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Social Studies 9 - Course Outline

Course: Social Studies 9

Teacher: Sean Desrochers
Email: sean.desrochers@lethsd.ab.ca
Twitter: @Mr_Desrochers
Class Website: mrdesrochers.weebly.com


One brain
Two ears
An open/fair mind
Your voice

One 3 Ring Binder

Standard letter size lined paper
Refillable Water bottle (optional but

Rationale/Course Overview:
Alberta Education:
Grade 9 students will analyze the relationship between Canadas political and legislative
processes and their impact on issues pertaining to governance, rights, citizenship and
identity. Students will also explore issues of economics and their impact on quality of life,
citizenship and identity in Canada and the United States.

Politician in Training Program:

Congratulations! You have been chosen to participate in the Canadian Federal
Governments Politician in Training Program.
Over the course this semester you will be prepared to run as Member of Parliament for
your school. You will learn about how the Canadian federal government operates, and how the
decisions you make will affect the people you represent (constituents). This will require you to
think critically, develop reasoned opinions on issues that are important to Canadian citizenship
and identity.
The reasoned opinions you develop through your assignments will become part of your
political platform, and then you will form political parties with other students who share your
reasoned beliefs and values. By the end of the semester each political party will choose a leader
and compete to win the greatest amount of seats in the St Francis House of Commons. In this
election there will be prizes.

Course Components/Topics:

Federal Political System

Criminal Justice System
Individual Rights
Collective Rights
Economic Systems
Political and Economic Decision Making

Social Studies 9 - Course Outline

Critical Thinking:
Up to this point in your education, you have probably experienced a lot of instruction that
requires you to memorize material and repeat it back to your teacher. This is useful, but only up to
a point, and will not help you at all when it comes down to making any meaningful decision. Now,
we are going to focus on developing critical thinking skills. These tools allow you to examine
issues, and use inquiry processes to develop a much deeper understanding of the topics we will
cover. Using intellectual standards you will be able to create reasoned opinions on issues. And
your assignments will be assessed (graded) according to these same standards. Critical thinking
requires a willingness to step outside of the box, and be creative. Most importantly you must be
willing to try an idea out and be wrong, and to adjust your thinking to include new information.
Just like when you are learning a

Website: Blog and Current Events:

Politicians need to keep up to date with what is happening in the news, think critically
about current events and be able to provide reasoned opinions on what is happening. To better
communicate with potential voters you are going to start keeping a blog, where you will analyze
current events, and where you can post editorials on important issues. Frequently you will be
required to share your opinion on topics we cover, and to comment on the opinions of other
students. Only a portion of the blog posts and current events will be graded; you will be asked to
submit the best samples of your writing for assessment.

Your grade for this course will consist of three components in addition to the Provincial
Achievement Test for Social Studies.
The majority of your grade will come from assignments that we complete in class. The
formative assignments you work on class by class will provide you with the building blocks to
make summative unit projects. The summative unit projects will provide you with the building
blocks to create your year project a personal political portfolio. All assignments will be posted to
your blog. The second part of your mark will come from both opinion blog posts, and current
events blog posts. You will choose the best samples of your writing to be graded. Finally, you will
write a multiple-choice exam for each unit.
Tentative Weighting (subject to change)
Final Exam
- Provincial Achievement Exam (MC)
- In Class Written Exam (Position Paper)
Year Work
- Unit Projects
- Final Project
- Current Events Blog
- Editorials Blog
- Unit Tests


Notes on Exams/Assignments:
All Major Assignments must be completed in order to receive a grade in this course.
Assignments are due as completed and there will be no penalty assessed for late submissions.
However, because the assignments build on each other it will be difficult to complete projects
without having done the prerequisite formative assignments. Failure to complete assignments in a
timely manner may require that you complete an alternate assignment in the form of written or
oral response.

Social Studies 9 - Course Outline

Classroom Rules and Expectations:

Talking is not only allowed, but also encouraged! Social studies will often involve
discussion and debate, both impromptu and organized.
However, in order to be successful in this class you must come prepared, this is
especially true of the flipped lessons, which must be watched before class. Behaviour in my
classroom will be centered on fairness and respect. This means you will be fair and respectful to
yourselves, your fellow students, school staff, and to the building itself. This includes but is not
limited to respectful language, arriving prepared for class, effective use of class time, responsible
group work.
Plagiarism Policy:
Please see student handbook. This policy will be in strict enforcement.
Personal Device Policy:
Phones, tablets, laptops and other devices that can be used to enhance the learning
environment, are permitted and encouraged, though not required. However, devices must be
used in an appropriate and respectful manner, and at the teachers discretion.
A Note to Parents:
Please indicate below that your daughter/son has reviewed this course outline with you. I
encourage open lines of communication, and your active participation in your son/daughters
success. Please, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns. My
contact information is at the top of this document.