Curriculum Guides

Curriculum Guides

Focus testing a curriculum guide at Grand Beach, with students from Morris, Manitoba. This field trip option was developed with the help of the park interpreters.

Curriculum guides are designed as a teaching aid to educate the teacher and students about the particular resource the client is managing – a river corridor, a habitat type, a heritage river.

The key to an interpretive curriculum guide is to make it both educational and entertaining, to be provocative and provide insight, to be more than just information. Today teachers are insisting that curriculum guides be based on a specific grade and curriculum unit. Curriculum guides are designed for the teacher and include background information, activities, field trips, and resources such as websites and videos.

Here are four curriculum guides we have created for clients.

  • Habitat Means Home: Grade 4 Science Curriculum – Award of Excellence 2006
  • Historic Places of the Red River Volumes I & II: Grades 4 to 6 Social Studies Curriculum
  • Water Systems: Grade 8 Science Curriculum
  • Hayes River – Highway to the Interior: Grade 5 Social Studies Curriculum

Habitat Means Home: Grade 4 Science Curriculum

Activities in the curriculum guide centre around a field trip to the local river or creek

Award of Excellence in Interpretation, Interpretation Canada 2006

The Habitat Means Home Curriculum Guide was a Rivers West project. It was
developed for Grade 4 science, focusing on the Habitats and Communities Unit. The
objective of the guide is to teach students about the riverbottom forests of the Red
River Basin. You can download the guide in French or English along with all its materials.

This guide is activity based:

  • Each learning outcome is covered with an activity
  • Activities revolve around a central field trip to the riverbottom forest
  • Pre-field trip activities provide a foundation
  • Students explore the riverbottom forest, gathering data and making
  • Post-field trip activities analyse the data students gathered and look at the
    riverbottom forest as a whole

There are many innovative activities in the guide.

  • Students create their own field guides to identify riverbottom forest plants and animals.
  • There are PowerPoint presentations for the teachers.
  • Teachers are encouraged to use a local park with a river or creek for their field trips.

The artwork that illustrates the guide was produced by the students of St. Adolphe
School who also focus tested the curriculum package.


Historic Places of the Red River: Volumes I & II

Historic Places of the Red River Vol I & II are available for download.

Historic Places of the Red River Vol I & II are available for download.

This Grades 4 to 6 Social Studies curriculum guide was developed for Rivers West.
Volumes I and II are now translated into French as well and available for download
from Rivers West.

  • Designed for teaching individual grades or 4/5 or 5/6 combinations
  • Activities teach specific curriculum outcomes using historic sites along the
    Red River as examples
  • Volume I explores historic sites from pre-contact to 1870
  • Volume II explores historic sites from 1870 to 1910
  • Includes pre-trip, field trip and post field trip activities
  • Teacher’s PowerPoint presentation on each historic site
  • CD includes handouts, resource materials, field trip contacts

Water Systems: Grade 8 Science Curriculum

Focus testing the field trip developed with Roseau River First Nation. A component of the field trip may include a water ceremony.

Rivers West is an innovative non-profit organization that wanted students to learn more about the Red River. They contracted S. Dangerfield Interpretive Planning to develop a package for middle years teachers. The best fit was the Grade 8 Water Systems Unit. The guide can be downloaded from the Rivers West website.

The guide was designed to encourage site-based learning, to get the students out in the field to experience the Red River first-hand. To develop the guide we worked with a number of groups, e.g. Roseau River First Nations and Grand Beach Park Interpreters, to develop curriculum-focused field trips, in addition to the activities provided in the guide. The curriculum package was focus tested with Grade 8 students and teachers on five different field trips.


Hayes River – Highway to the Interior: Grade 5 Curriculum

The Minister of Culture and Heritage presents the community with the curriculum guide at the ceremony commemorating the Hayes River as a Canadian Heritage River, photo: K. Schykulski

Hayes River: Highway to the Interior Curriculum Guide was researched and written by historian Ruth Swan.

Manitoba Conservation brought S. Dangerfield Interpretive Planning into the project to prepare the guide for distribution to teachers.

The guide targets Grade 5 Social Studies, focusing on the Fur Trade Curriculum Unit. It tells the story of the fur trade along the historic Hayes River, a Canadian Heritage River.

Our role in production of the guide was to write an introduction for teachers, provide additional activities for the students, and develop a teacher resource chapter. In the editing stage we worked with graphic designers to provide illustrations, charts, maps, activity pages and a number of other resources for the guide.

Once the curriculum guide was completed we worked with Manitoba Conservation to produce an Edu-kit for the guide. The Edu-kit included many supplemental materials such as classroom maps, resource books, video/DVD on the Hayes River and more, all bundled up in an old-fashioned packing crate.

A variety of resources are provided for the teachers in the Hayes River Edu-kit.

A variety of resources are provided for the teachers in the Hayes River Edu-kit.