School Programs and Field Trips

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A school field trip to Schneider Haus National Historic Site is a one-of-a-kind interactive learning opportunity for your class that brings curriculum to life and creates lasting memories. We make it our goal to ensure that programs are linked to and in harmony with the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum and we offer excellent educational value and fun for your students. Region of Waterloo Museums have updated our existing programs and introduced some new offerings, including revised learning resources for teachers.  

 Schneider Haus National Historic Site School Programs
Kinderreim
Kindergarten - Math, Language, and Art
We sing songs, tell stories, and play old-fashioned games that the Schneider children would recognize. Math, language, and art are interwoven throughout the activities of this program, which takes place in our historic house and yard. During the fall and spring months, we incorporate outdoor activities in our gardens.
The Kindergarten Program
1.5 hours, maximum 60 students 

Feathered Friends
Kindergarten – Math, Language, Science and Technology
We keep kids hopping in this program! Students look at the stages of development inside the egg, do some birdie-style dancing and drama, predict and measure egg weights with a scale, and of course visit the baby chicks – all of which makes for a memorable visit.
The Kindergarten Program
1.5 hours, maximum 60 students
Offered March through May 

Schneider Family Rules
Grade 1 - Social Studies
Get into costume and step back in time into the role of a Schneider child from the 1850’s! Students will learn firsthand about the changing roles and responsibilities at home and in the community. Touring room to room and throughout the site, there is always work to be done: cooking in the kitchen, coffee to grind in the pantry, laundry to wash, and settling the baby to sleep.
Heritage and Identity - Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities
2 hours (this program can be combined with others to make a whole day visit), maximum 60 students 

Plants, Animals, and People in the Environment
Grades 1 to 4 - Science and Technology
Roll up your sleeves, it’s time to get to work outside as we dig into the natural world relationships that our planet relies on. Explore plant parts and needs, such as pumping water and working in the garden; making medicine from plants; using mini-microscopes to examine healthy soils; tending to the vermiculture box, and more!
Understanding Life Systems, Understanding Matter and Energy, Understanding Earth and Space Systems
2 hours (this program can be combined with others to make a whole day visit), maximum 60 students
Offered in the Fall and Spring 

It’s Tradition!
Grade 2 - Social Studies
Food, clothing, music, celebration, and ceremony are all things we have in common, but practise differently. With a Mennonite ‘lens’, this interactive program explores common elements that thread through most cultures. Students will participate in a Working Bee. In the fall we focus on apple related activities (making cider and dried apple pieces called Schnitz) and in the spring we shift to wool processing.
Heritage and Identity - Changing Family and Community Traditions
2 hours (this program can be combined with others to make a whole day visit), maximum 60 students 

Patterns and Puzzles
Grades 1, 2 and 3 – Math, Art, Social Studies
This program shows children why quilts are more than something to just throw on their beds! Symmetry, shapes, design, and storytelling are all rolled up into this hands-on, puzzle-solving program. Students work together to lay out different quilt patterns, learn why Waterloo Region has a rich history of stitching together, and get a sneak peek at a selection of this year’s Mennonite Central Committee auction quilts.
Patterning, Geometry and Spatial Sense, Measurement
Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts
Heritage and Identity
2 hours (this program can be combined with others to make a whole day visit), maximum 60 students
Offered in May 

Our Canadian Wildlife
Grades 2 and 4 - Science and Technology
From white-tailed deer to red foxes, this program introduces students to the wildlife and animals found in our backyard! We explore our temporary exhibit, Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year, with hands-on activities that encourage students to examine the differences between local mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as the relationships between humans and animals in both past and present day contexts.
Understanding Life Systems – Growth and Changes in Animals, Habitats and Communities
2 hours (this program can be combined with others to make a whole day visit)maximum 60 students
Offered October 11, 2019 to April 26, 2020 

Canadian Communities
Grade 3 – Social Studies
Students learn about and experience what early settlement was like for the many immigrants who would come to call Canada home. Through hands-on activities and with a focus on the Mennonite population that still makes this region unique, students are divided into activity groups to take part in one of three activities: rope-making, sewing, and cooking.
Heritage and Identity - Communities in Canada 1780-1850
2 hours (this program can be combined with others to make a whole day visit), maximum 60 students

Bread Making: Settlement and Science
Grade 5 - Science & Technology and Social Studies
Through the activity of bread making, we ‘stir up’ discussion about settlement and science! This program provides students with a hands-on opportunity to experience an important activity, not only for early settlers but for peoples from around the world today. Physical and chemical changes, changes of state, and the affects of heat (fire) on matter are demonstrated as students produce three types of bread for sampling: Pennsylvania German Rye, Irish Soda, and Indian Chapatti.
Understanding Matter and Energy – Properties and Changes in Matter
Heritage and Identity - First Nations and Europeans in New France and Early Canada
2 hours, maximum 60 students 

Communities Past and Present 
Grade 6 – Social Studies
Students will discover community groups that call Waterloo Region home, with a focus on the local Mennonite community. We compare, contrast, and contextualize local communities of the past to those that comprise present-day Kitchener. Activities include an exploration of foodways, medicine, language, arts and culture.
Heritage and Identity – Communities in Canada, Past and Present
2 hours, maximum 60 students 

Building Berlin, 1800-1850
Grade 7 and 8 – History and Science & Technology
The early nineteenth century was a time of great change in Canada. Focusing on this transitional period, students will discover the necessities and skills required by this area’s early setters to survive their first winter, begin building functional homes, and form the Village of Berlin (Kitchener). Students will learn about heritage structures and construction techniques, working hands-on with timber-framing and shingle-making tools.
Canada, 1800 – 1850: Conflict and Challenges
Understanding Structures and Mechanisms – Form and Function
2 hours, maximum 60 students

German Language and Heritage
Grade 9 to 12 – Language and History
Pennsylvania-German and continental German traditions meet at Schneider Haus, as we discuss how these groups interacted in Berlin (Kitchener). Students touring the historic house are given the opportunity to stop and take part in a number of activities, such as cooking, woodworking and singing, to experience both similarities and differences within German cultural traditions.
2 hours, maximum 40 students

The Schneider’s as Newcomers
High School and Adult ESL - Language
Practice conversational English in a nationally significant historic setting. Suitable for high school and adult ESL / ELL classes, this program provides an introduction to the customs and culture of the Schneider’s, a Pennsylvania-German Mennonite family representing one of the first European immigrant groups to arrive in Waterloo Region. Basic level language is used to discuss life in the nineteenth century.
1.5 hours, maximum 40 students

History Detectives – Outreach Program
Multiple grades - Social Studies
We bring intriguing artifacts and lively activities to you! In this inquiry-based learning opportunity, students examine and explore mysterious objects from the museum’s collection, gathering their own clues, questions, and observations to draw conclusions. Students are encouraged to consider the historic objects in terms of their own lives, experiences, and community.
1 hour, maximum 30 students

For more information or to book a Schneider Haus National Historic Site School Program contact: 

Katie Anderson
Education Coordinator 
519-575-4491 ext. 3247
Email Katie Anderson

 Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum School Programs
Once Upon a Time
Kindergarten/Grade 1 - Social Studies
Nursery rhymes are the focus of this fun program, where students see animals, feed the chickens, play games, and help with household chores.
Heritage and Citizenship - Relationships, Rules and Responsibilities
The Kindergarten Program, 2016 and Grade 1: Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities
1.5 hours, maximum 45 students

Everyday Structures
Grade 1 - Science and Technology
In this hands-on, participatory program, students use tools and models to simulate construction techniques as they examine barn frames, log buildings, and other structures.
Structures and Mechanisms – Everyday Structures
2 hours, maximum 60 students

Family and Community Traditions
Grade 2 – Social Studies
This program introduces students to a variety of events and festivals celebrated in the Region of Waterloo, including Eid, Hanukah, Diwali, and Chinese New Years. Combine with A Village Christmas 1914 to make a full day visit.
Heritage and Identity – Family and Community Traditions
2 hours, maximum 60 students (offered November and December)

A Village Christmas 1914
Grade 2 and 3 – Social Studies
Christmas and New Year are events used to demonstrate how traditions and celebrations are passed on, preserved, and changed. Students examine ethnic groups, as well as home and public celebrations. Combine with Family and Community Traditions to make a full day visit.
Grade 2 Heritage and Identity - Changing Family and Community Traditions
Grade 3 Heritage and Identity - Communities in Canada, 1780 to 1850
2 hours, maximum 90 students (offered November and December) 

Waterloo Wellington Children’s Groundwater Festival
Grade 2 to 5
The program covers a variety of Science and Technology, and Heritage and Citizenship units.
Full day, no student limit, free bussing when applicable
Runs on specific dates in May. 
For more information visit www.wwcgf.com 

Strong and Stable Structures
Grade 3 – Science and Technology/Social Studies
This program focuses on structures, building upon the material learned in Grade 1 with an emphasis on what makes a building stable. Students look at joints, struts, braces, ties, and more in a variety of structures on site.
Structures and Mechanisms - Strong and Stable Structures
Heritage and Identity - Communities in Canada: 1780 to 1850
2 hours, maximum 60 students

Communities in Canada 1780 to 1850 – half day
Grade 3 – Social Studies – Heritage and Identity
In our half-day version of this program, we take an integrated, interactive look at the three main communities in southwestern Ontario during this time period. We examine how First Nations, European settlers, and settlers of African descent lived and interacted.
Heritage and Identity - Communities in Canada, 1780 to 1850
2 hours, maximum 75 students

Communities in Canada 1780 to 1850 – full day
Grade 3 – Social Studies – Heritage and Identity
In our full-day version of this program, we compare how First Nations, European settlers, and settlers of African descent lived and interacted during this period. Students will compare the similarities and differences between these three main communities in southern Ontario as they visit the main museum gallery, historic village buildings, and take part in hands-on activities.
Heritage and Identity - Communities in Canada, 1780 to 1850
4 hours, maximum 120 students

Communities in Canada 1780 to 1850
Grade 3 – Social Studies
Enjoy a half-day or full-day version of this program, which examines the lives of First Nations, European settlers, and settlers of African descent in southern Ontario during this period. Students will compare the similarities and differences between these groups as they visit the main museum gallery, historic village buildings, and take part in hands-on activities.
Heritage and Identity - Communities in Canada, 1780 to 1850
Half day, maximum 60 students; full day, maximum 120 students

First Peoples Springtime Education Days
Grade 3 to 5 – Heritage and Identity
First Nations, Métis and Inuit Connections
In the days leading up to National Indigenous Peoples Day, students learn about the history and current realities of the Region's First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations. A variety of activities, including dance, music, art, and traditional teachings by Elders, are presented in partnership with the Waterloo Region District and Waterloo Catholic District School Boards.
Program content relates to many studies in history and social studies across the curriculum.
Full day, maximum 140 students per day (June 17 to 19, 2020)

Amazing Machines
Grade 4 – Science and Technology
Students are challenged to use the seven simple machines and their problem solving skills to deal with real life issues. Devices such as block and tackles and winches are used by students in full scale.
Structures and Mechanisms - Pulleys and Gears
2 hours, maximum 60 students

First Peoples Autumn Education Days
Grade 5 to 8 – Heritage and Identity
First Nations, Métis and Inuit Connections
Students learn about the history and current realities of the Region's First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations. Educational programming, presented in partnership with the Waterloo Region District and Waterloo Catholic District School, includes dance, crafts, art, and traditional teachings by Elders.
Program content relates to many studies in history and social studies across the curriculum.
Full day, maximum 400 students per day (September 24 to 26, 2019)

Louis Riel Days
Grade 5 to 8 – Heritage and Identity
First Nations, Métis and Inuit Connections
This program focuses on key events surrounding the life and death of Louis Riel. All activities, including the raising of the Métis flag, workshops, Métis and Voyageur games, music, and others are presented in cooperation with the Grand River Métis Council.
Program content relates to many studies in history and social studies across the curriculum.
Full day, maximum 120 students (November 12 and 13, 2019)

Taking Flight 
Grade 6 – Science and Technology
Connect your classroom studies into flight and biodiversity with two new feature gallery exhibits, Birds of Prey and Going Places: Past Present Future. A combination of curriculum related activities in the museum galleries, mixed with time for independent exploration, makes for a meaningful, science-based learning opportunity.
Structures and Mechanisms, Life Systems
2 hours, maximum 60 students (September through December)

Forest Festival
Grade 6 and 7 – Science and Technology, Social Studies, Geography
Through hands-on interactive activities, students learn several key messages: the importance of the forest life zone, forest ecosystems, species at risk, stewardship and conservation, and climate change.
Program content relates to many studies in science and geography across the curriculum.
Full day program, maximum 500 students per day (October 9 and 10, 2019) 

Canada:  A Changing Society – (half day or full day)
Grade 8 to 10 - History
In this program, students learn about lifestyles, technology, and the factors of social change in 1914. Through a variety of activities, from health and medicine to leisure and entertainment, students gain firsthand insight into life over 100 years ago.
Grade 8: History - Canada: A Changing Society
Half day or full day, maximum 120 students

Berlin to Kitchener in the Great War
Grade 10 - History
Technology, soldiers, women's history, and a name change. What happened in Waterloo County and Berlin in the First World War? Combine this program with Canada: A Changing Society for a full day experience.
Canadian History Since World War I – Academic and Applied
2 hours, maximum 80 students

Great War Education Days
Grade 10 - History
This is an event-style program offered in partnership with the History Matters Association, a Great War re-enactor organization. Bringing a wide variety of collected First World War artifacts and paraphernalia, enthusiastic presenters display military fashions of the different nations; run battle school; explain equipment through demonstration; discuss the role of women in the war; address life on the home front; and run students through a coordinated battle re-enactment.
Full day, maximum 400 students per day (September 30 and October 1, 2019)

For more information or to book a Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum School Program contact: 

Michael Van Huisseling
Education Coordinator 
519-748-1914 ext. 3269
Email Michael Van Huisseling

 McDougall Cottage Historic Site School Programs

New outreach school programs for delivery in your classroom are being developed by McDougall Cottage Historic Site staff. When these programs are ready for launch information will be posted here.

For more information regarding upcoming McDougall Cottage Historic Site School Programs contact: 

Michelle Bartlet-Rozad
Historic Sites Coordinator
519-624-8250
Email Michelle Bartlet-Rozad

Please fill out our quick and easy School Program Survey to help us improve our programs for your students.

For more information or to book a Schneider Haus National Historic Site School Program contact: 

Katie Anderson
Education Coordinator 
519-575-4491 ext. 3247
Email Katie Anderson