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Woodside National Historic Site of Canada

Education Programs

A Trip to the Past Level: Grade 1

This fun, hands-on program uses our puppets, Mr. and Mrs. Atticus, our Old Trunk/New Trunk matching game, and the beautifully illustrated storybook Gert's Trip To The Past to introduce your students to the concept of the past. We will then take your students on their own trip to the past in our historic house, where a host of old things waits to be discovered.

Grade 1 class in historic kitchen.
Laundry in the past
© Parks Canada/Robert Roe
Grade 1 class watching a puppet show.
Look Mr. Atticus!
© Parks Canada/Robert Roe

A Child's Celebration of Christmas Past Level: Grade 2 and up

Our costumed interpreters serve as the "Ghost of Christmas Past," transporting your class back to a late-Victorian Christmas. There, your students will discover the decorations, crafts, stories, and traditions that made Christmas in the 1890s such a special time for the Kings and the other citizens of Berlin.

Grade 2 class making Christmas decorations.
Making cornucopias.
© Parks Canada/Kathleen Lefaive
Angel - A Victorian Christmas ornament in tree at Woodside.
Vintage angel!
© Parks Canada

A Day in the Life of Willie King Level: Grade 3

What was it like to be a child in the 1890s? Using a video presentation, a costumed schoolroom exercise, and a tour of the restored home, your students will enter the world of the young Mackenzie King a world of school, chores, sports, church, fun, and family.

Two students in the 1890's school.
Penmanship is fun!
© Parks Canada/Robert Roe, 1997
Grade 3 class in historic kitchen.
Do you help out around the house?
© Parks Canada/Robert Roe, 1997

Aspects of Government Level: Grade 5

Who was the first Canadian citizen? How are prime ministers elected? This Ontario curriculum based program will explore the development of government in Canada and its impact on citizens. Students will participate in an election and learn how a boy from Berlin became Canada's tenth prime minister.

Two grade 5 students campaigning at Woodside.
Vote for me!
© Parks Canada/Carolyn Blackstock, 2001
Ballot box.
Ballot box used in grade 5 program at Woodside.
© Parks Canada/Carolyn Blackstock, 2001

Arsenic and Old Waste: History and the Environment Level: Grades 5 and 6

Who committed the crime in "The Case of the Dirty Handkerchief?" Why did Schneider Creek turn white? In the 1890s, what did a tannery and a glue factory have in common? Your students will solve these and many other riddles in this cross-curricular program that looks at history from an environmental point of view.

Students solving riddles during Woodside's history and environment program.
Students solving riddles.
© Parks Canada/Robert Roe, 1997
Close-up of students solving riddles.
What is the riddle?
© Parks Canada/Robert Roe, 1997

How Do We Know About the Past? Level: Grade 7

What do a privy pit, a grocery receipt and a magic lantern have in common? All of these items can tell us something about the past, and this program will help your students to develop some of the basic skills used when studying the past. Using a great variety of primary sources, your class will piece together a picture of what the King family's life was like over 110 years ago.

Two students examining artefacts.
What do these items tell us about the past?
© Parks Canada/Robert Roe, 1997
This wash set includes a basin, pitchers, a soap dish and a toothbrush jar.
Wash set
© Parks Canada/Robert Roe, 1997

Canada in the 1890s: A Society in Change Level: Grades 8 and 10

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times; it was an age of tradition; it was an age of change. This offering will introduce your students to the main issues, attitudes and technology of the 1890s. Through an interactive program, your class will discover an age of suffragettes and poor houses, corsets and child labour, temperance and typhoid, bicycles and coal gas.

A student trying on the corset.
An hour glass figure!
© Parks Canada/Robert Roe, 1997
A student with a bustle.
The bustle helped to create the « S » shape.
© Parks Canada/Robert Roe, 1997

Canadian Heritage Level: Secondary and Adult English as a Second Language

William Lyon Mackenzie King became Canada's first citizen in 1947. Long before that, he was a young man living at Woodside. This program introduces English as a Second Language students to the life of a middle-class family in Berlin, Ontario, over 110 years ago. Through a video presentation, a fashion talk and a tour of the historic house, students will be able to discover more of our Canadian heritage. This is a one and a half hour program.

A student in period costume.
English as a Second Language student in period costume.
© Parks Canada/Jennifer Dymond, 2002


Ici on parle français (Here We Speak French) Level: Grades 9 to 12 (Core French)

Woodside offers an opportunity for students learning the French language to participate in a local field trip and practice their communication skills. Students will participate in a costume activity and tour the house using basic level French to explore the house and Victorian lifestyle of the King family. This is a one and a half hour program.

Costumed interpreter with students in the library.
Core French tour
© Parks Canada/Brian Morin, 1997