JK to Grade 3

To book an elementary school program or for more information email victoria.veenstra@canoemuseum.ca or call 705.748.9153 x218.

Interested in our overnight programs? Download our brochure.

Interested in our overnight programs? Download our brochure.


School-day program cost is $8.00*/student for one program.
Additional programs are $5.00*/student.

Week-night program cost is $10/student for one program
*Fees are as listed above unless otherwise noted below. There are no additional taxes on education program fees.

Please plan to bring 1 adult (including teachers) for every 5 students (no additional fees). 

Programs are approximately 90 minutes long unless otherwise noted. You are welcome to plan arrival to have time for snack before your programs start.



Puppets Jacques and Kathy need your help! Their canoes are in a jumble! Without some measuring, counting and sorting assistance, they’ll never be ready for their canoe trip! Using colourful, large-format mats, students cooperate in a small-group measuring and pattern activity and share their findings with the whole class. Students sort out the right number of PFDs and paddles and try them out in the Museum’s rocking canoe – but not before learning a how-to-paddle song!




This program helps students become more knowledgeable about Canada’s amazing wildlife and their habitats. Students will join a canoeist as s/he goes on a journey and meet many wonderful creatures during an interactive puppet show that introduces the idea of animals needs and their environments. They will then participate in 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!

Grade 1 SCIENCE  Understanding Life Systems: Needs and Characteristics of Living Things



Once described as the perfect machine, the canoe has evolved in Canadian cultures. The canoe is central to travel, commerce, trade and recreation. This core experience emphasizes the aboriginal sources of canoe design. Introduces students to the diversity of styles and building materials featured in the Museum’s collection.

Students explore what makes the canoe “a perfect machine” by carrying out their own experiments with canoe design. Through a fun and interactive water bin activity they will look at buoyancy, flotation and surface tension. Students get hands-on experience exploring traditional First Nations’ materials for birch-bark canoe building. They build a floor puzzle to learn the parts of the canoe AND Make an origami canoe to float down the Museum’s indoor waterfall!

Grade 2 SCIENCE Properties of Liquids and Solids



An active, hands-on exploration of traditional Indigenous watercraft, tied to the grade 3-4 curriculum. Students compare and contrast different First Nations and Inuit watercraft – materials, form, function – and work in pairs or groups of 3 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: Political and Physical Regions of Canada


A geography-focused hands-on introduction to The Canadian Canoe Museum. Canoes and the Great Lakes Region using Clancy Holling’s classic character, Paddle to the Sea, as host and guide. Students will explore the geography and story of Paddle to the Sea’s journey on a room-sized floor map. They will use movement activities to internalize compass directions and the names of the Great Lakes.

Students will play a cooperative game to reinforce ideas about water safety, currents, Ojibway culture, and lakes, rivers and habitat. They will handle the materials for birch-bark canoe building. Students will meet Paddle to the Sea in a puppet show and paint a 14" wooden paddle 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 avail to stream at no cost from the National Film Board here:  Paddle to the Sea    Voyage a la mer 



 Hands-on experience of soapstone carving. Allows students to explore and develop an appreciation for the art of carving and storytelling. They learn of the Inuit connection to land and nature and the animal imagery represented therein. The activity culminates in the student taking home their own soapstone pendant.




Interactive and fun activities exploring the five senses! Participants learn the value of Canada’s environment as it relates to the canoe and Canadian history. Bannock-tasting, a canoe craft, learning a song and making it their own! They’ll also get to meet many of Canada’s wild animals through interactive puppetry and storytelling.



A hands-on painting skills program that puts art in the context of expressing one’s’ culture and connection to the environment. The program allows students to explore the art throughout the Museum’s Galleries in small groups. Students will learn of Frances Anne Hopkins’ use of watercolour to tell the story of the fur trade, the role of painting in Bill Mason’s environmental activism and canoeing, and about First Nations’ art expressed through the canoe.

Students spend the majority of this program painting. They first learn specific watercolour techniques with artist-quality paint and brushes. And then it’s off, in pairs or groups of 3, to explore the inspiration of the Museum, setting up throughout the Galleries to apply their newfound skills and create 2 paintings with the opportunity to paint wherever, and whatever, they choose. A ‘gallery exhibition’ of their work at the end of the program celebrates their creations. Allows each student to share and celebrate each other’s strengths and artistic expressions.

This program is available for grade 2+. 



Duration: 6:00pm – 8:30am
Cost: $40*/student
*Food and drinks not included.

The ultimate Museum experience! Arrive just before 6:00pm for an adventurous evening of learning. Features one program from the list above. Additional hands-on activities and snack time. An indoor campfire full of songs and stories. ‘Camping’ in the Museum’s Voyageur Encampment and/or Wigwam. Departure in the morning by 8:30am. Or add a morning program to further enrich your students’ Museum visit experience for only $5/participant.