Unit Plan: Orange Shirt Day

Social Studies / Grade 8-12

Big Ideas

Social Studies 8

  • Contacts and conflicts between peoples stimulated significant cultural, social, political change.
  • Exploration, expansion, and colonization had varying consequences for different groups.

Social Studies 9

  • Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.

Social Studies 10

  • Worldviews lead to different perspectives and ideas about developments in Canadian society.

BC First Peoples 12

  • The impact of contact and colonialism continues to affect the political, social, and economic lives of BC First Peoples.

Comparative Cultures 12

  • Understanding the diversity and complexity of cultural expressions in one culture enhances our understanding of other cultures.
  • Interactions between belief systems, social organization, and language influence artistic expressions of culture.

Contemporary Indigenous Studies

  • Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism.
  • Indigenous peoples continue to advocate and assert rights to self-determination.

Comparative World Religions

  • Comparing beliefs provides insights and understanding of diverse global cultures and peoples.

Law Studies

  • Understanding legal rights and responsibilities allows citizens to participate more fully in society.
  • Laws can maintain the status quo and can also be a force for change.
  • A society’s laws and legal framework affects many aspects of people’s daily lives.

Social Justice

  • The causes of social injustice are complex and have lasting impacts on society.


  • Identity
  • Human Rights
Essential Questions

Students will keep considering…

  • Why does it matter to learn about Orange Shirt Day?
Evaluative Criteria


Monitoring Progress

Teacher will monitor progress:
Teachers can monitor progress through ongoing formative assessment including but not limited to:

  • Class discussion
  • Engagement with Material

How will teachers and their students reflect on and evaluate the completed project?

Teacher Reflection

  • What aspects of the unit went well?
  • What did students struggle with?
  • What did you struggle with?
  • What would you add/revise the next time you taught this unit?
  • Were there any unintended outcomes?
  • Were students engaged?

Unit Overview




Social Studies




  • Honouring residential school survivors and those who    attended.
  • Why is Orange Shirt Day important for all Canadians?
  • Why does it Matter?



Unit Overview

This lesson is for any grade 8-12 to address the importance of Orange Shirt Day in Canada.





Unit Duration



Related Big Ideas


The following resources are made available through the British Columbia Ministry of Education. For more information, please visit BC’s New Curriculum.


Big Ideas

The Big Ideas consist of generalizations and principles and the key concepts important in an area of learning. The Big Ideas represent what students will understand at the completion of the curriculum for their grade. They are intended to endure beyond a single grade and contribute to future understanding.

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Core Competencies

orangecommunicationCommunications Competency

The set of abilities that students use to impart and exchange information, experiences and ideas, to explore the world around them, and to understand and effectively engage in the use of digital media

bluethinkingThinking Competency

The knowledge, skills and processes we associate with intellectual development

greensocialSocial Competency

The set of abilities that relate to students’ identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Curricular Competencies & Content

Curricular Competencies are the skills, strategies, and processes that students develop over time. They reflect the “Do” in the Know-Do-Understand model of curriculum. The Curricular Competencies are built on the thinking, communicating, and personal and social competencies relevant to disciplines that make up an area of learning.

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Additional Resources

First People's Principles of Learning

To read more about First People’s Principles of Learning, please click here.

For classroom resources, please visit the First Nations Education Steering Committee.