As part of the introduction to grade 9 Social Studies, I have my students identify five collective groups they belong to in order for them to understand how their collective identities also shape their individualism – we all ma have groups in common, but none of us have the exact same list of collective groups. This is what makes us an individual. Students are given the following instructions:

  • Everyone belongs to collective groups, whether they be family, teams, or other community groups.
  • Make a list of 5 collective groups you belong to.
  • For each group indicate the purpose of the group, what their traditions or expectations are, and how you are included.
  • Explain how belonging to a group contributes to your individual identity.
  • Be prepared to share you ideas with the class.

Once students have completes this task, they submit this as a writing sample for me.

The next class, I introduce the 5 elements of governance.


  1. Rules of Conduct are rules that are created  to govern the lives of the country or a group’s members. They are designed to encourage positive behaviour and discourage other kinds of behaviours.
  2. Authority is the means by which the people are governed (a supreme power or authority), with the ability to use force within its boundaries.
  3. No system of government can exist unless it is accepted by the people.The people give the government the right to exercise power.
  4. Jurisdiction refers to the area over which the government has the power to make and enforce rules or laws.
  5. Someone must be responsible for enforcing the rules and laws. If members were allowed to ignore or disobey rules or laws, there would be no order and society could not operate efficiently.

To have students apply this new knowledge, I had them choose one of their collective groups and identify these five elements within the group.  I also gave them an option to apply these to a different culture or make-believe culture. To give them an option to not draw, I showed the how to use the free app Pic Collage.  Below are some of the collages my students created:

gabe9e            joey       maddy9e           emily9bede9e         courtney9b        betty9e




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