About Us

Founded in 2012, Learning Tree Educational Store and publishing company is proud to be an independently owned, Canadian company.  Owned and operated exclusively by educators, the 4,500 square foot store boasts the largest selection of educational resources, puzzles, toys and games in Southern Ontario.

About the Authors...

Joni Bowman (BA, MEd, MCDTA) is a former elementary teacher in the public and independent school systems.  She was a contributing author to the Hands-On Science (Gr. 1-6), Hands-On Social Studies, 2002/2005 (Gr. 1-6) and Hands-On Mathematics (Gr. 1-3) book series.  She is also the sole author of the 11 book series Kindergarten Plus! Joni is the owner of Learning Tree Educational Store Inc., a store that provides resources and educational resources, workshops and classes for teachers, students and parents.  Joni is passionate about education and lifelong learning.

Amy Spiers (BASc, BEd, Arts Specialist) is an elementary teacher in the public system.  She has been an educator for students grades K-8 both as a classroom teacher and in an arts specialist role.  She was a contributing writing member of the current Ontario Arts curriculum as well as teacher resources for CODE (Council of Ontario Drama & Dance Educators), ETFO and Theatre Aquarius.  Amy is the vice-president and Educational Consultant for Learning Tree Educational Store Inc.in Burlington, Ontario.  She has a passion for learning and engaging educational and strives to help others to find the same.

About the Resources

Learning Tree is proud to offer social studies resources that meet the requirements set out by the revised Ontario curriculum (2013).  The Canada & Beyond series has received wide acclaim for its engaging and authentic approach to learning.  The step-by-step lesson plans, differentiation opportunities, assessment tools and inquiry-based approach to learning makes it the perfect choice for today’s educators.

Canada & Beyond provides students with the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways.  Engaging lessons are accompanied by relevant, sequential, and age-appropriate activities that encourage each student to utilize his/her strengths to reach his/her full potential.

The Goal

The goal of Canada & Beyond is to provide a comprehensive, teacher-friendly program that develops students’ “understanding of who they are, where they come from, where they belong, and how they contribute to the society in which they live” (Ontario Social Studies Curriculum, 2013).  The program is designed to allow students to acquire the factual and explicit knowledge necessary to have success during inquiry investigations.

The Inquiry Process

By presenting students with relevant and age-appropriate learning opportunities, they will have the ability to pose their own powerful inquiry questions.  Canada & Beyond is designed to follow the five components of the inquiry process:

  • Formulating questions
  • Gathering and organizing information, evidence, and/or data
  • Interpreting and analyzing information, evidence, and/or data
  • Evaluating information, evidence, and/or data and drawing conclusions
  • Communicating findings

Students will develop and acquire skills to empower them to think critically, solve problems, draw informed conclusions, and effectively communicate their ideas.


Canada & Beyond recognizes the individual and diverse needs of today’s classroom.  Suggestions for differentiation are included in each lesson.

Assessment & Evaluation

Assessment & Evaluation is an integral part of all academic programs.  Each lesson contains the tools educators need to assess and evaluate student success and drive ongoing instruction.