Social Studies 8

Course Outline

Young people often don’t understand why they need to study the past. By understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of past events, learners will recognize the importance of understanding the past to act responsibly for the present and future. Learners will engage with the history of Canada from 1920-1999 and consider advocacy in relation to the history of Canada.

Social Studies helps learners to consider perspectives, think critically, and enables them to participate in society as well-informed, engaged citizens. This course will focus on the disciplines of Civics, Economics, Geography, and History to engage learners in understanding their place in the world. Learners should use evidence-based reasoning to support their questions and claims throughout the course.

An inquiry-based approach will take learners beyond the facts and figures of the time to a deeper understanding of our changing Canadian society. There are many perspectives, voices, and events to consider. As learners engage with the history of Canadian society, they make connections to their own experiences and consider how they can advocate for change. The diversity of experiences and perspectives highlights potential progress and change.

Key Social Studies Skills in Grade 8

  • Perspectives and Experiences of Others
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication of Ideas

What are the Social Studies Disciplines?


Civic engagement requires knowledge of the historical events, decisions and people of Atlantic Canada. Civic engagement involves individually and collaboratively working to maintain, strengthen, and improve communities, therefore politics and society may both fall into the discipline of civics. Beyond this, learners may also consider how they participate in school, their community, and the larger world around them. This requires learners to discuss issues, make decisions, and provide support through evidence-based claims. These are topics are based in real issues that may require inquiry and reflection. They may examine how others have participated in society and seek opportunities to participate themselves.


The economic conditions of the time should be considered to help learners understand how natural resources, land, and other commodities were distributed among the people. Economic reasoning may help learners understand what was fair and unfair in relation to opportunities for work, wealth, and advancement. How people choose to use resources and who controlled resources may give learners the economic insight they need to understand the conditions of the time.


Every geographic location is unique physically, historically, and culturally. However, events in one place can influence events in another. Where people live can also influence how they live. Learners should ask questions about their own communities. This can be helpful in determining what are the decisions that will most benefit the people and environment where they live. Geographic regions can change over time and asking questions about why and how may be important for learner inquiry. Are we independent of the place we live? How do decisions impact this place and the people who live there?


Learners should use historical inquiry to answer questions by finding evidence to support their claims. Inquiry goes beyond fact, figures, and dates to ask why and how. Historical inquiry involves supporting investigations with a variety of sources, perspectives, and ideas about the past. Learners may begin with something introduced by the teacher and then consider the concept further through inquiry with various historical resources. This inquiry should support critical thinking where learners are asking questions, making connections, and becoming better thinkers.

Grade 7 and 8 renewed curriculum has been fully implemented across the province. 

Updated March 25, 2024