Education 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 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.


For education program bookings and inquiries, please complete an Education Program & Tour Request Form and submit to We will do our very best to get back to you in a timely manner regarding availability.


  • $6 per participant, per program (unless otherwise noted)
  • $9 per participant for two programs on the same day
  • $60 minimum fee
  • Liability insurance fees may apply
  • Self-guided exploration of the Museum before or after the program is included in the fee
  • Teachers, education assistants, and classroom volunteers are admitted free
  • Payment by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, debit, cash or cheque payable to Guelph Museums is required in advance
  • Cancellations must be received two business days in advance or a $40 cancellation fee applies
  • $20 administration fee will apply if payment is not received on or before the booking date

Booking Terms

  • For groups of children, 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.

Explore the 2018 – 2019 Education Program Offerings

At the Civic Museum

NEW Create Your Own Guelph History Adventure!
Grades K to 3 – 90 Minutes
Design a program to suit the needs of your students. Choose any three of five possible activities. Each activity is 30 minutes in length.


  • Brown Bats, Beavers and Bees, oh my! – Learn about the animals native to Guelph and the surrounding region through the use of puppet play and inquiry-based education kits.
  • Building Guelph – A guided exploration of Guelph’s built structures including storytelling and a build-and-create activity using a broad range of materials.
  • This Land is Their Land – Through hands-on artifact study, students will learn about Indigenous foods, animals, and transport before European settlement.
  • Royal City Families Gallery – A full immersion into Guelph’s history through lived stories of Indigenous, Settler, Victorian-era, and post-Second World War children.
  • Growing Guelph – Discover the diverse peoples who lived in this region before the founding of Guelph in 1827.
  • My First Museum Visit – Our youngest visitors will have the chance to play, create, explore, and learn through fun and experiential activities.

Curriculum Links :
Belonging and Contributing
Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours
Problem Solving and Innovating · Heritage and Identity
People and Environments
Science / Understanding Structures and Mechanisms

Toys and Games Through Time and Across Cultures
Grades K to 4 – 90 minutes
Investigate toys from our past and from different cultures, discovering their purposes, properties, history, and cultural significance. As a souvenir of the learning experience, make a toy to take home.

Curriculum Links:
Belonging and Contributing
Problem Solving and Innovating
Heritage and Identity · People and Environments

NEW From Fibre to Fashion
Grades 8 to 11 – 90 minutes
The clothing collection at Guelph Museums spans 190 years of fashion history. Go behind-the-scenes in this experiential program to see how this collection is preserved. Learn to card and spin wool and to wash and care for clothing in the pioneer tradition. Try your hand at dressing a mannequin in heritage clothing.

Curriculum Links:
Creating Canada
A Changing Society
Clothing · Influences on Clothing Choices
Making Knowledgeable Decisions
Design and Clothing Construction Skills
Understanding Fashion
Influences on Fashion
Design and Fashion Construction Skills

Local Government Week
Grade 5 – 90 minutes
Available October 9 to October 19, 2018
City Hall – Guelph Civic Museum
Free – Spaces are limited

Book at using keywords Visit City Hall, Guelph / Local Government Week
Meet the mayor or a city councillor at City Hall and then visit the Museum to learn about local government.

Curriculum Links:
People and Environments

Civics and Citizenship

NEW Sons of 17 – video preview
Grades 7 to 12 – 105 minutes (includes performance and tour)
One Day Only – Friday, November 9, 2018
Performances at 10:00 AM / 1:00 PM
Tours at 9:15 AM / 11:15 AM / 12:15 PM / 2:15
Guelph Civic Museum and McCrae House
$10 per student – Performances limited to 70 / Tours limited to 35

On the centenary of the Armistice, the Museum offers two special performances of Sons of 17, a musical remembrance by Mike Ford (Moxy Früvous) and Murray Foster (Moxy Früvous, Great Big Sea). The performance tells the story of an unlikely pair of musicians who meet in Guelph during the spring of 1917 to rehearse songs for soldier recruitment, all while revealing home front emotions, opinions and diversions of the time. Tours of McCrae House are offered before and after each performance.

Curriculum Links:

Canada 1890–1914 · Canada since WW1
Canada: A Changing Society
World History since 1900 · Canada 1867–1945

NEW STEM Week: The Physics of Life – video preview 
Grades 6 to 8 – 90 minutes
Available November 26 – 29, 2018
Daily 10:00 – 11:30 AM / 1:00 – 2:30 PM
Guelph Civic Museum
Spaces Are Limited

Learn about biodiversity, mechanics of flight, physics of space exploration and astronomy, and electricity and electrical devices. Participants will experience fun and educational activities designed by current undergraduate students while interacting one-on-one with professors, lecturers, and graduate student volunteers.

Curriculum Links:

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

NEW No Word for Art: Exploring the Indigenous Roots of Creativity
In collaboration with Chippewas of Nawash artist Naomi Smith (from Neyaashiinigmiing, Ontario)

Grades 4 to 8 – 120 minutes (including 20 minute break)
Available April 8 – 12, 2019
Daily 9:30 – 11:30 AM / 12:30 – 2:30 PM
Guelph Civic Museum
$15 plus material costs, per student: $10 hair-pipe bracelet or $20 deer hide medicine bag
Maximum 30 participants per session

Taught through the history and practice of traditional beadwork, participants will explore Indigenous creative processes and teachings. Smith will lead the students on a historical journey (20 minutes) and a tour of the exhibition Indianized (20 minutes). The students will then create their own hair-pipe bracelet or deer-hide medicine bag.

For the exhibition Indianized, artist Naomi Smith has embellished everyday objects using traditional Indigenous imagery. Her beadworks reflect that our material culture is no longer about practical functionality; instead, logos and brands have become the symbols that define societal meaning and value. Indianized adds to this phenomena in unusual and visually intriguing ways, without losing sight of the time-honoured traditions of the Woodlands First Nations. Indianized is on view from March 9 to May 19, 2019.

Curriculum Links:

Heritage and Identity · Visual Arts · People and Environments
New France and British North America, 1713–1800
Canada, 1800–1850 · Creating Canada, 1850–1890
Canada, 1890–1914

Guided Exhibition Tours
60 minutes
Guelph Civic Museum / McCrae House

The Civic Museum showcases Guelph’s history through semi-permanent and featured exhibitions, including the interactive installations in the Royal City Families Gallery and the City Gallery.  McCrae House is the birthplace of Lt. Col. John McCrae, writer of In Flanders Fields.  We will welcome your group at either site and guide you through the highlights.

At McCrae House:

The First World War Remembered
Grades 1 to 12 – 90 minutes
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. This program is now offered in an exclusive classroom within the refurbished Coach House.

Curriculum Links:
Heritage and Identity
People and Environments
Canada, 1890–1914

Canada at War: the Guelph Wellington Experience
Grades 7, 8, 10
Full Day, 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM
One Day Only – Thursday, May, 16, 2019
$8 per student
Guelph Armoury, Wellington County Museum and Archives, and McCrae House

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

Curriculum Links:
Canada, 1890–1914
Canadian History since World War I
Historical inquiry and Skill Development
Canada, 1914–1929
Canada, 1929–1945
Canada, 1945–1982
Canada, 1982 to the Present

In the Community:

Historic Guelph Walking Tour
For all ages – $40 – 60 minutes

Education Programs for Grades 4 to 12 – 90 minutes
Guelph Civic Museum and Downtown Guelph
Discover where Guelph began, how the city has changed, and who contributed to its formation on this walking tour of historic downtown Guelph.

Curriculum Links:
People and Environments
Heritage and Identity Canada 1800–1850
Creating Canada 1850–1890 Canada, 1890–1914
Canada, 1914–1929 Issues in Canadian Geography
Canada, 1929–1945 Canada, 1945–1982
Canada, 1982 to the Present

Tales Among the Tombstones
Tours for All Ages – 60 minutes
Education Programs for Grades 4 to 12 – 90 minutes
Woodlawn Memorial Park

Uncover the fascinating stories of the people 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.

Curriculum Links:
People and Environments
Heritage and Identity
New France and British North America Canada 1800–1850
Creating Canada 1850–1890
Canada, 1890–1914 Canada, 1914–1929
Issues in Canadian Geography
Canada, 1929–1945 Canada, 1945–1982
Canada, 1982 to the Present
Changing Populations Liveable Communities
Historical Inquiry and Skill Development
Natural and Human Systems Dynamics and Change
Origins and Citizenship
Canada History Identity and Culture

NEW Hop-On Tours of Historic Guelph
Tours for All Ages – 90 minutes
You provide the bus, we provide the guide
Cost: $60
Available Year Round
Touring Guelph by charter bus? Hire a Guelph Museums’ guide to hop on and lead your group on a driving tour of notable sites throughout historic Guelph. The tour includes Guelph’s founding site, the birthplace of John McCrae, Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate, Locomotive 6167, City Hall, and more!

Community Talks and Classroom Visits:

Public Tours for All Ages

Cost: $40 (plus mileage if outside of Guelph)
The museum will come to you.
Museum educators are available to provide interactive presentations on:

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