Unit Plan: Orange Shirt Day

Social Studies / Grade K-7

Big Ideas

Stories and traditions about ourselves and our families reflect who we are and where we are from.

Grade 1
Our rights, roles, and responsibilities are important for building strong communities.

Grade 2
Local actions have global consequences, and global actions have local consequences.

Grade 3
Learning about indigenous peoples nurtures multicultural awareness and respect for diversity.

Grade 4
Interactions between First Peoples and Europeans lead to conflict and cooperation, which continues to shape Canada’s identity.

Grade 5
Canada’s policies and treatment of minority peoples have negative and positive legacies.

Grade 6
Systems of government vary in their respect for human rights and freedoms.


  • Identity and Human Rights
Essential Questions

Students will keep considering…

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

Summative Assessment:



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*

*Note: The lessons in this unit are multidisciplinary, and include Language Arts and Visual Arts




  • Honouring residential school survivors and those who attended.
  • Why is Orange Shirt Day important?
  • Why does Orange Shirt Day matter?



Unit Overview

In this unit, students will learn about the importance of Orange Shirt Day and about honouring residential school survivors.

This outline lesson can be broken down into separate lessons at the Elementary level but is broad enough to be expanded on for older students high school.






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.