School Programs

kids in cut-out

The Peterborough Museum and Archives offers a variety of programs for classes and community groups. Our programs include hands-on activities for a more immersive learning experience. Depending on your choice of program, activities may take place in our permanent exhibition space or multi-purpose classroom. You can contact our Education Officer if you are wishing to book an education program.

Booking details

Here is some important information to keep in mind before booking your group to come to the museum.

Times

  • Programs are approximately 1.5 to 2 hours long
  • Education programs can be booked in the morning or afternoon
  • Bookings can accommodate bussing requirements

Group Size

The maximum number of students / participants for any program is 30, unless otherwise arranged.

Program Fees

  • $6 per student / participant
  • Minimum of $60 per group
  • Evenings and weekends are minimum $120 per group
  • No charge for supervisors

Subsidies

A subsidy may be available for City and County of Peterborough schools. Please enquire when booking.

Cancellations

At least one day's advanced notice is required to avoid payment of full fees. Exception applies on days of bus cancellations. Please call to rebook.

kids with archeaology equipmentElementary school programs

The following programs are available for booking any time during the school year.

Temporary Program - "Exploring Ancient Routes: Highlights of the Robert L. Hunter Map Collection"

The exhibition (on loan from the Trent Univeristy Library and Archives) and accompanying school program explores the world as it was envisioned and displayed by historic cartographers. The maps in this exhibit help us understand how the world was explored, recorded, and described over the past 500 years, and allow us to compare how the world was seen in the past to how it is view and described in our present day. 

This 120 minute program is offered for all grade levels, and is tailored for each group individually. Students will be introduced to the exhibit and will have a discussion on how our view of the world has changed over the past 500 years. This will be followed by a tour of the exhibit, and activities that allow students to explore the physical characteristics of our own world, use new technology to view maps as they are created today, and investigate the important and unique characteristics of historic maps displayed in the exhibit. Teachers are provided with support materials to enhance their visit to the exhibit, and support classroom activities and lessons for students to complete.

 Grades 1 to 3

Learning Goals:

  • Identify and describe the physical and cultural characteristics of Canada;
  • Identify and describe how maps have changed over time; and
  • Use observation skills and the physical surrounding to create and label maps of different scales

Essential Questions:

  • What are the major landforms, regions and locations in Canada?
  • How have maps changed over time from the first explorers to today?
  • Why is it important to accurately map and locate particular objects and locations?
Grades 4 to 6

 Learning Goals:

  • Develop and engage mapping skills to describe the characteristics of maps;
  • Understand and demonstrate the concepts of a 3-dimensional globe represented on a 2-dimensional map; and
  • Use observations and mapping techniques to create a map of the local area

Essential Questions:

  • What skills do we need to accurately read a map or to create a map of a certain area?
  • How do we accurately represent a 3D world on a 2D map? What methods do geographers and cartographers use?
  • How can we accurately map a particular area and why is it important to create accurate maps?

Archaeology – grades 3, 5 and 6

In this popular program, students experience the excitement of a real dig as they uncover traces of six Peterborough and area communities. Students will work within groups to follow the steps of an archaeological dig, as well as discover the stories behind their artifacts. The program concludes with a tour through our galleries and an opportunity for students to share their findings

"Excellent program. Very suitable for our grade 4/5 medieval / ancient civilizations program."

Early settlement – grade 3

Students travel back in time to explore life with the Anishinaabe First Nations, and then pack their bags for a voyage on the immigrant ship 'John Barry'. The journey continues as Peter Robinson's settles to a new home in the backwoods of Upper Canada. Through drama and activity centres, students will explore the experience of early settlers in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong.

  • Ontario curriculum for social studies 2013: 'Communities in Canada 1780-1850'

"This program was amazing! It was a direct link to the curriculum we just learned. The kids knew all of the theory, but they wouldn't get the hands-on from the books, so it was great!"

 

History mystery – grade 5 and 6

The adventure begins with a map to your very own treasure chest! Students use primary source documents such as maps, photographs and artifacts to investigate and tell the stories of Peterborough's heritage.

  • Ontario curriculum for social studies 2013: social studies concepts and the inquiry process

"This program was excellent, and I truly liked all of it. Hands-on mapping was an excellent way to learn about our streets in Peterborough."

Immigration stories – grade 6

The story begins in the museum's permanent galleries with indigenous migrations, Treaty 20, and the arrival of the region's earliest European settlers. Students then discover the personal stories of the 1825 Peter Robinson immigrants from Ireland through role playing and exploring archival documents detailing their journey to the backwoods of Upper Canada.

  • Ontario curriculum for social studies 2013: 'Heritage and identity: communities in Canada, past and present'

Jump into geometry – Grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Let's do some math at the museum! Through our quilt collection, students will become detectives as they search for a variety of shapes and patterns. With the eye of a curator, they will search for the "bigger" pictures and help us solve an old mystery. The program concludes with four hands-on math centres exploring patterns and shapes.

  • Ontario curriculum for mathematics: 'Geometry and Shapes' and 'Patterning and Algebra' grades 1 to 5

Literacy at the museum – grade 4, 5 and 6

Fascinating artifacts from our collection generate ideas for storyboards, reports, letters, drama and storytelling.

  • Ontario curriculum for language: grades 4, 5, and 6

Simple machines – grade 2

What is it? How does it work? Through a variety of hands-on learning activities, students will decode the ways in which wheels, pulleys, levers, and screws combine to make 'work' easier.

  • Ontario curriculum for science and technology: 'Understanding Structure and Mechanisms', 'Movement': grade 2

Playtimes past – kindergarten and pre-school

In this gentle introduction to museums, young children enjoy the simple pleasures of a wide variety of games and toys. Traditional indigenous and early settler life is explored with a focus on play.

kids investegating

Secondary school programs

Custom programs may be designed for secondary students using our significant textile, military, photographic and archival collections.

 Temporary Program - "Exploring Ancient Routes: Highlights of the Robert L. Hunter Map Collection"

The exhibition (on loan from the Trent Univeristy Library and Archives) and accompanying school program explores the world as it was envisioned and displayed by historic cartographers. The maps in this exhibit help us understand how the world was explored, recorded, and described over the past 500 years, and allow us to compare how the world was seen in the past to how it is view and described in our present day. 

This 120 minute program is offered for all grade levels, and is tailored for each group individually. Students will be introduced to the exhibit and will have a discussion on how our view of the world has changed over the past 500 years. This will be followed by a tour of the exhibit, and activities that allow students to explore the physical characteristics of our own world, use new technology to view maps as they are created today, and investigate the important and unique characteristics of historic maps displayed in the exhibit. Teachers are provided with support materials to enhance their visit to the exhibit, and support classroom activities and lessons for students to complete.

Grades 7 to 10

Learning Goals:

  • Compare the similarities and differences in maps of a particular area over time;
  • Describe and demonstrate how to use tools and resources to accurately map a particular area; and
  • Identify the role of new technology in mapping and address historic issues or problems

Essential Questions:

  • What are the similarities and differences in maps of a particular area over time?
  • What tools do we need to map a particular area/location and how do we use them?
  • How can we use new, modern technology and maps to answer problems and issues of the past?

Grades 11 and 12

Learning Goals:

  • Describe and analyze the similarities and differences in maps of a particular area over time;
  • Use modern technologies to investigate geographic events and exploring activities of the past; and
  • Analyze and describe the evolution and changes in mapping technology as well as exploratory trends over time

Essential Questions:

  • What are the similarities and differences in maps of a particular area over time? Why do you think changes occur or do not occur?
  • Why are old maps still important for addressing historic questions using modern tools and technology?

Frozen moments – grades 7, 8 and 10

Using a selection from the Balsillie Collection of Roy Studio Images, students will learn about how to "read" a photograph through careful and critical examination. The images from this collection offer a comprehensive visual history of Peterborough.

Photo waiver

In the course of all program activities, photos will be taken and audio and/or visual recordings may be made. We reserve the right to use all photographs and videos of our programs, participants, special events and facilities for promotional purposes. Children's names are not used. Please advise the Instructor of any children whose parents have indicated that they are not have their picture taken.