Students from Argentina, India, Vietnam, Canada, Brazil, England, Ireland, United States and the Phillipines were among the more than 3,000 learners from nine countries who connected to The Canadian Canoe Museum via Skype as part of its virtual field trip program in 2018.
The virtual field trip program, Fur Trade Travels and Tales, explores the role of the canoe in the development of the trading networks, routes and relationships of the 18th century. Artifacts from the museum’s collection—the largest of its kind in the world—inspire discussion, drama and a visit to the Voyageur Encampment.
On an almost daily basis, museum educators are in the galleries, equipped with an iPad and extra lighting, interacting with classrooms of students from Grade 2 to Grade 12. Programs Coordinator Kelly Pineault, in character as a Voyageur, encourages classrooms of students to take up their imaginary paddles and keep a pace of 50 to 60 strokes a minute.
Photo of Kelly Pineault from virtual field trip lesson courtesy Canoe Museum
“Our programs aim to ignite imaginations,” says Ms. Pineault, who dons a toque and a chemise to become “Jacques” in this first-person interpretation. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see students engaged, regardless of the distance that separates us. I am continually impressed by the inquisitive nature of the students, and the thoughtful questions they ask about the museum and the history of Canada.”
In Fur Trade Travels and Tales, students learn about the key relationships between First Nations and newcomers during the era. Meanwhile, Canada By Canoe offers a whirlwind tour to diverse geographic regions of Canada to explore the traditional Indigenous watercraft and the diverse peoples who build them.
For classes within a two-hour bus ride, the museum also offers more than 20 hands-on, experiential education programs for students and youth groups from kindergarten through to university and college by day and overnight. In 2018, close to 5,250 students visited the museum in person. Field trips are guided by educators offering curriculum-connected programming in both French and English.
Learn more about the Canoe Museum and its local and global programs here.