Voice of Canada by Goodman, Harding & Smith
Voices of Canada
Voices of Canada is a textbook that I would prefer to use in my Grade 5 class as it is been carefully planned to incorporate the program rationale, philosophy and foundations of the Alberta Program of Studies. For instance, The program rationale defines Social studies as a process of enabling students to develop an understanding of who they are, what they want to become and the society in which they want to live. This book does this by focusing on Identity and teaching children to reflect upon questions about their identity and culture through out the chapters. The book main focuses are on core concepts such as citizenship and Identity and teach children that individuals first must have a sense of identity before they can feel a sense of belonging in the world around them.
Additionally, each chapter starts off with an Inquiry Focus to guide children through the chapters. Questions such as "How does the ocean affect ways of life and identity in the Atlantic region" allows students to activate their prior knowledge as well as begin an inquiry while reading the chapter. Besides asking the question, the book also suggests Tips on how to start researching. For instance, it suggests that students record their questions and create a schedule.
Moreover, the book has divided its content within two general categories - one which is Living with the Land and the second one being Canada, Our Country. The first one covers all the different parts and places in Canada with the history of the people and land while the second unit focuses on events that shaped to form Canada. Each unit is then accompanied by activities such as Game building or discussion questions that help reinforce and review the concepts learned through out the unit.
Furthermore, I also noticed that the Teacher Resources was filled with creative and innovative ideas to present the material such as "Think-Pair-Share" or by doing a listening exercise (CD's included). This book also provided teachers with assessment rubrics that can be adapted to use in their classroom and had strategies for differentiated learning. It also provided support to teachers for creating a Social Studies environment. For instance, it suggests establishing areas to house maps, artifacts, models etc.
Overall, I would rate this book as Superior as it meets the Program of Studies thoroughly while providing comprehensive information that is relevant and appropriate for this age group. Hence making this book my number one choice.
Goodman, D., Harding, C., & Smith, T. (2007). Voices of canada . Toronto : Pearson Education Canada