The BIG IDEA books are designed to make curriculum content in Science and Social Studies accessible to students in elementary schools across Canada. The books are highly visual and written at a level that is appropriate for English language learners (ELLs) and striving readers, which makes them valuable resources for supporting both language and content acquisition.
Each BIG IDEA book deals with an important topic from the Science or Social Studies curriculum. The key ideas of each topic are captured as “Big Ideas.” An inquiry-based approach encourages critical thinking, and built-in supports, such as text scaffolding and carefully chosen images, encourage readers to engage with the text. This series offers students opportunities to learn essential curriculum concepts, develop content-specific vocabulary and academic words in context, as well as acquire competencies in literacy and critical thinking skills that will equip them for success in school and the world beyond their classrooms.
The BIG IDEA series features material for the following topics:
|First Peoples||Simple Machines|
|Political and Physical Regions of Canada||Light and Sound|
|Early Societies: Mesopotamia, Nile Valley, Indus Valley||Rocks and Minerals|
|Early Societies: Mali, China and England||Habitats and Communities|
|First Contact||Body Systems|
|Active Citizenship||Our Healthy World|
|New France||Forces and Structure|
|Canada: Movement of the People||Diversity of Life|
|Canada and the World||Sky and Beyond|
|Canada's Heroes of Human Rights||Flight|
|Events that Changed Canada||Electricity|
BIG IDEA Interactive is a web-based resource to support learning and teaching. Being a web-based application means it is accessible through your internet browser making it available from any computer or tablet in the school or at home. Included are eText versions of each BIG IDEA book that can be projected for teacher-led group instruction or used independently or collaboratively by students.
Each eText includes audio recordings of the text featuring a real voice (not a computer generated voice). Words highlight as they are read to help students build a link between the spoken and written word.
Embedded throughout the eText are interactive activities for teachers to do with students as well as activities that students can manage on their own. These activities are focused on vocabulary development and include:
For activities designed to be led by the teacher, teaching notes are provided.
Key terms and glossary words are downloadable and linked to Google translate. This allows students to see and hear these words in their first language.
A comprehensive Teacher’s Guide, complete with teaching suggestions for each title in, supports both ELL and classroom teachers. The guide provides frontloading and scaffolding strategies that you can use with students before, during, and after reading. It also offers answers to the questions in the text, support for activities, and useful teaching suggestions for effective language and content acquisition.