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Grade 3

Social Studies

How to Use These Resources

TVO Learn is designed to meet each student where they are on their learning journey. Learning Activities are comprehensive and require guided instruction from an adult, while Resources for Learning, Apply the Learning prompts and Vocabulary lists work well to reinforce specific skills or to enable independent exploration of a subject. Use these helpful tips to get the most from TVO Learn.

Curriculum Overview

In Grade 3 Social Studies, students are introduced to some of the diverse communities which existed in Canada between approximately 1780 and 1850. Students will explore what life was like for different groups of people during that time period and will compare the lives of these people to those of present-day Canadians. They will use primary sources such as journals, letters, maps, and paintings to investigate how people in early Canada responded to challenges in their lives. Students will explore the relationship between the natural environment, land use, and employment opportunities, and how different uses of land and resources affect the environment.  

Through social studies, students are provided with opportunities to explore various topics that will enable them to develop an understanding of the connections within and between diverse communities, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities as well as students’ own communities. They will develop an understanding of personal, cultural, and national identities and of various contributions to Canada. They will also look at the impact of colonialism and the rights and responsibilities associated with citizenship. 

The social studies curriculum is divided into two strands:

  • Heritage and Identity: Communities in Canada, 1780–1850

  • People and Environment: Living and Working in Ontario

Interested in learning more? View Curriculum PDF
For French resources, please visit idello.org

Learning Activities

Learning Activities provide opportunity for deeper exploration of a subject. Organized by grade and topic (or strand), students should be guided through each Learning Activity by an adult. Before clicking on a topic to prepare for or begin this guided instruction, be sure to read these helpful tips about how to get the most out of TVO Learn.

Please note: To access the learning activities, visit this page with a computer or tablet.

Resources for Learning

Chosen by TVO educators, these resources support the curriculum outlined above. Review the below list of options along with the activities. Then, read, watch, listen or play to build understanding and knowledge.

Complete the suggested activities using these resources and other TVO resources.

Apply the Learning

Choose from the following to consolidate learning across all curriculum strands.

  • Create your own definitions for 20 of the words in the vocabulary list.
  • What impact do human activities and different land uses have on the environment? Moving forward, how can we ensure we reduce their impact?
  • What would you say are the main differences between your day-to-day life and the life of a child living in Upper Canada in 1800?
  • What challenges did settlers face living far from towns? What challenges did people face living in developing towns? What are some of the ways in which people responded to challenges related to the climate of their community?
  • What types of things could newcomers have learned from the people who were already living in the area where the newcomers were settling?
  • During the same time period, how did First Nations and settlers view childhood? Have these views changed to today? and if so, how? Explain.
  • In what ways are our lives similar to and different from the lives of people in the past?
  • How do physical features influence the ways in which land is used? How does the way land is used influence local communities and local jobs?
  • Why are some jobs dependent on the seasons? What are some of the jobs that are connected to forests, lakes, and rivers? What sorts of jobs are connected to agricultural land use?
  • If we went on a walk around our neighbourhood, what types of land use would we see? What types of needs do they meet?


Review this list of vocabulary associated with the curriculum. Practice spelling, research definitions, and find these vocabulary words when engaging with the TVO resources or completing learning activities.

Students should understand and be able to apply these words in context.





daily life 










beliefs and values 

digital map 


environmental stewardship 


land use 


natural environment 

physical regions 


print map 




Looking for a Different Subject?

Choose from the options below to explore a different grade 3 subject.