Today, in my boredom at being done all of my homework (which I know I will be desperate to remember when exam time comes around again…), I decided to explore around the Saskatchewan Curriculum website.
One thing I found surprising, yet logical, is the allotted times for each subject area (which are as follows):
*values are in minutes/week
*these are from the Grade 1 curriculum
560 English Language Arts
200 Art Education (50 each for Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Art)
150 Social Studies
150 Physical Education
80 Health Education
1500 = 300/day = 5 hours
For some reason, I assumed that the Math and ELA values would be much closer (though I know that developing reading and writing skills is the primary focus and most well-known characteristic of Grade 1). However, I never realized just how the time allotments were broken down. More than 1/3 of the school week is spent on English (which is a joyous realization for me, as English is my favourite subject area. If I were in Secondary Education, I would, without a doubt, be an English major!).
Thinking about these numbers, I wonder if students are truly getting these exact times as suggested. At the elementary school in my hometown, classes are 45 minutes long, which certainly doesn’t divide evenly into any of these numbers.
The area I wonder most about is Art Education. Certainly, elementary-aged students receive an abundance of Visual Art lessons, what with all the arts and crafts that they do. As for the other three categories, though, I am unsure. Certainly Dance can additionally be a fundamental unit in the Physical Education program, but how are Dance, Drama and Music being represented in an average Canadian classroom?
When we think about Art class in a Grade 1 classroom, we automatically are reminded of cutesy crafts made with scissors and glue. These creative (and usually messy) projects are a hallmark of Art class in the primary grades. I can’t remember Grade 1 all that well, but I am quite certain that we didn’t have any Dance, Music or Drama incorporated into our Art lessons.
This discovery has led me to make a goal to incorporate all four of these sections of the Art curriculum into my future classroom. Young children are the perfect group to be doing these artistic things with and there are so many ways that you can incorporate dance, music and drama into a Pre-K to 5 art lesson (see my cultural music focused lesson plan, posted on March 7th).
This personal exploration has allowed me to think critically, set a goal and, best of all, feel accomplished on this lazy Saturday afternoon! I know that the teacher education program is helping me grow as a future teacher every day, but I can also steer myself down that path in my spare time as well.
All of the information in this post was found at