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Draft K-6 curriculum

Key themes

Literacy, numeracy, citizenship and practical skills taught in all grades.

Overview

The draft K-6 curriculum is founded on 4 key themes that span all grades: literacy, numeracy, citizenship and practical skills.

It will equip students with foundational reading, writing, and math skills, while introducing substantive studies on Albertan, Canadian, and world history.

There is an increased focus on the development of work ethic, civic participation and citizenship, financial literacy, digital training, public speaking, critical thinking, and respect for different views.

Students will have the essential knowledge, civic virtues and outcomes to succeed in school and throughout life.

Engagement timeline

  • Open

    Feedback open until Spring 2022

  • Completed

Resources

Literacy

  • An icon of an open book to represent literacy
    Mastering reading and writing to build a foundation for learning

    Through phonics and other best practices, students will not only learn the basics of reading and writing, but also how to observe, speak and listen.

  • Literacy in draft K-6 curriculum

    Literacy lies at the heart of excellence in all school subjects.  It underscores all core competencies and necessary for civic, economic, and cultural participation.

    By mastering reading and writing, children gain the foundational skills necessary for personal excellence. The new curriculum will expect teachers to coach children to constantly improve their literacy skills.

    Literacy is primarily taught in English language arts and literature, French first language and literature, or French immersion language arts and literature classes.

    Early grades will be taught to read using proven best practices. This means that reading and writing will be taught with explicit instruction in sounding out words (phonics) and how to use proper grammar.

    A focus on quality literature will help all students to learn an appreciation of language, not just those from highly literate homes.

    In addition, literacy is woven throughout every subject and grade in the new K-6 curriculum. For example, in science class, students will learn to write clearly about their experiments.

  • Think critically and solve problems

    Students will be required to examine important questions in all school subjects and - by drawing on knowledge across subjects - research effectively, think on their feet, and communicate in well‑reasoned writing.

  • Separate fact from opinion

    Students will engage with a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction.

    In all subjects, students will learn to critically examine texts in order to separate fact from opinion as they learn to understand the natural and cultural world around them. They will learn to consider underlying truth in fiction and questionable facts in non-fiction.

    These skills will be developed across all subjects as their background knowledge grows through a common, knowledge‑rich curriculum.

  • Communicate in varied contexts

    Students will learn to respectfully and clearly communicate in writing in a variety of contexts across all subjects.

    Students will learn the importance of knowing their audience and writing within a variety of conventions, both digital and non‑digital.

    This awareness of contexts and conventions will help them be more discerning readers.

Numeracy

  • Icons with symbols for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division tor represent numeracy
    Math is necessary for daily life and can inspire curiosity

    Using tried and true methods, students will learn foundational math skills to confidently understand numbers and objects in order to solve problems.

  • Numeracy in draft K-6 curriculum

    Numeracy is a foundational building block of learning. To be numerate is to think clearly about math. Fluent thinking about numbers is necessary for everyday tasks, insights into our natural and cultural world, and mental development.

    Numeracy is explicitly taught in math class. Math includes the application of mathematics, including arithmetic, geometry, data, statistics, and probability.

    Students will be taught basic math knowledge and skills and will revisit essential math themes every year. For example, students will learn their multiplication tables. By constantly expanding students’ knowledge base, they will gain a greater appreciation and confidence with math and develop lifelong useful skills.

    Numeracy is also applied in every subject throughout the curriculum. For example, in physical education children will practise counting and comparing personal statistics to reach their personal best, and making decisions based on spatial reasoning while planning and playing sports.

  • Applying mathematical concepts

    We need numeracy for most jobs, and some jobs are almost entirely dependent on solid math skills.

    Alberta’s students need to be competitive in the emerging science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields if they are to participate in these job markets.

    A renewed prioritization of tried and true best practices as seen in leading jurisdictions will improve our students’ success in this area.

  • Understanding and applying numbers in real life decisions

    The curriculum will support students in learning that numbers and mathematical operations are used to solve problems in daily life, such as telling time, measuring distances between objects, and budgeting.

    Students will also learn to work with space and objects to help determine location and direction.

  • Making informed decisions

    Students will learn how to understand, review, and analyze numbers to produce meaningful results.

    These results will then guide how the student can make an informed decision, which they can clearly communicate.

Citizenship

  • Icon of different shapes representing diversity
    Knowledge-rich content to promote understanding of and pride in our shared history

    Inspiring civic pride and helping create knowledgeable, responsible citizens.

  • Citizenship in draft K-6 curriculum

    Drawing from history, geography, economics, civics, literature, sports, arts, and other studies, students will develop an appreciation of how generations of Albertans have sacrificed, struggled, and persevered to build one of the most generous, prosperous, free, and diverse societies in the world. By understanding our civic institutions and the history of our constitutional system, students will be equipped to be responsible citizens living in strong and healthy communities.

    Common, knowledge-rich content gives all students across the province the opportunity to become informed, critical, and creative thinkers. A broad base of age-appropriate knowledge in K-6 of Alberta, Canadian, and world history; geography; the rights and responsibilities of citizenship; our pluralist society; the institutions of our constitutional democracy; and world cultures and religions, ensures that students are set up to grow as learners and as citizens as they move through rest of the education system.

    The curriculum sets out the content of what is taught, but does not dictate how to teach. Teachers know their own abilities and their classrooms best and need to be free to use the full suite of tools in order to meet the needs of their particular students and their particular context.

  • Alberta, Canadian, and world history

    The curriculum teaches about Canada’s history so that students will know where they came from and what it took to get here. Students learn and analyze key events of Canadian history, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit history, exploration, trade and settlement, and the founding and growth of New France and the British colonies in North America.

    They will examine how fur trade rivalries, early explorations, North West Mounted Police rule, and the Treaties led to early settlement and to the transfer of Rupert’s Land to the Dominion of Canada and the birth of the province of Alberta. They will learn the different, parallel histories—and sometime military rivalry—of Canada and the United States up through Confederation and the American civil war.

    Alberta’s curriculum will teach specific content on Alberta’s Francophone history. Students will learn how Francophones contributed to Alberta’s establishment and how the Francophone community remains a vibrant and significant part of Alberta’s cultural landscape.

    Students will also explore, at an age-appropriate level, classical civilizations and the ideas that have endured over time and have contributed to our heritage, traditions and political institutions. They will analyze some of the major contributions of ancient Western and Eastern civilizations to life and society today, including the big ideas, beliefs, cultures, monuments, and works of art that have inspired generations and continue to challenge and influence us today.

  • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit history and cultures

    Students will learn about the unique histories of Indigenous peoples in Canada and Alberta and how their cultures and knowledge have shaped our province’s and our country’s history.

    Students will learn for the first time about the histories leading up to the signing of the Treaties and how the spirit of the Treaties continues to influence modern-day Alberta.

    The new curriculum will also for the first time teach students about the history and legacy of the residential schools and will support students in understanding the ongoing process and challenges of reconciliation.

  • Pluralism and multiculturalism

    A goal of education in Alberta is to help us transcend differences and unite in a peaceful, pluralist society that affirms the dignity of all people and respects different beliefs, perspectives, experiences, and cultural and religious traditions.

    The curriculum will give students a clear understanding of the multicultural history of Alberta. Students will learn specific knowledge about the immigration experiences and contributions to Alberta made by Albertans of Chinese, Indian, Eastern European, and other diverse backgrounds.

    Because much prejudice stems from ignorance, students will learn about world religions like Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. They will also learn about how different communities can work together, such as the story of the first mosque in western Canada, which was built with mutual support across religious lines.

    All Alberta students will be taught specific knowledge about Black history in Canada. All students will learn about the history of slaves in New France, the Underground Railroad, and the challenges faced by newcomers to Alberta and Canada.

    Students will learn about the different waves of Black settlement in Alberta and many of the formative contributions of Black Albertans to our history. This includes learning about the settlers who founded communities, like Amber Valley, Wildwood, Breton, and Campsie; legendary rancher John Ware; and pioneers like Jefferson Davis Edwards and Agnes Leffler Perry.

  • Civic literacy

    An important part of preparing students to be future citizens and leaders of our province and our country is teaching them the history of our political system and institutions.

    Students will learn the origins and features of the Westminster democratic system of constitutional monarchy, responsible government, and the rule of law.

    Students will also learn and compare Canada’s system of government with others, including Indigenous traditions and different governments around the world.

    Students will learn the rights and duties of citizenship, a respect for different viewpoints, and the importance of free speech for advocacy and debate; and they will develop the wisdom and character to be informed, thoughtful, and responsible citizens.

  • Economics

    Knowledge of basic economic concepts, such as needs, wants, resources, labour, innovation, trade, and capital, will build toward an understanding of economic systems.

    Students will study basic economic concepts such as markets, scarcity, and consumers.

    They will compare the relative economic strength of the United States and Canada and examine where North America fits in the world economy, and how Alberta’s economy has changed, diversified, and developed over time.

  • Geography

    Understanding the world we live in, and the relationship of people and places, is supported by knowing features of the natural and political world, such as oceans, mountain ranges, and boundaries.

    Beginning in kindergarten, students will explore maps and globes to identify where we live and how we find our way around.

    Students will learn about migration and settlement of ancient civilizations; and they will describe ways that ideas, beliefs, religion, and cultural practices spread back and forth between different parts of the world.

    They will also examine people, places, locations, and boundaries specifically related to Alberta and western Canada over time.

Practical skills

  • Icon of puzzle pieces to represent practical skills
    Preparing students for success in the real world

    From basic financial literacy to computer coding to understanding consent in relationships, students will learn a range of practical skills for real world success.

  • Practical skills in draft K-6 curriculum

    Students will be equipped with tangible skills that will serve them in their personal lives and careers.

    The new curriculum teaches students about responsible financial choices, economics, computer science, communication, and personal safety, including consent in relationships.

    They will learn real-world skills such as banking, budgeting, and investing as well as the importance of nutrition and physical activity for a healthy lifestyle.

  • Financial literacy

    Students will learn how money works. The curriculum will teach students how to earn, save, invest, spend, and borrow money.

    For the first time, financial literacy will be woven throughout the curriculum, and specifically taught in mathematics and social studies.

    Students will learn, in age appropriate ways, that money has value and allows them to purchase things they need or want.

    The curriculum will teach basic economic concepts, such as needs and wants, resources, labour, innovation, trade, and capital.

    These ideas will build towards an understanding of global economic systems. Students will learn about Alberta and Canada’s economy, past and present, and how North America fits into the world.

  • Computer science

    The new curriculum will teach computer science and problem-solving that includes coding and algorithms.

    They will use algorithms, technology, and engineering to design solutions for problems.

    Students will learn how computers, coding, and technology have impacted our modern society.

  • Public speaking

    Students will learn how public speaking enables them to be effective communicators.

    They will practise controlling their voice, making eye contact, and choosing vocabulary to help them get their message across.

  • Consent

    Consent will be taught as an essential part of the health and wellness curriculum.

    In the early years, students will learn that personal boundaries can be communicated through words and actions, and that consent is established by clearly communicating refusal and permission.

    Later on, students will learn more directly that sexual activity should never be forced or make individuals feel uncomfortable, and sexual activity without consent is sexual assault and is never okay.

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K-6 curriculum.

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