Communicating encompasses the set of abilities that people use to impart and exchange information, experiences, and ideas; to explore the world around them; and to understand and effectively use communication forms, strategies, and technologies. Communicating provides a bridge between peoples’ learning, their personal and social identity, and the world in which they interact.

People who communicate effectively use their skills and strategies intentionally to ensure understanding their audience. They communicate in an increasing variety of contexts, for a variety of purposes, and often with multiple audiences.

Communicating Core Competencies

Connecting and engaging with others

Students engage in informal and structured conversations in which they listen, contribute, develop understanding and relationships, and learn to consider diverse perspectives. This facet of communication is closely linked to the building and sustaining of relationships at home, at school, in the community, and through social media.

Focusing on intent and purpose

Students communicate with intention and purpose. They understand that communication can influence, entertain, teach, inspire, and help us make sense of the world and our experiences. They recognize the role the audience plays in constructing meaning, and they make strategic choices to help convey their messages and create their intended impact. They draw from a range of forms, media, and techniques, monitoring and adjusting their approaches and assessing their effects.

Acquiring and presenting information

Students communicate by receiving and presenting information. They inquire into topics of interest and topics related to their studies. They acquire information from a variety of sources, including people, print materials, and media; this may involve listening, viewing, or reading, and requires understanding of how to interpret information. They present information for many purposes and audiences, and their presentations often feature media and technology.

Profile 1

In a safe and supported environment, I respond meaningfully to communication from peers and adults.

Profile 2

In familiar settings, I communicate with peers and adults.

I talk and listen to people I know. I can communicate for a purpose. I can understand and share basic information about topics that are important to me, and answer simple, direct questions about my activities and experiences.

Profile 3

I communicate purposefully, using forms and strategies I have practiced.

I participate in conversations for a variety of purposes (e.g., to connect, help, be friendly, learn and share). I listen and respond to others. I can consider my purpose when I am choosing a form and content. I can communicate clearly about topics I know and understand well, using forms and strategies I have practiced. I gather the basic information I need and present it.

Profile 4

I communicate clearly and purposefully, using a variety of forms appropriately.

I share my ideas and try to connect them with others’ ideas. I am an active listener – I make connections and ask clarifying and extending questions when appropriate. I can plan ways to make my message clear and engaging for my audience and create communications that focus on a variety of purposes and audiences. I acquire the information I need for specific tasks and for my own interests and present it clearly.

Profile 5

I communicate confidently, using forms and strategies that show attention to my audience and purpose.

In discussions and conversations, I am focused and help to build and extend understanding. I am an engaged listener; I ask thought-provoking questions when appropriate and integrate new information. I can create a wide range of effective communications that feature powerful images and words, and I identify ways to change my communications to make them effective for different audiences. I use my understanding of the role and impact of story to engage my audiences in making meaning. I acquire information about complex and specialized topics from various sources, synthesize it, and present it with thoughtful analysis.

Profile 6

I communicate with intentional impact, in well-constructed forms that are effective in terms of my audience and in relation to my purpose.

I contribute purposefully to discussions and conversations. I synthesize, deepen, and transform my own and others’ thinking. I can weave multiple messages into my communications; I understand that my audience will use their own knowledge and experiences in making meaning. I show understanding and control of the forms and technologies I use; I can assess audience response and draw on a repertoire of strategies to increase my intended impact. I can acquire, critically analyze, and integrate well-chosen information from a range of sources.

The Core Competencies relate to each other and with every aspect of learning.

Connections among Core Competencies

The Core Competencies are interrelated and interdependent. Taken together, the competencies are foundational to every aspect of learning. Communicating is intertwined with the other Core Competencies.


Communicating is one of the Communication Core Competency’s two interrelated sub-competencies, Communicating and Collaborating.

Communicating and collaborating overlap. For example:

  • Students communicate in order to collaborate.
  • Students often collaborate in order to develop effective communications.


Communicating is closely related to the two Thinking sub-competencies, Creative Thinking and Critical and Reflective Thinking. For example:

  • Students communicate to share and build on one another’s creative ideas.
  • Students apply critical and reflective thinking to acquire and interpret information, and to make choices about how to communicate their ideas.
  • Thinking critically to recognize and appreciate different perspectives is key to both interpreting and creating communications.

Personal and Social

Communicating is closely related to the three Personal and Social sub-competencies, Personal Awareness and Responsibility, Social Awareness and Responsibility, and Positive Personal and Cultural Identity. For example:

  • Students communicate to explain their values and how those affect the choices they make.
  • Students communicate to build and sustain positive relationships with diverse people, including people from different generations.
  • Students communicate to express their needs and seek help when they need it, and to advocate for themselves.

Connections with areas of learning

Communicating is embedded within the curricular competencies of the concept-based, competency-driven curriculum. Curricular competencies are focused on the “doing” within the area of learning and include skills, processes, and habits of mind required by the discipline. For example, the Communicating sub-competency can be seen in the following Big Ideas in Mathematics:

  • Objects and shapes have attributes that can be described, measured, and compared. (Mathematics 1-2)
  • Regular changes in patterns can be identified using tools and tables. (Mathematics 4)
  • Continuous linear relationships can be identified and represented in many connected ways to identify regularities and make generalizations. (Mathematics 9)
  • Statistical analysis allows us to notice, wonder about, and answer questions about variation. (Foundations of Mathematics 11)
Title Sub-competencies
Un projet UNIS Bien-être pour lutter contre les changements climatiques

Les élèves conçoivent des projets de service communautaire liés aux changements climatiques dans le cadre d’un projet UNIS Bien-être.

La collaboration, Conscience de soi et responsabilité personnelle, Conscience et responsabilité sociales
Rédaction d’une constitution de classe

Les élèves entreprennent la rédaction d’une constitution de classe et collaborent à la fois au plan et au produit.

La collaboration
Aménagement d’habitats pour les animaux Les élèves utilisent le matériel de classe pour concevoir des habitats qui procurent aux animaux ce dont ils ont besoin pour survivre. La collaboration, L'interaction, Pensée critique et réflexive
Organisation d’une Journée du chandail orange

Une élève, inspirée par un roman sur l’expérience d’une jeune fille dans un pensionnat indien, rassemble de plus amples renseignements et, quatre ans plus tard, organise une Journée du chandail orange dans son école.

La collaboration, Pensée critique et réflexive, Conscience et responsabilité sociales
Fabrication de chaussures en papier journal

Les élèves travaillent en petits groupes pour fabriquer des chaussures avec du papier journal.

La collaboration
Chaînes de dominos

Quelques élèves commencent à faire des chaînes de dominos, ce qui déclenche une activité de classe.

La collaboration
Élaboration de règles de base pour des cercles de lecture Les élèves réfléchissent sur leurs expériences antérieures de collaboration afin d’élaborer des règles de base qu’ils pourront utiliser dans le cadre de cercles de lecture pour l’étude de romans. La collaboration
Apprendre à de jeunes élèves à utiliser une application

Des élèves apprennent à des camarades plus jeunes comment utiliser une application pour représenter leurs apprentissages.

La collaboration
Porter bien haut le flambeau

Après avoir rencontré d’anciens combattants lors d’un événement du jour du Souvenir, un élève forme un groupe consacré aux liens intergénérationnels entre élèves et anciens combattants.

La collaboration, Pensée critique et réflexive, Conscience et responsabilité sociales
Écriture collaborative

Les élèves travaillent en petits groupes pour écrire une histoire à propos d’un animal.

La collaboration
Handprint Turkeys

A student teaches her classmates now to make handprint turkeys.

Communicating, Collaborating
Save Fred: Collaborative Problem-solving

Students work in groups on a problem-solving challenge called “Save Fred”.

Collaborating, Critical and Reflective Thinking
Making a Hockey Rink

Students make a hockey rink with whiteboards.

Collaborating, Critical and Reflective Thinking
Reflecting on a Musical Performance

A student reflects on her performance singing a duet.

Collaborating, Communicating, Critical and Reflective Thinking
Addressing Climate Change Through a WE Wellbeing project

Students design community service projects related to climate change as part of a WE Wellbeing project.

Collaborating, Personal Awareness and Responsibility, Social Awareness and Responsibility
You Mud?

Two children sit together and observe each other as they spread mud on an outdoor table.

Collaborating, Social Awareness and Responsibility
Exploring Factors that Effect Motion

Students collaboratively create ramps to explore the forces that effect motion.

Collaborating, Communicating, Critical and Reflective Thinking
Designing Animal Habitats

Students use classroom materials to design models of animal habitats that provide animals with what they need to survive.

Collaborating, Communicating, Critical and Reflective Thinking
Making Newspaper Shoes

Students work in small groups to make newspaper shoes.

Domino chains

A few students start making domino chains and spark a class activity.

Teaching Younger Students How to Use an App

Older students teach younger students how to use an app to represent their learning.

What We Want in a Playground

Students work in pairs to discuss and build their ideal playground using classroom materials.

Developing Ground Rules for Literature Circles

Students reflect on their previous experiences with collaboration in order to develop ground rules to use in novel study Literature Circles.

Developing a Classroom Constitution

Students initiate the development of a Classroom Constitution and collaborate on both the plan and the product.

A Compromise

When two children’s ideas about an imaginative story diverge, one of the children finds a compromise. 

Collaborating, Social Awareness and Responsibility
Junior Fire Crew

First Nations students reflect on the collaborative aspects of working on a fire crew.

Collaborative Writing

Students work in small groups to write a story about an animal.

Organizing an Orange Shirt Day

A student, inspired by a novel about a girl’s residential school experience, gathers further information and, four years later, organizes an Orange Shirt Day at her school.

Collaborating, Critical and Reflective Thinking, Social Awareness and Responsibility
Hold High the Torch

After meeting veterans at a Remembrance Day event, a student forms a group dedicated to intergenerational connections between students and veterans.

Collaborating, Critical and Reflective Thinking, Social Awareness and Responsibility