Lesson - Prehistory
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Table of Contents



Social Studies -- Prehistoric Toronto
Using the McCowan Aboriginal Artifact Collection
As a Learning Resource

Selwyn Public School
Grade 5 -- May 20 2005

Instructor: D.B. McCowan

Introduce the Agenda 

  • Define two Keywords in the handout
  • Time Line
  • Who lived here before the pioneers and what did they do?
  • Evidence
  • Keyword Review
  • Your Conclusions

Handout 1

  • Keywords List (Listening Skills -- Important "Inputs") (The "Meaning" column is blank in the handout).
  • Take 1 minute to look over the keyword Handout.
  • It is always good when you start on a topic to think about what you already know about the topic and, better still, to write it down.
  • Each of you pick two keywords and write down what you think they mean. Take about one minute.
  • You should fill in the blank column in the handout with the keyword definitions as we go through this class, so you have to listen carefully.

Keywords Handout
(Meaning Column is Empty in the Handout)



Dimensions In general, an aspect or property of something, especially physical size.
Time The "fourth" dimension -- our time line.
Pioneers Early settlers, typically before 1830.
Immigrate To come into or arrive here.
History What happened before today.
Pre-History What happened before people learned to write. (Comment on oral history of the native Canadians.)
Evidence Proof, but the evidence must be verified first.
Learning Resource Anything that we can learn from: Ethnological, Archaeological, Architectural, Natural, Archival (and explain each)
Interpretation To analyze; then draw some conclusions.
Occupy To be there or live there.
Nomadic To stay only temporarily. To move on for various reasons.
Needs Care during infancy, warmth, nutrition (air, water, food).
Wants Material things that we really don’t need.
Evolve Change over time.


Class Discussion 

Draw Timeline on board showing items that we did not have going back a few generations -- discuss some of our "wants".

What did we not have at the following times:

  • 1970 -- Personal computers
  • 1940 -- TV
  • 1900 -- cars
  • 1800 -- trains
  • 1700 -- people barely satisfied their needs -- shelter, food and water

What was it like here for the pioneers?

  • No electric lights
  • No indoor plumbing

10,000 Years Ago -- Timeline goes around the room several times:

  • Who lived here before the pioneers?
  • Evidence that Toronto was occupied 10,000 years ago
  • What did they do?
  • Learning Resource -- the arrowheads
  • Importance of water: Lake Iroquois provided basic need: nutrition
  • What was in the water -- fish
  • Arrowhead
  • Skinning knife
  • Hunters and gatherers: wild animals, berries and certain roots
  • Evolve: discover new things, learn about new relationships
  • They had to move around first to find animals and then to find better soil

1,000 Years Ago

  • Early farmers: maize / turnips
  • Pottery shard
  • Pipe bowl: grew tobacco

Keyword review

Your Conclusions -- Journal Entry

  • Write 100 words about the difference between Needs and Wants. Give clear examples.