Educational Programs

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 through inquiry-based learning practices. For community groups, our programs provide unique, engaging life-long learning opportunities.

To book your program

Send a request to [email protected] or call 519-836-1221 ext. 3552, indicating the grade level and number of participants anticipated in your group.

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STEM Week 2022

Presented in partnership with Department of Physics, University of Guelph.

Ever wondered … how things work? How space travel is possible? Why some things float and other things sink? How we generate electricity? How sound travels? Let’s discover the answers together!

Led by professors Dr. Joanne O’Meara and The Great Orbax, this program includes three live science explorations, rooted in the core STEM threads of the Ontario elementary school curriculum. At each station there will be an extension exercise that incorporates coding, to address this key area of focus in the 2022 curriculum.

STEM Week also features a guided tour of the exhibition Iron Willed: Women in STEM. Students will discover the stories of historical and contemporary women in STEM, and will participate in discussion centred in equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM.

Grades 6 to 8. 90 minutes.

Curriculum Links

  • Understanding Structures and Mechanisms
  • Understanding Matter and Energy
  • Understanding Life Systems
  • Understanding Earth and Space Systems

Available for a limited time only:

Monday, November 28 to Friday, December 2
10-11:30 AM or  1-2:30 PM

Evening and weekend sessions available by request.

Maximum 30 participants per session.

Location:

Guelph Civic Museum

Fee:

$6 per person; teachers and chaperones admitted free­


We Are Connected

A hands-on program rooted in the K to 3 Social Studies, History, and Geography curriculum

Students will explore natural and built features of the local landscape, understand land and water relationships, and learn about the history of the place we now call Guelph. They will make connections between people and their communities, centred in local perspectives, while exploring how actions of the past and present affect our future. Learning modules include Where the Rivers Meet, the Garden on the Hill, and the City Gallery Community Quilt creative activity

Grades K to 3. 90 minutes.

Curriculum LinksCity Gallery map of Guelph

  • Kindergarten: Understanding the natural world and the need to care for and respect the environment
  • Grade 1: Connections between people and environments
  • Grade 2: Traditions and ways of life in local and global communities
  • Grade 3: How different uses of land and resources affect the environment

Available year-round

Monday through Friday
10-11:30 AM or 1-2:30 PM

Evening and weekend sessions available by request.Community Quilt activity. Colourful plates have been drawn on by students and are hanging on the wall.

Maximum 40 participants per session.

Location:

Guelph Civic Museum

Fee:

$6 per person; teachers and chaperones admitted free­


Doctor, Soldier, Poet: The McCrae Story

A program centered in remembrance and the enduring legacy of Lt. Col. John McCrae.

Offered year-round at McCrae House, this program is centred in lived experiences of the First World War, as witnessed by Lt. Col. John McCrae, doctor, soldier, and author of “In Flanders Fields.” Recognizing that remembrance and reflection are practiced at all ages, this program is specifically designed for two age brackets: K to Grade 4 and Grades 5 to 8.

All students will explore McCrae House, engage images and artifacts of the First World War, and experience the Memorial Gardens.

Students in the K to Grade 4 program will learn about the origins of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance through a hands-on planting activity.

Students in the Grades 5 to 8 program will learn how wartime writers, past and present, use poetry and spoken word to express their experiences of war.

Grades K to 4: 75 minutes
Grades 5 to 8: 90 minutes

Curriculum Links

Grades K to 3:

  • Understanding local and global communities, investigating traditions
  • Citizenship through community, identity, relationships, respect, stewardship
  • Past and present traditions and heritage, understanding chronology
  • Active listening, awareness of signs and symbols

Grades 4 to 8:

  • Discovering how Canadians participate in the world in different ways
  • How human activities cause social, practical, environmental, and economic consequences
  • How social changes around the world have had a lasting impact on Canada
  • Oral communication, reading, writing, and media literacy

Available year-round

Monday through Friday
K to Grade 4: 10-11:15 AM or 1-2:15 PM
Grades 5 to 8: 10-11:30 AM or 1-2:30 PM

Evening and weekend sessions available by request.

Maximum 30 participants per session.

Location

McCrae House

Fee

$6 per person; teachers and chaperones admitted free­


History in the Making 

An exploration of how history is uncovered, shaped, and told. 

This program introduces students to the process of researching and telling stories from history. Students will explore Guelph Museums’ feature exhibitions, take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museums’ collections, and use primary sources to learn about the lives of a diverse array of preteens who lived in Guelph between the years 1827 and 1914.

Throughout the program, museum educators will guide students in an interrogation of the subjectivity and bias that have traditionally affected the telling of historical stories. The program will culminate with an activity in which students will create simple exhibitions telling their own stories in their own voices.

Grades 7 & 8. 120 minutes.

Curriculum Links 

  • Canada, 1800-1850: Conflict and Challenges 
  • Creating Canada, 1850-1890 
  • Canada, 1890-1914: A Changing Society
  • Media Literacy 

Available year-round

Monday through Friday
10-12 noon or 1-3 PM

Evening and weekend sessions available by request.

Maximum 30 participants per session.

Location:

Guelph Civic Museum

Fee:

$6 per person; teachers and chaperones admitted free


John Galt and the Instant City

Mike Ford & Murray Foster

A video-streamed history musical exploring the founding of Guelph in a new light.

Guelph’s founding story traditionally centred on John Galt’s arrival in Canada in 1827 to build a Scottish settlement. The story celebrated the building of a vibrant colony. It did not convey the destructive impact of colonization on Indigenous Peoples who lived on this land from time immemorial.

John Galt and the Instant City reconsiders the founding story of Guelph, sparking critical thinking about our past, illuminating truth, and inspiring action towards reconciliation.

Grades 7 to 12. 60 minutes.

Curriculum Links

  • Canada, 1800-1850: Conflict and Challenge
  • Canada, 1982-Present
  • Origins and Citizenship: The History of a Canadian Ethnic Group
  • Canada: History, Identity and Cultures

Funded in part by Musagetes Fund, a grant from the Guelph Community Foundation and Government of Canada, Museum Assistance Program

Filmed on location at River Run Centre by Ward 1 Studios.

Location:

Online

Fee:

Available at no cost during the the month of November, to support Treaties Recognition Week.


Self-Guided Museum Tours

We welcome your group at McCrae House and the Civic Museum for self-guided experiences. We provide an orientation at the start of your visit, and materials and suggested activities to make the most of your time at the museum.

McCrae House is the birthplace of Lt. Col. John McCrae, doctor, soldier and writer of In Flanders Fields. Exhibitions at this site focus on McCrae’s life in Guelph, his artistic pursuits, his medical and military service, and the impact of his legacy. The museum provides space for reflection and contemplation, inside and in the outdoor gardens.

The Civic Museum showcases Guelph’s history through permanent and featured exhibitions, including interactive installations in the Families Gallery, the City Gallery, and the Where the Rivers Meet display.

Feature exhibitions at the Civic Museum include:

  • Witnessing War (April 30 to December 4)
  • Iron Willed: Women in STEM (September 17 to February 20, 2023)

Location:

Guelph Civic Museum and/or McCrae House

Fee:

$6 per person; teachers and chaperones admitted free


Museum Everywhere

Lectures, science challenges, musical performances, and more at your fingertips

Available at no cost at Museum Everywhere

Access a variety of educational programs anytime, from anywhere. Check back regularly for new additions.

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