Education Programs

Education Programs 2016-2017

Consider Guelph Civic Museum and McCrae House your community classroom, where history comes to life in inspiring and enriching ways. For school groups, our programs are designed to support the learning objectives of the Ontario curriculum at each level, and have been updated to align with inquiry-based learning practices. For community groups, our programs provide unique, engaging life-long learning opportunities.

Explore the 2017 Educational Program Brochure


At the Civic Museum:

My First Museum Visit (NEW), Preschool, Junior and Senior Kindergarten (60 minutes)

Experience the museum through stories, crafts, puppets and play in our Families Gallery.

Games and Toys Through Time and Across Cultures, Grades K to 4 (90 minutes)
Heritage and Identity / Science and Technology

Students will investigate toys from our past and from different cultures, discovering their purposes, properties, history, and cultural significance. As a souvenir of their learning experience, students will make a toy to take home.

Growing Guelph, Preschool to Grades 3 (90 minutes)
People and Environments / Heritage and Identity

Students discover the human and natural evolution and diversity of Guelph, tracing changes in animal and human populations through the real-life stories of local First Nations, Settler, Victorian-era, and Post-Second World War children.

Behind These Stone Walls, Grades 1 to 12 (90 minutes)
The Local Community / Heritage and Identity / Communities in Canada / Creating Canada / History Identity and Culture

Guelph Civic Museum is home to over 35,000 artifacts, 10,000 images, and hundreds of stories about this great city. Students will put their historian and curator caps on and head behind the scenes into our storage vaults to investigate artifacts and the stories they tell.

For a limited time only:

Water Above and Water Below: Guelph’s Groundwater System, Grade 2 (90 minutes). Available January 27 to September 10, 2017. Free to the first 1000 grade 2 students from City of Guelph schools, courtesy of Water Works, City of Guelph.

Through gallery exploration and hands-on activities, explore the story of Guelph’s water from the ground up, including how we get water in our homes and how it is made safe to drink. Coincides with the exhibition, A Ripple Effect: Canadians and Fresh Water, on loan from Museum London and supported by Canadian Heritage. Water Above and Water Below education program is generously supported by City of Guelph Water Services and Children’s Groundwater Festival.

At McCrae House:

The First World War Remembered, Grades 1 to 12 (90 minutes)
Heritage and Identity / People and Environments / Canada 1890-1914: A changing society / Canada 1914-1929 / World History since 1900

Students will trace the experience of Canadians during the First World War through exploration of life in the trenches, hands-on study of First World War artifacts and uniforms, and reflection on John McCrae’s poem, In Flanders Fields.

John McCrae: Doctor, Soldier, Poet, Grades 5 to 12 (90 minutes)
Heritage and Identity / People and Environments / Canada: 1890 -1914 / A Changing Society / Canada 1914-1929 / Canadian History since World War One / History, Identity and Culture / World History since 1900

Students will investigate the life of John McCrae by experimenting with basic surgical techniques, exploring the kit of a First World War soldier, and writing prose relating to the Great War.

For a limited time only:

Christmas in the Trenches, Grades 5 to 12 (90 minutes)
People and Environments / 1890 – 1914: A Changing Society / Canadian History Since World War One / History, Identity and Culture

Examine the life of a soldier in First World War trenches during the Christmas season through hands-on artifact study, a Letters From the Front activity, and trench art-making.

Canada at War: the Guelph Wellington Experience, Grades 7, 8 and 10 (Full day)- Available Thursday, May 18, 2017 | Guelph Armoury, McCrae House, and Wellington County Museum and Archives | $8 per student
Canada 1800- 1850: Conflict and Challenges / 1890 -1914: A Changing Society / Canadian History Since World War

During this unforgettable day-long exploration of Canadian military history, students will visit three sites to witness demonstrations, participate in hands-on experiences, and meet with veterans, re-enactors, active soldiers and military experts.  They will learn about Aboriginal warrior societies, War of 1812, American Civil War, First and Second World Wars, and more recent military engagements.

In the community:

Historic Downtown Guelph Walk, Grades 4 to 12 (90 minutes)- Guelph Civic Museum and Downtown Guelph
People and Environments / Heritage and Identity / Canada, 1800-1850 / Creating Canada, 1850-1890 / Challenge and Change in Society

Students take a guided walking tour, discovering where Guelph began, how the city has grown and changed, and who contributed to the formation of the city.

Tales Among the Tombstones, Grades 4 to 12 (90 minutes)- Woodlawn Memorial Park
People and Environments / Heritage and Identity / Canada 1800-1850 / Canada 1850-1890 / History Identity Culture

Students will uncover a wealth of information through the fascinating stories of those interred at Guelph’s historic Woodlawn Memorial Park.  This guided walking tour and field study includes examination of symbolism, epitaphs and burial practices, along with a hands-on graphing or gravestone rubbing activity.

Classroom visits

The museum will come to you! Our museum educators are available to provide presentations* on:

  • The History of Guelph
  • The First World War
  • The Life and Times of John McCrae
  • Two Guelph Soldiers in the Great War

*$40.00 per hour + HST (plus mileage if outside of Guelph)

Prices and information

The price is $5 per participant, per program/tour unless otherwise noted; or $7.50 per participant for two programs/tours on the same day ($40 minimum fee).

Payment by VISA, MasterCard, debit, cash or cheque payable to Guelph Museums is required in advance.

Cancellation of a booked program/tour must be received two business days in advance or a charge of $40 will be assessed.

For groups of children, teachers and adult chaperones are admitted free. We require one adult chaperone for every six children. Due to space limitations at McCrae House, there is a limit of 30 people (total participants and chaperones) per program at that site.

Programs are available during regular museum hours, as well as during evenings and weekends.

 Insurance fees may apply


For education program bookings and inquiries, please complete the downloadable form below and submit to 

Education Program Request Form

We will do our very best to get back to you in a timely manner regarding availability.