August 25, 2017

I distinctly remember many times as an adolescent being told that these were the best years of my life. I also remember thinking that this could not possibly be true. As I’ve grown older, I have learned that everyone has favourite years and years that were more of a struggle, and that it can be different for everyone....

February 21, 2017

Much has changed over the course of the last couple of decades of grade school education. Gone are the days of chalkboards, spelling tests, dunce caps, static information and preparation for an industrial world. Replacing that are phones, tablets, virtual classrooms, fluid information and preparation for a digital wor...

December 28, 2016

Much is said of some of the men of the Reformation period who brought about changes to the way that people worship in the 16th Century. Whether it be John Calvin preaching predestination to the people of Geneva or Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church at Wittenburg in Germany, but very l...

November 12, 2016

At the close of every year, organizations often make selections as to what the best movie, song or event of the previous twelve months may have been. The same happens at the end of other periods of time, such as seasons, decades and even centuries. Leading up to the end of the second millennium, many of our most promi...

August 16, 2016

Welcome to the students and families of Grade 8 at Heritage Heights School. I always look forward to the beginning of the school year. From the anticipation of new beginnings, new classes, new school supplies, new clothes and reconnecting with friends, the new school year is a time of renewal. Although it is at this t...

April 5, 2016

Historians have recently begun to look at the history of the conquest of Mexico that occurred between 1519 and 1521 in a different light, with one, William Brandon, the author of Rise and Fall of the North American Indians going so far as to say that someone besides Hernan Cortes was “the real conqueror of Mexico.” Th...

February 17, 2016

The Spanish and the Aztecs were selected as an area of study in Grade 8 Social Studies in order to examine what happens when two dramatically different worldviews come into conflict. Students are meant to question their basic historical views of good and evil in an effort to understand the complexities of getting two...

December 22, 2015



Oxford English Dictionary

"True, justified belief; certain understanding, as opposed to opinion."


Every day when students come to school, they are taught lessons from history, science, math and language. How, though, does a student know that what they are being taught is true? When they are taught about hum...

November 6, 2015

There is currently no one left alive that served for Canada during the First World War. A veteran who served in the Second World War, should they have been 18 when Canada first entered, would have been born in 1921, and thus 94 years of age. Time ticks by and we become further and further removed from the massive arme...

October 13, 2015


The Middle Ages… the Dark Ages… Medieval Times… 1000 years without a bath. These are all terms used, sometimes erroneously, to describe the period in European history that separated the Fall of Rome from the beginning of the Renaissance.


The word “Renaissance” literally means rebirth. This name is given to the period...

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Mr. Berrigan has been a teacher in Foothills School Division for fourteen years and specializes in Social Studies education. He has degrees in history and education from the University of Lethbridge and a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

About Mr. Berrigan

November 6, 2015

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IMPORTANT FOR BOTH PARENTS AND STUDENTS: To join Grade 8 Humanities on and receive class updates via text, please text


     @grade8berr to (780) 800-7564

Note on pictures, videos and information. Painstaking efforts have been undertaken to ensure that all media and information is acceptable to be shared online. Where appropriate, sources of information are credited.

Contact Mr. Berrigan

Tel: 403-938-1400

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© 2015 by Matthew Berrigan .

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