Grade 7 curriculum contexts (pp. 278, 281-282 in the curriculum guide)
PERSONAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL
In this context, students are looking inward and focusing on self-image and self-esteem. They reflect on self and life, on their beliefs and values and those of society.
SOCIAL, CULTURAL, AND HISTORICAL
In this context, students look outward and examine their relationships with others, their community, and that of the world. They also can consider the historical context.
In this context, students consider the role of communication in their lives and the ideas and technology that help people become effective communicators.
FINDING THE COURAGE (personal & philosophical) – Ken and Paula both face major challenges as a result of the war: extreme racial prejudice; loss of a brother; loss of property and self-esteem. Both young people are forced to give more than they’d ever imagined, and are tested in difficult ways. Both must weigh and deal with the consequences of promises they have made; both must summon up huge amounts of courage to follow through and make mature choices.
VOICES THROUGH THE AGES – RECONSTRUCTING PAST LIVES (social, cultural & historical; environmental & technological) – Ken’s and Paula’s lives nearly 70 years ago lacked technology and communications media we take for granted today. They must work hard on the farm in addition to going to school; it isn’t as easy for them to enjoy some normal youth activities. Lacking our instant access to information, they must often wait for communications and news, and have few means of checking facts for accuracy. How does this compare to your life today? Do you think it likely that the mass exclusion of a racial minority could happen again, now, in North America?
PARTICIPATING AND GIVING OUR PERSONAL BEST (personal & philosophical) – Ken and Paula are both isolated in certain ways. Paula has a choice between remaining passive and following the role models she sees for young women, or becoming involved to stand up for what she believes is right. In the relocation camp, Ken’s self-esteem plummets; at first he believes the situation is hopeless and that all his dreams have been crushed. Seeing others’ responses to the forced evacuation and incarceration helps him put things in a different perspective: he sees involvement in community activities as a means of working off negative energy, which eventually enables him to re-assess his goals and to give his best in spite of harsh conditions.