A Multimodal Representation

of the Ontario Curriculum

How to access Ministry Curriculum Documents?

To access the Ministry Curriculum Documents, it can be simply found at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teachers/curriculum.html

How are the Ministry Documents are organized?

Each Ministry Document is organized by subject (The Arts, Social Studies, Science & Technology, Language, Mathematics, and Physical Education). In each document, you will find overall and specific expectations that are organized into strands. For example, the expectations in the language curriculum are organized into four distinct strands:

  1. Oral Communication,
  2. Reading,
  3. Writing,
  4. Media Literacy.

In the Mathematics curriculum, the expectations are organized into five distinct strands:
  1. Number Sense and Numeration,
  2. Measurement,
  3. Geometry and Spatial Sense,
  4. Patterning and Algebra,
  5. Data Management and Probability.

In the Science and Technology curriculum, the expectations are organized into four distinct strands:

  1. Understanding Life Systems,
  2. Understanding Structure and Mechanisms
  3. Understanding Matter and Energy
  4. Understanding Earth and Space Systems

Key Vocabulary Terms


  • Broad areas of learning under a specific subject. For example, Language (subject), has four strands (broad area of learning): Reading, Writing, Oral Communication and Media Literacy. (p.8, Mathematics)

Curriculum Expectations

  • Teacher's follow the curriculum document to ensure that skills are acquired by the end of each grade. (p.10, Science and Technology)

Instructional Approaches

  • Teachers carefully determine which teaching styles to apply ensure effective teaching. (p.22, Language)

Cross-Curricular and Integrated Learning

  • Both teachers and students are able to use their skills in one subject area and apply it into two or more areas. (p.23, Language)

Overall Expectations

  • By the end of each grade, students should be able to apply appropriate expectations. For example, in the Language Curriculum document: "By the end of grade 2, students will:
  • 1. listen in order to understand and respond appropriately in a variety of situations for a variety of purposes..."(p.50, Language)

Specific Expectations

  • Detailing the overall expectations with examples.

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How are these documents made and who makes them?

The Ministry of Education created and updated the Ontario curriculum documents, and it is the school's duty to implement the expectations. Click below for further information:

How do overall expectations, fundamental concepts and specific expectations should drive lesson design?

Overall expectations are a brief description of what students should achieve by the end of each grade. Whereas, specific expectations goes into detail using the overall expectation as a starting point. It gives examples of what to look to assess if areas are met by the students. Teacher prompts are also given to help drive lesson designs. For example, by the end of grade 3 students will "1.8 express personal opinions about ideas presented in texts (e.g., identify traits they admire in the characters; comment on actions taken by characters)

Teacher prompts: Do any of the characters in this story remind you of someone you know? What do you think about the way this story ends?" (p.68, Language).

This is an example of a specific expectation, broken down into detail from the overall expectations. Open ended questions are provided to prompt teachers to help drive their lesson plan further and create purposeful lessons.

How is student learning in Ontario is assessed and evaluated?

Teachers use assessment strategies and evaluation from the Ontario Curriculum documents.

Students are assessed using "day-to-day observations and conversations/conferences, demonstrations, projects, performances, and tests" (p. 18, Mathematics).

The evaluation process is primarily concentrated on student achievement, using the overall expectations as a guide. Teachers use achievement charts as a rubric to evaluate students (p. 22-23 Language, p. 26-27 Science and Technology & p. 17). Students are evaluated on a 1-4 level scale. An example of an achievement chart is found below:

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How are teachers’ understanding of student learning is expected to be communicated?

To ensure student achievement, it is crucial for parents to communicate and get to know each student, and his/her family. Some students face challenges and by understanding these issues, will be a starting point to ensure student success.

Communication is key between the student, his/her guardian and the teacher to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Keeping an agenda is one simple way to communicate with parents along with; giving back students work provided with feedback, meetings with the parents and principal, and provincial report cards.

(p.5 Mathematics)

How do curriculum documents expect teachers to design learning experiences that are culturally responsive?

Each Ontario Curriculum document provide teachers with opportunities to implement learning experiences that are culturally responsive.

For example, in the Mathematics curriculum document (p.29) it states; "use of a variety of learning resources (e.g., visual material, simplified text, bilingual dictionaries, culturally diverse materials).

The Ontario Ministry of Education supports antidiscrimination education and ensures that all students are receiving equal opportunities to have a positive, diverse, educational experience. (p.28, Mathematics)

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Ontario Curriculum documents:

Mathematics: https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/math18curr.pdf

Science and Technology:


Language: https://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/language18currb.pdf



Ministry of Education Photo:


Curriculum books:


Two eyes and a magnifying glass looking at a book:


Language Achievement Chart:


Teacher, student cartoon image:


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