Course Description

This course examines interrelationships within and between Canada’s natural and human systems and how these systems interconnect with those in other parts of the world. Students will explore environmental, economic, and social geographic issues relating to topics such as transportation options, energy choices, and urban development. Students will apply the concepts of geographic thinking and the geographic inquiry process, including spatial technologies, to investigate various geographic issues and to develop possible approaches for making Canada a more sustainable place in which to live.

Unit Titles and DescriptionsTime Allocated
What Is Geography?

This unit offers an introduction to the types of tools geographers use and how those tools are utilized in the study of geography. Various steps of the inquiry process are explored in detail. The inquiry process is used throughout the unit to answer questions and explore the types of issues geographers seek to address.

12 hours
Interactions in the Physical Environment

This unit explores the different geographic regions of Canada. The content offers in-depth descriptions of the landforms and climate regions in Canada and explains how these different regions were formed. The unit discusses how different regions influence the cultural and economic activities Canadians practice today. It also explores how interactions between Canadians and the environment are producing new challenges at home and abroad.

25 hours
Managing Canada’s Resources and Industries

This unit examines the connections between Canada’s geographic make-up, its resources, and their influences on industry and the economy. The content explores what might be the future of Canada’s economy and how the country can sustainably manage its resources. It reviews the different economic sectors before investigating their importance to the Canadian economy and how they are influenced by trade between Canada and other countries.

25 hours
Changing Populations

This unit introduces the topic of demography. It examines the population of Canada and the impact that a changing population has on Canada and the rest of the world. The unit offers investigations into population trends, migration, immigration, ageing populations, and urbanization. All topics are explored in relation to how they influence the balance of economic and social demands.

20 hours
Livable Communities

This unit explores the unique challenges posed by Canadian land use and development. It identifies various factors that influence land use and explains how they affect land use patterns. Topics such as urban growth, sustainability, and the management of developing communities are examined according to various case studies. Energy, transportation, and Canadian food systems are all studied in relation to sustainable, cost-effective growth and management.

20 hours
Final Assessments

The final project allows students to choose from a variety of different topics or issues to explore. Students will use the geographic inquiry process to generate an inquiry question that will guide their research. They will make use of a variety of geographic skills, concepts, terms, and content to help address their inquiry question. They will communicate their research findings in a written report.

6 hours

There is a proctored final exam worth 15% of the final grade.

2 hours
Total110 hours

Resources required by the student:

Note: This course is entirely online and does not require or rely on any textbook.

  • Access to various web resources for guided research activities
  • A calculator (online or handheld)
  • Writing or colouring tools and paper
  • Access to voice recording or video recording tools (webcam, cell phone, etc.)

Overall Curriculum Expectations

A. Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
A1Geographic Inquiry: use the geographic inquiry process and the concepts of geographic thinking when investigating issues relating to Canadian geography
A2Developing Transferable Skills: apply in everyday contexts skills, including spatial technology skills, developed through the investigation of Canadian geography, and identify some careers in which a background in geography might be an asset
B. Interactions in the Physical Environment
B1The Physical Environment and Human Activities: analyse various interactions between physical processes, phenomena, and events and human activities in Canada
B2Interrelationships between Physical Systems, Processes, and Events: analyse characteristics of various physical processes, phenomena, and events affecting Canada and their interrelationship with global physical systems
B3The Characteristics of Canada’s Natural Environment: describe various characteristics of the natural environment and the spatial distribution of physical features in Canada, and explain the role of physical processes, phenomena, and events in shaping them
C. Managing Canada’s Resources and Industries
C1The Sustainability of Resources: analyse impacts of resource policy, resource management, and consumer choices on resource sustainability in Canada
C2The Development of Resources: analyse issues related to the distribution, availability, and development of natural resources in Canada from a geographic perspective
C3Industries and Economic Development: assess the relative importance of different industrial sectors to the Canadian economy and Canada’s place in the global economy, and analyse factors that influence the location of industries in these sectors
D. Changing Populations
D1Population Issues: analyse selected national and global population issues and their implications for Canada
D2Immigration and Cultural Diversity: describe the diversity of Canada’s population, and assess some social, economic, political, and environmental implications of immigration and diversity for Canada
D3Demographic Patterns and Trends: analyse patterns of population settlement and various demographic characteristics of the Canadian population
E. Livable Communities
E1The Sustainability of Human Systems: analyse issues relating to the sustainability of human systems in Canada
E2Impacts of Urban Growth: analyse impacts of urban growth in Canada
E3Characteristics of Land Use in Canada: analyse characteristics of land use in various Canadian communities, and explain how some factors influence land-use patterns


Teaching & Learning Strategies:

The Canadian and world studies courses will prepare students for a life of responsible citizenship in which they think critically about events, developments and issues in their daily lives. In the geography courses, the goal is to help students develop a sense of place. At their own pace, students will work towards:

  • developing an understanding of the characteristics and spatial diversity of natural and human environments and communities, on a local to a global scale;
  • analysing the connections within and between natural and human environments and communities;
  • developing spatial skills through the use of spatial technologies and the interpretation, analysis, and construction of various types of maps, globes, and graphs;
  • being responsible stewards of the Earth by developing an appreciation and respect for both natural and human environments and communities.

Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting Strategies of Student Performance:

Our theory of assessment and evaluation follows the Ministry of Education’s Growing Success document, and it is our firm belief that doing so is in the best interests of students. We seek to design assessment in such a way as to make it possible to gather and show evidence of learning in a variety of ways to gradually release responsibility to the students, and to give multiple and varied opportunities to reflect on learning and receive detailed feedback.

Growing Success articulates the vision the Ministry has for the purpose and structure of assessment and evaluation techniques. There are seven fundamental principles that ensure best practices and procedures of assessment and evaluation by ICE teachers. ICE assessments and evaluations,

  • are fair, transparent, and equitable for all students;
  • support all students, including those with special education needs, those who are learning the language of instruction (English or French), and those who are First Nation, Métis, or Inuit;
  • are carefully planned to relate to the curriculum expectations and learning goals and, as much as possible, to the interests, learning styles and preferences, needs, and experiences of all students;
  • are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the course and at other points throughout the school year or course;
  • are ongoing, varied in nature, and administered over a period of time to provide multiple opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
  • provide ongoing descriptive feedback that is clear, specific, meaningful, and timely to support improved learning and achievement;
  • develop students’ self-assessment skills to enable them to assess their own learning, set specific goals, and plan next steps for their learning.

The Final Grade:

The evaluation for this course is based on the student’s achievement of curriculum expectations and the demonstrated skills required for effective learning. The final percentage grade represents the quality of the student’s overall achievement of the expectations for the course and reflects the corresponding level of achievement as described in the achievement chart for the discipline. A credit is granted and recorded for this course if the student’s grade is 50% or higher. The final grade will be determined as follows:

  • 70% of the grade will be based upon evaluations conducted throughout the course. This portion of the grade will reflect the student’s most consistent level of achievement throughout the course, although special consideration will be given to more recent evidence of achievement.
  • 30% of the grade will be based on final evaluations administered at the end of the course. The final assessment may be a final exam, a final project, or a combination of both an exam and a project.

The Report Card:

Student achievement will be communicated formally to students via an official report card. Report cards are issued at the midterm point in the course, as well as upon completion of the course. Each report card will focus on two distinct, but related aspects of student achievement. First, the achievement of curriculum expectations is reported as a percentage grade. Additionally, the course median is reported as a percentage. The teacher will also provide written comments concerning the student’s strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps. Second, the learning skills are reported as a letter grade, representing one of four levels of accomplishment. The report card also indicates whether an OSSD credit has been earned. Upon completion of a course, ICE will send a copy of the report card back to the student’s home school (if in Ontario) where the course will be added to the ongoing list of courses on the student’s Ontario Student Transcript. The report card will also be sent to the student’s home address.

Program Planning Considerations:

Teachers who are planning a program in this subject will make an effort to take into account considerations for program planning that align with the Ontario Ministry of Education policy and initiatives in a number of important areas.


Institute of Canadian Education (ICE), Toronto.

Head Quarters (Toronto)
140 La Rose Ave #201, Etobicoke, ON M9P 1B2
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