Education Programs

The Dundas Museum and Archives gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the education program by the Tom and Wilma (McKee) Dobson Family

Arranging An Educational Visit to the DMA

The Dundas Museum & Archives is dedicated to providing fun and engaging curriculum based educational programming. A visit by your class or community group is a chance to engage in historical thinking through inquiry-based learning activities.

  • Choose from the Education Programs list or contact us to design a custom program for your class! We encourage collaboration to ensure your objectives will be fully met to the best of our ability.
  • All programs are free of charge.
  • Schools within the boundaries of the Town of Dundas will have their busing fees are covered by Dundas Museum & Archives.
  • Programs are typically 90 minutes in length but can be adjusted depending on the needs of your class.
  • Pre-visit activities can be arranged prior to any program.
  • Please inform us if you would like to eat lunch or have snack time. Our site is frequently booked and facilities may not be available.
  • Submit an Education Request Form on our Contact page. Be sure to select Education Programs under recipient.
  • Contact Anna, Education, Events, and Volunteer Coordinator, at with questions or for more information.

We look forward to arranging your visit to the Dundas Museum and Archives!

Download Education Program Guide

Elementary Programs

JK/SK – Grade 4

Childhood in Dundas

In conjunction with our upcoming exhibition of childhood artifacts, this program will explore how children played, worked, studied, and dressed in Dundas through time. Students will have the opportunity to play traditional games, create their own craft, and learn all about being a kid through the ages!

(Offered November and December 2018)

JK/SK – Grade 1

Games and Toys of Early Settler Children

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the ways in which early settler children made their own fun – without electricity! Your students will learn about early games like Grandmother’s Trunk, try their hand at Cup and Ball, and make their own toy to take home with them.

Grade 1

Social Studies:

Community Helpers Past and Present

This program invites your students to explore the concept of “community” and some important roles and responsibilities people hold.  Students will play a matching game with historic tools and artifacts, discover important Dundas community helpers, and tour The Doctor’s Office to see some of the ways medicine treated patients in the past.

Science and Technology:

Materials, Objects, and Everyday Structures

After examining some materials commonly found in nature, children will consider how creatures and humans alike use the natural world around them. Students will explore our hands-on Neutral Longhouse exhibit to learn how the First Nations people of this region used materials to construct structures and objects. Students will also have the chance to create their own object to take home – a clay pinch pot!

Grade 2

Social Studies:

Finding Your Way

In conjunction with our upcoming exhibit “Finding Your Way: Maps of Dundas”, this exhibit will examine some historical maps of Dundas and Ontario. Students will practice skills for identifying key features on maps and globes, discover why humans first settled in Dundas, and will work to create their own maps. Students will also learn how Dundas and Kaga, Japan became the first twinning of an eastern and western community in 1968.

(Finding Your Way: Maps of Dundas exhibition will end on September 30th, 2018; this program will continue to run with replicas following this date.)

Happy New Year!

This fun and lively program will look at how and when a variety of cultures celebrate their New Year! Does every culture celebrate on the same day? What types of foods do people eat? Your class will discover the answers to these questions and many more! This program will have a special focus on the traditions practiced in Kaga, Japan, the sister city of Dundas.

Grade 3

Social Studies:

A Day in the Life of an Early Settler Child

What was life like for an 8 year old 200 years ago? In this program students will discover the answer! Students will try their hand at writing on a slate, practicing cursive, playing early recess games, and learn about the types of chores they would have had.

Grade 4

Social Studies:

The First People of the Valley

The first people to call Dundas home were the Attawandaron or Neutrals as they were known by the French. This unit explores what life was like in the longhouse of a Neutral First Nations family and considers the relationship between the Neutrals and their environment. Students will have the chance to examine our archaeological artifacts.

Science and Technology:

Secrets of the Niagara Escarpment

Can you imagine that a rock at the bottom of Webster’s Falls is more than 500 million years old? Your students will explore how the Niagara Escarpment was formed and the geological features in our local region. Students will consider how rocks and minerals continued to affect life in Dundas right up to today!

Grade 5

Social Studies:

First Contact

This social studies module explores the consequences of contact between Indigenous peoples and European explorers and settlers in what would eventually become Canada. This lesson includes a visit to the Neutral Longhouse exhibited at the DMA, a discussion of motives for Europeans’ exploration, and analysis of the ways in which this exploration and settlement affected Indigenous peoples. 

Voting in Canada

Not all Canadians have always had the right to vote. This important social studies unit will examine how different groups within Canada gained franchise and why it took so long. Students will learn about Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) voting practices, participate in hands on voting activities, and gain an appreciation for the equal voting rights Canadians now have. Students will also have the opportunity to examine political artifacts from our collection.

Grade 6

Social Studies:

Connecting Dundas to the World: The Desjardins Canal

The opening of the Desjardins Canal in August of 1837 was to usher in The Golden Age of Dundas, but would it last? This social studies module will explore the economic, social, and cultural changes the canal brought to Dundas. The program will ask students to consider how these changes helped to develop the community identity of Dundas. Students will also become acquainted with other canals around the world, and invite them to inquire about their importance.

Grade 7

History – Canada, 1800-1850: Conflict and Challenges:

Rebels and Reformers: Dundas and the Rebellions of 1837

What was the nature of political rumblings so severe as to cause reformers in both Upper and Lower Canada to become rebels, take up arms, and try to force a new system of government? The Rebellions of 1837 were short-lived but had a tremendous lasting impact. Students will explore how these events influenced the development of Canada. Was William Lyon Mackenzie a political failure or a political hero? Employing the museum’s iPad technology for research and presentation, these are just some of the questions your students will pursue.

Dundas and the War of 1812

While not directly engaged in battle, Coote’s Paradise, as Dundas was known during this time, was deeply affected by the War of 1812. This unit will introduce students to the ways in which this conflict affected more than just the soldiers on the battlefield. Students will have the opportunity to examine artifacts from the period in our collection and conduct further research on them using our iPad technology.

Grade 8 History

Creating Dundas: 1837 – 1869

Against the backdrop of Canadian Confederation in 1867, this module presents the story of the young town of Dundas yearning to govern itself. This program will consider circumstances which supported and detracted from the eventual goal of incorporating the Town of Dundas. Students will be able to use this local example to explore wider concepts of democracy and citizenship.


Grade 10 Canadian History Since World War 1 – Strand A and B

Dundas and the First World War

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, students will consider the vast changes this massive conflict brought to Canada and its people. This program will look at different groups that participated in and were affected by the First World War, including women, Indigenous peoples, and immigrants. Students will participate in hands on activities related to both life in the trenches and on the home front. Your class will practice historical inquiry skills and learn about careers within the heritage field in which those skills might be useful.

Understanding Fashion, Grade 11 HNC3CU – The World of Fashion, Grade 12 HNB4M

Silhouettes in Time: 19th Century Fashion in Dundas

The Dundas Museum and Archives has an excellent fashion collection just waiting to be studied! Using examples from the collection, students will identify key features of historical fashions and how they reflect the changes to the social, economic, cultural and political landscape of Dundas during the 19th and 20th centuries. This program will examine trends, marketing, fabrics and the cyclical nature of fashion.

Grade 4 – 12

Classroom Curator

Is your classroom full of curators? Your class will work as a team to create exhibits that relate to your history or social studies curriculum. This program goes beyond a poster or presentation and students will learn what goes into creating a real life exhibit. They will explore the exhibitions on display at the museum and derive the important questions and considerations the curator needs to address in preparing an exhibition. Students will have the chance to work with related artifacts and some archival documents to practice curating a small display.

This program is highly customizable; content is based upon classroom study and the project can be divided into multiple visits.

Art and Artifacts

This program opens up our artifact vault for your students! Students will be given a tour of our artifact storage area, fondly known as ‘The Vault’, and learn about what it takes to safely store and care for artifacts. Upon completion, students will return to the Education Center and have the opportunity to draw artifacts from the collection. Students will be given a brief introduction to drawing objects from life and then have the remainder of the time to draw. This program is highly customizable and specific objects can be chosen for artifact study.

Grove Cemetery Walking Tour

While we might think of cemeteries as spooky, they hold hundreds of years’ worth of stories. This program will familiarize your students with the stories of significant individuals interred in Grove Cemetery, as well as historic burial practices, epitaphs, and symbolism. This program will also introduce students to the study of demographics with a hands-on graphing activity.

Please be prepared to dress comfortably depending on the weather.



Funding  for the purchase of DMA Education’s iPad technology is provided by ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s Corporate Community Investment Fund. The views and opinions expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect those of ArcelorMittal Dofasco.