Grade 5 Social Studies Interactions of Indigenous Peoples and Europeans


Explore grade 5 social studies with this inquiry-based unit redesigned for the 2018 Ontario Revised Curriculum. Covering Indigenous communities and early European explorers, this unit offers flexibility, detailed lesson plans, and student-centered activities. Engage students in learning about Eastern Cree, Inuit, Algonquin, Haudenosaunee, and more, as they analyze the impact of early interactions. Perfect for meeting curriculum expectations and sparking interest in this important topic.


This product is completely redesigned for the Ontario Grade 5 Social Studies Curriculum. This replaces First Nations and Early European Explorers. This inquiry based unit will allow your students more flexibility and choice in their learning to cover learning expectations and spark an interest in this topic.


This unit is designed to help you easily get through all of the content in this unit in 8-10 weeks while also providing students with the ability to dive deep into important issues. They will gain a fuller understanding of the various Indigenous communities in what would eventually become Canada.


Also included are detailed teacher notes and lesson plans that will help you easily navigate these new grade 5 social studies expectations in an easy and manageable way.


Indigenous Communities Include

  • Eastern Cree
  • Inuit
  • Algonquin
  • Abinaki
  • Huron-Wendat
  • Haudenosaunee
  • Innu
  • Mi’Kmaq
  • Ojibwa
  • Beothuk
  • Also discussed is the enthnogeneis of the Metis at the end of this time period in the great lakes region.


Grade 5 Social Studies Student Learning Goals

In this unit, students will engage in inquiry-based instructional activities. They will have numerous opportunities to follow multiple lines of inquiry throughout this unit.

  1. Students will learn about 10 Indigenous groups of people in Central, North, and Eastern Canada and their life prior to contact.
  2. Students will research the interactions between within and between Indigenous groups as well as interactions with Europeans prior to 1713
  3. Students will look at the benefits and consequences of contact between Indigenous peoples and Europeans.


Grade 5 Social Studies Activities Include

  1. Reading and interpreting a map of Indigenous communities
  2. Comparing different Indigenous groups (social organization, food sources, government and organization, beliefs and  alliances and conflicts)
  3. Learning about main European Explorers that came to Canada
  4. Contrasting European settlement with traditional life of Indegenous peoples
  5. Constructing a historical timeline of events
  6. Analyzing and Evaluating the impact contact had on all groups


Student Research

To support student research there are a variety of materials that will support students to help them understand more about this topic.

⭐Guided/Shared detailed research article on Haudenosaunee

⭐Task cards to provide a place to start research which will help to guide research

⭐Extensive collection of currated links organized by topic to guide students to conduct independent research. Links are contained in a private livebinder resources exclusive to this unit and continually updated.


Check out the BUNDLE here!


What others are saying:

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⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”This resource was a life saver. I was really struggling with how to get started on this unit and this pack helped us get started in a meaningful way.”


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Meets the 2023 Curriculum Requirements!!


Want to know more about inquiry-based learning? Check out these video episodes!


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grade 5 social studies

Grade 5 Social Studies Interactions of Indigenous Peoples and Europeans