term!
C2 – analyze political, economic, social, and geographical factors that led to Confederation and to the development of Canada’s provinces and territories Needs improvement This prescribed learning outcome covered quite a bit of topics and events that led to Confederation. Although I think we did cover some of the topics and events, I feel that some of the characters didn’t quite get the chance to talk much about the events they were involved in which led to Confederation. Some examples of these events are the Fenian raids and the Klondike gold rush. My character for the role-play was Fenian Brotherhood member and rebel John O’Neill. I did get the chance to be a part of the debate role-play, but my debate was very short with “the queen” and it didn’t really cover much about my raids. In my opinion the raids were a large part of the Confederation and not just the raids of 1837-38, but also the raids by the Fenian rebels!

Another area that I believe I both succeed and could use some improvement on would have to be time management! I have worked really hard between juggling sports and school, but my schedule only seems to be getting busier! I try to make sure I am working on homework any opportunity I get which could mean in between soccer and field hockey games or on my way to ice hockey practice. Although, it has been difficult and I think I have done well,  I believe I should have contributed more with my social media presence throughout our confederation role play. I used twitter a little bit, but not as much as I could have. I’m not a huge fan of twitter which is why I think I alway procrastinating with the tweeting. I  did not make it my priority to be on twitter and have twitter wars with my classmates, and I know this is something I could have put more effort into. Also, I would have liked to add more detail in my blog posts. I believe I met the criteria in each one of my blog posts, however I now realize I should have added in the extra details and explanations. While writing, I should have asked myself questions such as, “So, what?”, “Why does this matter?” and “Who cares?”  Answering these types of questions helps me add in essential details when explaining or writing. It is not that I didn’t realize the detail was lacking in my blog posts, it more likely had to do with me being especially busy during eminent and perhaps letting my time management skills sit on the back burner.  This is one of my goals for the second half of this semester, to add more detail and explanation to blog posts as well as have a much stronger online presence with social media, particularly on twitter.

Here’s some evidence of my learning:

My Final Address Video:

John O’Neill’s Final Address -research, summarizing, critical thinking, questioning, contributing events to Confederation

Blog Post 1 -research/critical thinking

Blog Post 2 -research/critical thinking

Where have we been? Where are we going? – critical thinking

CRAAP Tested Links -research/CRAAP test

Eminent Speech -research/critical thinking

thank you!

amira brar

#TalonsConfed – Rebel Squad 1866

Hello, it’s your fenian raid leader John O’Neill here! We are raiding Western Canada in a couple of days and I’m really excited!

I want the British presence in Ireland to be expelled which is why I have joined the Fenian Brotherhood. We are a group of Irish men who don’t like the British. Our plan as of right now is to raid Fort Erie on May 31st. We will accomplish this raid and be successful by crossing the Niagra River in order to sneak to Fort Erie. I believe that we can capture Fort Erie and defeat the Canadian forces. I mean, many of us are veterans of the American Civil War, so there’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t have success. Once we create a diversionary attack at Fort Erie, from Buffalo, NY, then we can draw troops away from the Welland Canal system and strike there. This will be successful, because I’m a rebel and it’s what I do.

Our attack lasted 3 days and we unfortunately had to surrender to the American Navy. Five days after we started our invasion, the U.S. president Andrew Johnson guaranteed that the Fenian invasions wouldn’t continue. We are Rebels, we don’t listen, we do what we want. Of course we are going to raid again, and this time we will raid Pigeon Hill in East Canada since we clearly couldn’t raid West Canada. This time we will have success, I promise.

Yours rebelling,

John O’Neill


Hi, my name is John O’Niell. I was born six years ago today; March 8th in Drumgallon, Country Monaghan in Ireland. I have received some schooling so far, but I doubt I’ll get much more. I’m young and don’t have much to say at the moment so I’ll try my best to interest you about what I think my future is going to be like.
I’m going to eat a potato right now, I’m pretty sure Ireland eats almost seven million tons of potatoes a year. I’m a pretty healthier and nourished person I think. Anyways, I hope to one day be a very successful man, but who knows what the future will hold for me? Will I be a in the military serving for me country? Will I be living in the United States of America? Will I ever get married? Have kids? What if I become a rebel? Or a criminal? Nahh, that’d never happen.. I am hungry again, so I think I’m going to eat another potato, so I guess I will write to you soon. Good day.

John O’neill
(age 6)

everyone has to have a different title for this assignment

Where have we been?

I mean we have been wherever we have been. I’ve been to Vancouver & Maui. You may have been riding a bike. I’ve been tubing, you’ve been skiing. We’ve literally been wherever we go or wherever we want to go. We all start at the bottom, with nothing and it is discoveries that take up to the top of a mountain or the top of a government. But, how do we really know where we have been? I guess you could interpret this question in many different ways. for example, you could say where humanity has been or where Canada has been, but that’s all typical socials criteria. So, let’s talk about where Technology has been and most importantly, Social Media. You could technically say social media is basically “social studies”, but I think there’s more to social media than just sending tweets, watching countless hours of youtube or commenting on a blog. Social media started off as a place to connect with others, but now it has become what many people rely on everyday to do their jobs or complete school assignments. I remember when I was in elementary school and everything was written with a pencil on paper. Now, elementary students have their own blogs with all their assignments posted on them. High school students used to complain about hand cramps after having to write out pages and pages of notes, but now they are allowed to use their computer to type out the notes and if anythings missed, there’s always google to find answers. I remember having a GameBoy when I was in grade three, nowadays 7 year olds have cellphones, laptops, iPads, etc. It’s crazy that how as time goes on, new discoveries are still being made. Who knows, we may have been driving BMW’s to get to work, but who knows what we will be doing in the future.

Where are we going?

I can’t really say because I an unable to predict the future. It looks promising, although I feel family reunions will just become four-way Skype calls. I mean, I can assume this, but who really knows where we are going? We could lose electricity all over the world and we may be using birds to send envelopes to our cousins. Honestly, I don’t know how to answer this question, but I can say that no matter how hard we try to savour the moment, we are constantly seeing the future happen right before our eyes.


amira brar