Our Curriculum

The Chess Institute of Canada (CIC) uses the Chess World Curriculum®, developed by Vice-President and Director of Curriculum, Tal Granite, as the basis for instruction in all of its children’s programs and events. The CIC is the only organization in Canada that is licensed to use the Chess World Curriculum.

The Chess World Curriculum offers a unique method of chess instruction, and was developed with two primary objectives in mind:

  1. To ensure that learning chess is accessible to everyone.
  2. To use chess as a tool to help improve academic and life skills.

Thinking Different® Curriculum

Chess World’s Thinking Different® curriculum is an in-class enrichment program for schools. Children develop a wide range of life skills that will have a lasting effect on their personal growth and ability to interact socially, including goal setting, knowledge sharing, maturity, and responsibility.

The curriculum is taught in both elementary schools (Kindergarten to Grade 6) and in middle and high schools (Grades 7 to 12). Curriculum classes are typically held once a week and can run throughout a school term, a school year or longer.

While it has been well documented in research that simply playing chess can improve life skills, it is our specially developed curriculum that goes further by addressing them directly. The Thinking Different® Curriculum uses a variety of activities alongside chess instruction to make learning fun. Activities can include drama and improvisation, guided imagery, physical activities, unique creative assignments, group discussions and challenges, and chess is used as the common thread in every activity. Relevant worksheets and workbooks allow for an enriched learning experience. This variety of activities and focus on developing life skills is what makes our program so special.

Extra-Curricular Curriculum

The curriculum we use in clubs, camps and tournaments provides a solid foundation in chess for all levels, from beginners to competitive players, but still uses the game as a vehicle through which to teach and instill important life skills. We believe that the confidence children gain when involved in the program is the real reason they excel at the game, as well as in other areas of their young lives.

In a typical club lesson, children are divided into small groups based on age and skill level. Each group receives instruction, which builds from lesson to lesson in a structured, engaging, and entertaining way, with game playing, tournaments and other chess challenges to round out the picture. During the play component, the instructor moves around the class, providing assistance, ideas, correction and support, as children play with peers who are at the same level as them. The learning is accompanied by appealing and dynamic Chess World curriculum workbooks and worksheets, which provide an added value to every child’s experience.

As with the Thinking Different® curriculum, all programs are taught by trained CIC instructors.