58 Lesson Plans from Archives and Museums for Ontario Educators

April 16, 2020 | David

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Print outs of archival records

Archives and museums not only preserve knowledge — they support learning.

For example, Digital Archive Ontario — our database of 170,000+ historical items from Toronto Public Library — has sets of primary sources for educators (e.g. The War of 1812, Prohibition in Ontario, Canadian WWI Posters, Canadian WWII Posters).

Below are online lesson plans and educational activities from institutions across Ontario.

The resources cover a variety of subjects for K to 12. Many focus on social studies, with primary sources (firsthand accounts) of the history of Ontario and Canada. Other subjects include science, visual arts and music.

All free. No sign ins or library card needed. 



Archives of Ontario

The province's archive offers lesson plans and more opened-ended "lesson resource kits" on topics related to Ontario, with introductions about the role of archives. (Learn more.)

Elementary school

Middle school

High school



Art Gallery of Ontario

This art museum offers a few online resources for teachers. Some resources refer to in-person visits but are still valuable for remote use. (Learn more.)

Middle to high school



Canadian War Museum

This Ottawa museum features multiple lesson plans and document packages. Below are its lesson plans that include primary source images. (Learn more.)

Middle to high school



Ingenium Museum

The Ingenium brand encompasses three museums. Its online resources includes lesson plans, activities and experiments based on food, flight, science and technology. (Learn more.)

Elementary school

Middle to high school

High school



Library and Archives Canada

Canada's largest "memory institution" features many databases and virtual exhibits for educators. Below are two of its lesson plans. (Learn more.)

Middle school

High school



Royal Ontario Museum

This world-renowned museum has educational activities in addition to lesson plans made with Biodiversity Education and Awareness Network. (Learn more.)

Elementary to middle school



Also explore lesson plans from Infusing Indigenous Perspectives in K-12 Teaching, compiled by University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.


[Edit: corrected link to Lest We Forget resource, April 17, 2020]

[Edit: added link at end of post to highlight Indigenous-focused lesson plans, April 20, 2020]

[Edit: removed broken links to six lesson plans, September 9, 2020]