In Grade 9 social studies, you will encounter issues that have impacts on citizenship and identity. Issues present opportunities and challenges for building a society in which all Canadians belong, and in which everyone has a good quality of life. Opportunities and challenges arise because people in Canada respond to issues differently, based on their individual and collective identities.
Individual identity comes from your personal interests and experiences, and from the many roles you have — for example, as a sister, brother, or team member. There are as many individual identities in Canada as there are people! Your identity as an individual contributes to the decisions you make as a citizen.
Collective identity refers to a sense of belonging shared by a group of people, especially because of a common language, culture and history. Most people in Canada belong to one or more groups with a collective identity. This, too, contributes to the decisions you make as a citizen.
issues for canadian textbook grade 9
This year, you will explore how responding to issues affects your quality of life. You will also explore how it involves perspectives, points of view and rights. The issues at the centre of your investigation will come from two key questions:
- How does governance in Canada affect you and all Canadians?
- How does economic decision making in Canada affect you and all Canadians?
How does governance connect to citizenship and identity?
Governance is about the way nations govern themselves. It is about how citizens participate in their government, which makes decisions that affect them and everyone. It involves rights such as bilingualism and institutions such as courts of law. It involves topics such as:
- How the structure and function of Canada’s political system affects government decision making, your actions and your participation in decision making.
- The role that Canada’s political system plays in building a society where you and everyone belong.
- The effect of individual and collective rights on how government can act, and on how you can respond to issues that are important to you.
- How government decisions about important issues affect you — your quality of life, and what you value and believe in.
How does economics connect to citizenship and identity?
Economics involves using resources to create goods and services, and distributing and consuming goods and services. Many decisions affect economics — decisions we make as individuals and decisions governments make on our behalf. These decisions affect the opportunities people have — including you — to work and earn an income. They involve topics such as:
- How your economic decisions and the structure of Canada’s economic system affect your quality of life and the quality of life of Canadians.
- How your economic decisions reflect your values, and how different values shape economic decision making in Canada and the United States.
- How government decisions about important economic issues affect you — your quality of life, and what you value and believe in.
What factors are important to your quality of life, citizenship and identity?
Try this. What do you believe are the most important factors that affect your quality of life? Make a list of things that reflect who you are and what’s important to you — for example, the languages you speak, your traditions, and the things you require to meet your basic needs such as food and security. Rank your ideas from most important to least important.
- Why are some factors more important than others?
- How do these factors affect your sense of individual and collective identity?
- How do they affect your actions and responsibilities as a citizen?
Quality of life is about your values and what’s important to you. Your quality of life connects to political and economic issues, and the decisions that government and citizens make in responding to issues.
How do issues affect the quality of life, citizenship and identity of Canadians?
This year, you will think critically about issues. You will investigate examples of decision making in Canada and in the United States to develop your own informed and active responses to issues. Your responses can affect your quality of life, and help you make meaning of people’s actions and values in the world around you.
As you explore issues, keep this in mind: issues exist because people value and believe different things. People have different ways of seeing the world — different personal opinions, individual points of view, and collective perspectives. These can affect what issues are important to them and how they respond to issues.
What makes something an issue?
Considering the impact that issues can have on our lives, it is important to be able to both identify and respond to issues. To help you do this, consider the following criteria for what makes something an issue.
- Involves a topic that receives a wide range of responses from different people and that generally has an important impact on their quality of life, citizenship or identity.
- Is framed as an open-ended, unbiased question. This question is about a complex problem regarding a particular topic that cannot be easily “solved” with one clear right or wrong answer.
- Requires an informed response, supported by clear and relevant reasons and appropriate examples.
- Requires critical thinking, and personal reflection about identity and worldview, to create an informed response.
- Requires understanding and appreciation of multiple perspectives and responses to create an informed response.
- Requires background knowledge and research to create an informed response.
Why does the topic of gun control raise issues?
The topic of gun control is about whether Canada should have laws that require individuals to get permits for guns. Why might this topic provoke a wide range of responses?
Begin by considering how the topic might connect to people’s individual and collective identities — what they value and believe, the experiences they’ve had, the culture they are a part of, the language they speak, and how they see the world.
issues for canadian textbook grade 9
In the case of gun control, try to identify what aspects of people’s individual and collective identities could affect their level of support for gun control. Start to research points of view and perspectives to help you identify questions to explore.
For example, some preliminary research and critical thinking about gun control could lead you to identify questions such as:
- As a citizen living in Canada, should a person have the right to own a gun?
- Should gun ownership be restricted in Canada?
- How effectively do gun permit laws protect Canadians from gun violence?
To decide which of these questions to explore further, think of the criteria for what makes something an issue. Then, develop an informed response. In this book, we call this process “Spot and Respond to the Issue” and you will see opportunities to use it in each chapter.
Features of issues for canadian textbook grade 9
Chapter Titles: The title of a chapter is always an issue. By the end of each chapter, you need to respond to the issue.
Chapter Task: Each chapter has a task that helps you target and demonstrate what you need to learn. You start the task at the beginning of the chapter and revisit it in activities, “Task Alerts” and a wrap up page.
Blue Questions: Blue questions refer to the information on the pages where they appear. This book has two types of blue questions. Most blue questions ask you to investigate the information on the page more closely. Blue questions labelled “Critical Thinking Challenge” ask you to connect the information on the page to bigger ideas.
Photo Captions: Photo captions can have questions that ask you to “think critically.” These questions use the photograph as a springboard to bigger ideas.
Connect to the Big Ideas: These boxes contain questions and activities that put your skills to work as you explore the chapter issue, the chapter task and the big ideas of the textbook. Review Questions: Chapters conclude with questions and activities that help you synthesize skills and information. The first review activity always involves revisiting and responding to the issue in the chapter title.
Get more: Issues for Canadian Textbook all chapters
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