Grades JK – 3

Programs Notice

The Canadian Canoe Museum is temporarily closed, and our programs are on pause as we prepare to move to our new museum.

If you’d like to be notified when our education programs resume, please sign up for our Educator’s Newsletter.

Visit FAQ

What is the cost?

  • School-day program cost is $9* per student for one 90-minute staff-led program.
    • Unless otherwise noted.
  • Additional 90-minute staff-led programs are $6* per student.
  • We require a minimum fee for 15 participants.
  • There are no additional taxes on education programs

Can we have lunch?

  • Lunch space is included in your visit if scheduled.  
  • There is no food on site please bring a lunch
  • A water fountain is available.

How many chaperones can I bring?

  • Chaperones are included at no extra cost at the following ratios:
    • K-3 1:5
    • 3-8 1:8
    • 9+ 1:10
  • We do not recommend any additional adults.

How long are the programs?

  • Programs are approximately 90-minutes long unless otherwise noted.
  • Most classes do a two program day with a 30 minute lunch and 30 minutes at the end of the day for self touring and shopping.

Do you offer French programming?

  • Many programs are available in French or English please inquire when booking.

Can I schedule time for students to see the museum?

  • Yes we can definitely schedule time for students to self tour!
  • We recommend 30 minutes.

Can I schedule time for students to snack in the morning?

  • Yes but please let us know in advance so we can plan your program accordingly.

Can I come for a program after hours?

  • Week-night program cost is $11* per student for one program
  • We require a minimum fee for 15 to run these programs.

Can we come back to spend more time in the galleries?

  • Yes with our new class pass you can come back for only $2 a student.

We are a lower income school do you offer any subsidies?

  • As a non-profit we run our educational programming with the lowest fees possible.  However may of our past groups have made their trip possible with support for busing fees from the charity Day Trippers
How To Book

To book a school program, email Peter Vooys, Programs Manager, here with the following:

  • Your name
    • A contact number for you
  • The names of any other teachers accompanying you
  • Your School
  • Student Grade
  • Number of Students
  • Preferred Dates
  • Preferred Arrival Time
  • Program Choices if Known
  • Any special needs or considerations of your class

Canoes Count (JK-SK)

Puppets Jacques and Kathy need your students’ help! Students measure, count, sort and re-create patterns using colourful, large-format mats to choose the right canoe for paddling in different water environments. There’s music and movement too: Learn an action-based “how-to-paddle” song, and try out kindergartener-sized paddles and our rocking canoe! This is a very active, diverse program that focuses on counting, measurement and patterns while addressing many curriculum links.
Frames: Belonging and Contributing, Self-Regulation and Well-Being, Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours, Problem Solving and Innovating
Expectations 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 28, 29, 31

Help them Get Home (K-1)

Discover Canada’s wildlife, habitats and the needs of living things! Students join us on an imaginary canoe journey through the woodlands, meeting animal puppets along the way. Up next: a guided scavenger hunt throughout the museum to explore and apply these big ideas, finding and gathering ‘lost’ creatures to return them to their appropriate ‘home’ or habitat. A program full of fun, imagination, sorting activities, environmental awareness and music!
Kindergarten BC, SRWB, PSI, Expectations: 1-5, 7,8,9, 13, 14, 21, 25, 28, 29
Grade 1 SCIENCE Understanding Life Systems: Needs and Characteristics of Living Things
Grade 1-3 Language – Oral Communication 1,2
“My parent volunteers were so impressed with the programs and the instructors. They couldn’t believe how engaged the students were all day long. They said it was the best class trip they had ever been on!” – St Theresa CES

The Perfect Machine (Gr 1-3)

What makes the canoe a “perfect machine”? Students explore the form, materials, art and function of this Indigenous invention by carrying out their own experiments with canoe design, buoyancy, flotation and surface tension. Also included: handling traditional First Nations’ materials for birch-bark canoe building, a co-operative floor puzzle and canoe origami. Students have the option to take their origami canoe home or send it down the museum’s indoor waterfall!
Grade 1 Science Understanding Structures and Mechanisms
Grade 2 SCIENCE Properties of Liquids and Solids
Grade 1-3 Visual Arts
Grade 1-3 Language – Oral Communication 1,2
“The program was so well designed for this age group. The students never had to sit still for long periods of time and the information was given in appropriate amounts so that students were able to retain the learning. Great program for my Grade 3 students!” – Teacher

Bark, Skin and Cedar (Gr 3-4)

An active, hands-on exploration of traditional Indigenous watercraft, tied to the grade 3-4 curriculum. Students compare different First Nations and Inuit watercraft – materials, form, function – and work in pairs or groups of three to investigate the geographic regions of Canada connected to each specific craft and culture. Each student works on his or her own mapping activity during the program, which can be taken back to class for assessment or further exploration. This program starts with a short hands-on small-group interactive tour of the galleries’ aboriginal watercraft, and ends with a whole-group sharing and analysis of students’ findings.
Grade 3 Heritage and Identity: Communities in Canada 1780-1850
(Grade 4 People and Environments: Pol
itical and Physical Regions of Canada)
 Grade 1-3 Language – Oral Communication 1,2 Reading 1
As always, The Canoe Museum has offered up a fantastic program that fits the curriculum quite nicely. Thank you for broadening the lives of our students today! – Teacher

Paddle to the Sea (Gr 1-2) 

An arts- and geography-focused introduction the museum, canoes and the Great Lakes Region with Holling C. Holling’s classic character, Paddle to the Sea, as host and guide. We play a cooperative game on a huge floor map of the Great Lakes to reinforce ideas from the story/film about water safety, currents, Ojibwa culture, and lakes, rivers and habitat and mapping. Students get to handle materials for birch-bark canoe building and paint a Paddle to the Sea wooden cutout to take home.
While not required, pre-visit experience of the book or movie will greatly deepen students’ learning experience. Before your visit, please share the book or 30-minute film in English or French for your class. The film is available to stream at no cost from the National Film Board here: Paddle to the Sea or  Voyage a la mer
Grade 1-3 Visual Arts
Grade 1-3 Language: Oral Communication 1, 2 Reading 1
Grade 1-3 Health and Physical Education Active Living/Living Skills
“The students were intrigued with the soapstone pendant program. The process was very well explained and clear. The students were engaged the whole time we were there and were excited to answer the program leaders’ questions. The program really complemented what we were doing in the classroom prior to our trip.” – Teacher
“Students LOVED the soapstone carving workshop – many are still wearing their pendants today!” – Allison Janssen (St Catherine CES)

Soapstone Carving (Gr 1-3)

Carve a unique soapstone pendant using only stone, sandpaper, water and oil!
A guided exploration of our Arctic Gallery, including handling and discussion of artifacts, provides an introduction to the Inuit cultural context of this art form.
Grade 1-3 Visual Arts
Grade 1-3 Language – Oral Communication 1,2

Canoe Senses (K-2)

Interactive and fun activities exploring the five senses throughout the Museum’s Galleries! Program elements include bannock-tasting, cooperative storytelling using North American animal puppets, and learning a song! Students also create (andtake home!) a cardstock canoe based on an Ojibwe watercraft in our collection.
Kindergarten BC, SRWB, DLMB, PSI, Expectations: 1-4, 7,8,9, 21, 22, 23, 25, 28, 29,30
Grade 1-3 Language: Oral Communication 1, 2
Grade 1-3 Visual Arts

Watercolour Painting (Gr 2-3) 

A hands-on painting skills program that puts art in the context of expressing one’s culture and connection to the environment. Students spend the majority of this program painting. They first learn specific watercolour techniques with artist-quality paint and brushes. Then, it’s off into the Galleries, in pairs or groups of 3, to apply their newfound skills and create two paintings inspired by the exhibits of their choice. A ‘gallery exhibition’ of their work at the end of the program celebrates their creations, allowing each student to share and celebrate each other’s strengths and artistic expressions.
This program is available for grade 2+.  (For a painting program for Kindergarten and Grade 1, ask about our paddle-painting option)
Grade 2-3 Visual Arts
Grade 2-3 Language – Oral Communication 1,2
“Thank you Jen and Ally for telling me there is nothing to be afraid of because I was a little scared. I overcame my fear and I wanted to go again. I also learned the voyageur salute.” – Student

Voyageur Paddling Program 

Students have the unique experience of paddling a 36″ Montreal Canoe up the Peterborough Lift Lock and along the canal. This stunning canoe is a replica of a canoe used in Canada’s Fur Trade era. Students learn about Voyageur history and First Nations’ roles in the Fur Trade through story, role play, and costume, as well as the history and engineering of the lift lock.
“I just wanted to send along a HUGE thank you and to let you know how AWESOME the programming and staff were for our sleepover – what a fantastic experience. The girls and their moms and grandmothers all had such a wonderful time. Please pass on our deepest thanks and appreciation!!” – Julie Simard (25th Brownies Peterborough)


Sleepover in the Museum’s Galleries! You get exclusive access to the Museum’s exhibits during your overnight experience. We create a custom schedule base around our education programs. It’s a great camp-in option that can’t get rained out.