Canada is the world’s second largest country in area. It borders three oceans and extends across six time zones. Canada is not only geographically large –- it is also incredibly diverse. The size and variety of Canada’s geographic landscape, and the response of the diverse peoples who have inhabited it, have played a significant role in shaping Canadian identity(ies).
The physical processes which literally shaped, and continue to shape, present-day Canada are examined in this unit. (Note: Science 7 will have provided students with a solid foundation for this study.) The resulting “stage” on which Canada’s history has played out is explored through an examination of the diverse physiographic regions of the country. The high mountains of British Columbia, the prairie fields of Saskatchewan, the frozen tundra of Nunavut, and the craggy shores of Newfoundland and Labrador have all contributed to shaping Canadian identity and identities.
The regional reality of geography is explored and students will have the opportunity to discuss the issues that regionalization can raise within a nation. The concept of migration, introduced in Social Studies 7, is addressed further here. Finally, to gain another perspective on the uniqueness of the response of the peoples of Canada to its physical geography, students will undertake a comparative study of Canada and another nation with geographic similarities.