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Grade 5

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 5 social studies, students will learn about the key characteristics of various Indigenous nations and European settler communities prior to 1713, in what would eventually become Canada. Using resources such as treaties, historical images, and diaries they will investigate, from a variety of perspectives, relationships within and interactions between these communities as well as the impact of colonialism. Students will also develop their understanding of how historical events during this time have had an impact on present-day Canada and continue to do so.

Students will explore the responsibilities of Canadian citizens and levels of government as well as develop an understanding of personal, cultural, and national identities and how they contribute to Canadian heritage. They will continue to develop their ability to examine current issues from various perspectives by investigating a Canadian social and/or environmental issue from the point of view of a variety of stakeholders and they will develop plans of action to address these issues.

The social studies curriculum is divided into two strands:

  • Heritage and Identity: Interactions of Indigenous Peoples and Europeans prior to 1713, in What Would Eventually Become Canada
  • People and Environment: The Role of Government and Responsible Citizenship

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.
  • In making contact with European explorers and settlers, what were some of the major short- and long-term consequences for the First Nation peoples?
  • When and how should members of the community come together to make change? Why is it important for this to be done in a collaborative way? How could you become more active in your community in order to make a difference?
  • Why is it important to understand that people have different perspectives? Why is it important to consider the perspectives of all stakeholders when trying to solve problems?
  • Why do we need a government? Why are there different levels of government? What services should governments be responsible for? Give some examples of the role the government plays in the lives of Canadians.
  • What programs are in place in your community to reduce the amount of garbage going to landfill? How might you improve these programs?
  • Do some research in order to find a few of the national and provincial parks and regional conservation authorities in Canada? What do you think is the purpose of these parks and conservation areas?
  • Investigate organisms found in a specific habitat and classify them according to a classification system. Use safety procedures when outdoors doing field work, for example stay with a partner and wash your hands after exploring a habitat.
  • Why might farmers, land developers, residents, and environmentalists all have different perspectives about development on the Oak Ridges Moraine or Niagara Escarpment?
  • What information could you include on a map on the potential impact of climate change to show that the issue involves all levels of government as well as people in different regions?
  • What costs and benefits should be considered when deciding whether to develop a public transit system? Why might the costs and benefits differ for different groups? What level or levels of government would have a say on this issue?


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.






historical events 

historical images 


Indigenous nations  

European settler communities 










decision making 

environmental issue 

government issue 

graphing skills  

levels of government  





social issue  



Looking for a Different Subject?

Choose from the options below to explore a different grade 5 subject.