School Programs

kids in cut-out

The Peterborough Museum & Archives is open to the public as of Monday, January 31, 2022 - including exhibition galleries. Visitors are asked to come prepared to wear a face mask, and to keep physical distance from others. If you are interested in a virtual presentation please contact our Education Officer for more information. 

 We offer a variety of educational programs for classes and community groups, with opportunities to practice archaeology, discover mathematics through quilts and even analyze simple machine artifacts.

Each program addresses specific Ontario Curriculum requirements, and offers exciting hands-on learning opportunities. Depending on your choice of program, activities may take place in our permanent exhibition space or multi-purpose classroom. Please 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.


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

Program Fees

  • $6 per student / participant
  • Minimum of $60 per group
  • Evenings and weekends are minimum $120 per group
  • No charge for supervisors
COVID 19 Protocols
  • All educators will complete COVID-19 screening, are fully vaccinated and will wear a medical grade mask
  • All participants are required to a wear a well fitted mask indoors for the duration of the program
  • Frequently touched surfaces including, but not limited to, washrooms, doorknobs, light switches, handles, sports equipment, toys and water fountains will be disinfected a minimum of twice daily. 
  • Participants are not required to be fully vaccinated 
  • The Museum will maintain a record of all individuals participating in the booked programs including name and contact information for contract tracing purposes


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


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. Programs with a * beside the title can be adapted to be delivered through a virtual presentation. 

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.

  • Ontario curriculum for social studies 2018: 'Heritage and Identity: Communities in Canada, Past and Present'

"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 one of Peter Robinson's settlers, as they make 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 2018: 'Heritage and Identity: 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 2018: 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 2018: 'Heritage and identity: Communities in Canada, Past and Present'

Jump into geometry – grades 1, 2 and 3

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 2020 : 'Social and Emotional Learning Skills and Mathematical Processes, Patterns and Relationships, Spatial Sense' grades 1 to 3

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.

campers in the gallery

Secondary school programs

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

Online Resources

 Class Museum

Together your class will choose a museum theme & go through the step-by-step process of creating their own mini exhibits! This fun project, is suitable for Grades 3-8 and is customizable to suit your learning goals. The program can be taught virtually or in-person, and includes videos to introduce each activity and corresponding PDF work sheets to guide student learning.  Access the program by hitting the button below and we will send the materials right to your inbox.

Class Museum 

 Museum Classroom Blog
Our blog series "Museum Classroom" is a great resource to discover new programming ideas, activities and more! Whether you are learning in a classroom, the kitchen table or the great outdoors please use the resources found here as you see fit. 

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.