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 - "We Were Taught Differently: The Indian Residential School Experience"

The exhibition (on loan from the Lake of the Woods Museum in Kenora, Ontario) and accompanying school program explore life in residential schools, and offers many curricular connections in a variety of classes. Programs can be customized for your class and planning needs.

The 90 minute program starts with an introduction to the exhibit and a discussion on residential schools in Canada. Students will participate in a tour of the exhibit, and closing activities that promote healing, equity and reconciliation. Teachers are provided with materials to enhance their visit to the exhibit, and support classroom activities and lessons for students to complete.

 Grades 3 to 6

Learning Goals:

  • To understand why residential schools were created;
  • To understand the daily routine of students in residential schools; and
  • To understand why residential schools hurt Indigenous peoples

Essential Questions:

  • What is a residential school and why were they created?
  • What was day-to-day life like for students at a residential school?
  • How would you feel if you were an Indigenous person that was forced to go to a residential school? 
Grades 7 to 10 

 Learning Goals:

  • To identify and describe the locations of the residential schools;
  • To describe the population statistics of residential school students;
  • To understand the importance of government and church apologies; and
  • To understand the impacts that residential schools had on Indigenous peoples

Essential Questions:

  • Where are the residential schools located in Ontario? Why are they located in these places?
  • Who were the students at the residential schools? Where did they come from? How many attended? What were the general population stats behind the students?
  • Why are the apologies by the Canadian government and the various churches so important to Indigenous peoples? What is the impact of these apologies?
  • What are some of the lasting impacts that residential schools had on Indigenous individuals and their communities. 

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 - "We Were Taught Differently: The Indian Residential School Experience"

The exhibition (on loan from the Lake of the Woods Museum in Kenora, Ontario) and accompanying school program explore life in residential schools, and offers many curricular connections in a variety of classes. Programs can be customized for your class and planning needs.

The 90 minute program starts with an introduction to the exhibit and a discussion on residential schools in Canada. Students will participate in a tour of the exhibit, and closing activities that promote healing, equity and reconciliation. Teachers are provided with materials to enhance their visit to the exhibit, and support classroom activities and lessons for students to complete.

 Grades 7 to 10
 Learning Goals:
  • To identify and describe the locations of the residential schools;
  • To describe the population statistics of residential school students;
  • To understand the importance of government and church apologies; and
  • To understand the impacts that residential schools had on Indigenous peoples

Essential Questions:

  • Where are the residential schools located in Ontario? Why are they located in these places?
  • Who were the students at the residential schools? Where did they come from? How many attended? What were the general population stats behind the students?
  • Why are the apologies by the Canadian government and the various churches so important to Indigenous peoples? What is the impact of these apologies?
  • What are some of the lasting impacts that residential schools had on Indigenous individuals and their communities. 
 Grades 11 to 12
 Learning Goals
  • To recognize and demonstrate the importance of reconciliation and healing for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples;
  • To understand the lasting impact and legacy of residential schools at the local band, and national levels;
  • To describe the social and cultural conditions and attitudes that promote inequality in our country and world; and
  • To understand and identifyways of promoting and encouraging equality and tolerance in our culture and daily lives.

Essential Questions

  • What is reconciliation and why is it important to both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples in Canada?
  • What are some of the lasting impacts that residential schools had on Indigenous Indigenous communities and the country in general? What is the legacy that residential schools leave behind for all Canadians?
  • What are the social and cultural conditions and attitudes that promote inequality in Canada? That is, why are some people treated differently than others? What are the reasons someone would treat someone as poorly as the Indigenous peoples in Canada were treated?
  • In what ways can we promote and implement equality and tolerance programming in Canada? Why is it important to all Canadians to encourage and support reconciliation for the Indigenous residential school experience?

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.