English Vocabulary Lessons

English Vocabulary for Social Studies, History & Geography

Free ESL in Canada English lessons for international students to study Social Studies, History and Geography in Canada or USA during an exchange program. Social Studies, History and Geography vocabulary is necessary for exchange students to succeed during an exchange program in the USA or Canada. Other grammar topics include vocabulary, parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, tenses, verbals, conditionals and writing.

Aboriginal peoples.
The first inhabitants of Canada.

Absolute location.
The location of a point on the earth's surface that can be expressed by a grid reference (e.g., by latitude and longitude).

Acadian.
One of the early French settlers of Acadia, or a descendant of these settlers, especially one living in the Maritime provinces or in Louisiana, U.S.A.

Achievement levels.
Brief descriptions of four different degrees of achievement of the provincial curriculum expectations for any given grade. Level 3, which is the "provincial standard", identifies a high level of achievement of the provincial expectations. Parents of students achieving at level 3 in a particular grade can be confident that their children will be prepared for work at the next grade. Level 1 identifies achievement that falls much below the provincial standard. Level 2 identifies achievement that approaches the standard. Level 4 identifies achievement that surpasses the standard.

Altitude.
The height of something above a reference level, especially above sea level.

Canadarm.
An arm-like electromechanical device, designed and built in Canada, used to retrieve and deploy objects in space.

Canadian identity.
Distinguishing characteristics of Canada and its people.

Canadian Shield.
A plateau region of Eastern Canada extending from the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River to the Arctic Ocean.

Capital (as an economic resource).
One of the factors in the production of goods and services. Capital can be goods (e.g., factories and equipment, highways, communication systems) and/or money available to be invested to increase production and wealth.

Capital (town or city).
The official seat of government in a political entity, such as a province or country.

Château Clique.
A small group, mostly anglophone and mercantile, who occupied the chief public offices in Lower Canada during the early nineteenth century.

Chivalry.
The medieval values and customs of knighthood; the positive qualities to be exemplified in the behavior of knights, such as bravery, courtesy, honour, and gallantry towards women.

Citizenship.
The status of a citizen, with its attendant duties, rights, and responsibilities.

Civics.
The study of the rights and duties of citizenship.

Climate graph.
A graph that combines average monthly temperature and precipitation data for a particular place.

Coat of arms.
An arrangement of bearings, usually depicted on a shield, that indicates ancestry or distinction.

Command economy.
An economic system in which the government owns and controls all facets of the economy.

Confederation.
The federal union of all of the Canadian provinces and territories.

Conscription.
Compulsory enlistment of citizens for military service.

Constituency.
The body of voters represented by an elected official.

Cordilleras.
A chain of mountains, especially the principal mountain system of a continent (e.g., Rocky Mountains in North America).

Corn Laws.
Laws in Great Britain that gave the colonies of British North America preferential trade treatment.

Culture.
Learned behaviour of people, which includes their belief systems and languages, social relationships, institutions and organizations; and their material goods (i.e., food, clothing, buildings, tools, and machines).

Dendritic drainage pattern.
Type of drainage that occurs when water flows into a river from various tributaries, which are in turn fed by smaller tributaries. The pattern that results resembles the shape of an apple tree.

Doric Club.
A group of wealthy young English people in Montreal during the early nineteenth century.

Economic profile.
A listing and rating of the economic resources of a region.

Economic resource.
Any of land, labour, capital, or entrepreneurial ability; a factor necessary for the economic success of a region.

Economy.
The system or range of economic activity in a country, region, or community.

Electors.
Qualified voters in an election.

Emigration.
The act of leaving one country or region to settle in another.

Entrepreneur.
A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture.

Entrepreneurial ability (as an economic resource).
One of the factors in the production of goods and services. An entrepreneur recognizes a business opportunity and is able to combine land, labour, and capital to take advantage of the opportunity and make a profit.

Equator.
Latitude zero degrees; an imaginary line running east and west around the globe and dividing it into two equal parts.

Expectations.
The knowledge and skills that students are expected to develop and to demonstrate in their class work, on tests, and in various other activities on which their achievement is assessed. The new Ontario curriculum for social studies, history, and geography identifies expectations for each grade from Grade 1 to Grade 8.

Family Compact.
A small group who upheld their belief in British institutions through control of government and the judiciary in Upper Canada from the 1790s to the 1830s.

Fenians.
Irish-Americans who were part of a secret revolutionary organization formed in 1857 and dedicated to the overthrow of British rule in Ireland. They conducted a series of raids across the border into Canada between 1866 and 1870.

Feudalism.
The political and economic system of Europe from the ninth to about the fifteenth century, based on the holding of all land in fief or fee and the resulting relation of lord to vassal, and characterized by homage, legal and military service of tenants, and forfeiture.

Fils de la Liberté.
A group of young French Canadians in Montreal in the 1830s who directly opposed the Doric Club. Fleur-de-lis. A stylized three-petalled iris flower; it was used as the armorial emblem of the kings of France and appears on the flag and coat of arms of Quebec.

Flow resource.
A resource that is neither renewable nor non-renewable, but must be used when and where it occurs or be lost (e.g., running water, wind, sunlight).

Globalization.
The idea, popularized in the 1960s, that the entire world and its inhabitants are becoming one large community with interconnected needs and services.

Grid.
A pattern of lines on a chart or map, such as those representing latitude and longitude, which helps determine absolute location and assists in the analysis of distribution patterns.

Grist mill.
A mill for grinding grain.

Gross domestic product (GDP).
The total monetary value of goods and services produced in a country.

Gross national product (GNP).
Gross domestic product adjusted to include the value of goods and services from other countries subsequently used in producing goods and services in the home country.

Governor General.
In Canada, the resident representative of the Crown.

Intercolonial trade.
Trade between the colonies in British North America during the nineteenth century.

Labour (as an economic resource).
One of the factors in the production of goods and services. Labour is the collection of people employed within a region.

Legend.
An explanatory description or key to features on a map or chart.

Legislature.
An officially elected or otherwise selected body of people, such as the House of Commons or a provincial legislature, vested with the responsibility and power to make laws for a political unit.

Lieutenant Governor.
In Canada, the representative of the monarch in a province, appointed by the federal government acting for the Crown.

Loyalists.
Those in the American colonies who declared their loyalty to Britain before the conclusion of the American Revolution (1776-83) and emigrated elsewhere, the Maritimes and present-day Ontario and Quebec being common destinations.

Manifest Destiny.
The nineteenth-century doctrine that the United States had the right and duty to expand throughout North America.

Manufacturing.
Changing from original state by machine or by hand.

Market economy.
An economic system in which individual producers own and determine the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

Media works.
Forms of communication that include written or spoken words, sound, and/or pictures, such as brochures, posters, magazines, newspapers, documentary films, videos, advertisements, cartoons, commercials, news reports, nature programs, and travelogues. Audio elements include speech, music, background sounds, sound effects, volume, silence, narration, pace, and sequence of sounds. Compositional elements include form (structure), theme, setting, atmosphere, and point of view. Visual elements include lighting, colour, images, size and type of lettering, size of images, sequence of images, symbols, graphics, camera angles, logos, speed of presentation, shape of design, credits, details of sponsorship, animation, and live action.

Medieval.
Relating or belonging to the Middle Ages.

Metis.
A person of mixed Aboriginal and European ancestry, especially a person of mixed Aboriginal and French ancestry.

Mixed economy.
An economic system which uses aspects of more than one of the three basic types of economic systems (subsistence, command, and market).

Multiculturalism.
The preservation of distinct cultural identities among varied groups within a unified society.

Natural resources.
Something found in nature that people find useful.

Nobel Peace Prize.
One of six international prizes awarded annually by the Nobel Foundation for outstanding achievements.

Non-renewable resource.
A finite resource that cannot be replaced once it is used up (e.g., petroleum, minerals).

North American Free Trade Agreement.
A trade agreement signed by Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Opinion.
A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof.

Opposition.
In a parliamentary government, the principal party opposed to the party in power.

Parliament Buildings.
The buildings in Ottawa where the Canadian Parliament meets.

Parties (political).
Established political groups organized to promote and support principles and candidates for public office.

Patriot.
One who loves, supports, and defends one's country.

Physical feature.
An aspect of a place or area that derives from the physical environment.

Polar regions.
The various lands and waters surrounding the North Pole and the South Pole.

Political deadlock.
Inability to make decisions because of the disagreement of an equal number of voters.

Population density.
The number of individuals occupying an area; calculated by dividing the number of people by the area they occupy.

Premier.
The head of the government of a province of Canada.

Primary industries (resource industries).
Industries that harvest raw materials or natural resources (e.g., agriculture, ranching, forestry, fishing, extraction of minerals and ores).

Primary sources.
Artifacts, and oral, print, media, or computer materials that are the earliest or first of a kind.

Pull factors.
In migration theory, the social, political, economic, and environmental attractions of new areas that draw people away from their previous locations.

Push factors.
In migration theory, the social, political, economic, and environmental forces that drive people from their previous locations to search for new ones.

Reciprocity.
A mutual or cooperative interchange of favours or privileges (e.g., the exchange of trade privileges between nations).

Relative location.
The location of a place or region in relation to other places or regions (e.g., northwest or downstream).

Renewable resource.
A resource that can be regenerated if used carefully (e.g., fish, timber).

Responsible government.
A system of government in which the cabinet or executive branch is responsible to the wishes of an elected legislature.

Riding.
The legislative district represented by a member of Parliament or a member of a provincial legislature.

Rights.
Prerogatives and privileges of being a citizen.

Rupert's Land.
An historical region of Canada consisting of all the land in the Hudson Bay drainage system, including part of present-day Northwest Territories, most of the present-day Prairie provinces, and present-day northern Ontario and Quebec. The land was granted to the Hudson's Bay Company by Charles II in 1670 and sold to Canada in 1870.

St. Lawrence lowlands.
An area along the St. Lawrence River that is low in relation to the surrounding country. The region is often referred to as the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence lowlands.

Scale.
On maps, the relationship or ratio between a linear measurement on a map and the corresponding distance on the earth's surface.

Secondary industries (manufacturing industries).
Industries that convert raw materials into finished industrial products (e.g., car manufacturing).

Secondary sources.
Oral, print, media, and computer materials that are not primary or original.

Seigneurial system.
A system in New France in which land was granted to nobles, the Church, and military and civil officers.

Stereotype.
A conventional, formulaic, and oversimplified conception or image.

Stewardship.
Helpfulness; willingness to take charge.

Strands.
The two major areas of knowledge and skills into which the curriculum for social studies for Grades 1-6 is organized. The strands are: Heritage and Citizenship, and Canada and World Connections.

Subsistence economy.
An economic system in which there is little market exchange.

Suffrage.
The right or privilege of voting; franchise.

Surplus.
A trade position in which a country or region exports more than it imports.

Sustainable development.
Development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Technology.
The application of knowledge to meet the goals, goods, and services desired by people.

Tertiary industries (service industries).
Industries that provide services (e.g., banking, retailing, education).

Traditions.
Elements of a culture passed down from generation to generation.

United Nations.
An international organization formed in 1945 to promote peace and economic development.

Urbanization.
A process in which there is an increase in the percentage of people living and/or working in urban places as compared to rural places.

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