Gibson House Museum

Kids around table with teacher.JPG

School Programs at Gibson House Museum

Built in 1851, Gibson House was the home of Scottish immigrant David Gibson and his family. He was a land surveyor who helped map early Toronto. Wanted by the government for participating in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, Gibson was forced to flee to the United States where he and his family remained for 11 years. On their return to York County, the Gibsons built this beautiful home and once again became active members of their rural community.

Visitors can step back in time and explore this elegant farmhouse. Its serene Georgian-style exterior belies the dramatic lives of the Gibson family. Gibson House offers a variety of school programs for grades 1 to 7.

Program Features

  • All programs require a minimum of 10 students
  • Programs are 1.5 hours (half-day option) or 3 hours (full day option) in length
  • All programs include a tour through the museum with a costumed interpreter
  • Programs are based on inquiry-based learning
  • All programs include hands-on components in an authentic mid-19th century farm house
  • Option for half-day programs: bring your own lunch to eat on site in our program room for $25 per half hour

Program Descriptions

ExpandGrades 1 – 4: Family Life

Grades 1 – 4: Family Life
Ontario curriculum subject: Social Studies
Grade 1 Topic: Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities
Grade 2 Topic: Changing Family and Community Traditions
Grade 3 Topic: Communities in Canada, 1780 – 1850
Grade 4 Topic: Political and Physical Regions of Canada, human activity and the environment

1.5 hour program option ($4.43 per student plus tax)

Students will:

  • Make scones and butter in the 1850's open hearth kitchen


Add on two of the following
:

  • Card sheep's fleece and explore textile production from sheep to mill
  • Play with 19th-century toys and games, and learn about the Gibson family children
  • Explore social and family roles from the 19th-century through inquiry-based discussion and examination of historic images and clothing

ExpandGrades 1 – 4: Gibson Children at Home

Grades 1 – 4: Gibson Children at Home
Ontario curriculum subject: Social Studies
Grade 1 Topic: Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities
Grade 2 Topic: Changing Family and Community Traditions
Grade 3 Topic: Communities in Canada, 1780 – 1850
Grade 4 Topic: Political and Physical Regions of Canada, human activity and the environment

1.5 hour non-food program option ($4.43 per student plus tax)

  • Dip candles and learn about lighting
  • Play with 19-century toys and games and learn about school days
  • Card and spin sheep's fleece and explore textile production
  • Investigate textile production with weaving activities, while learning about the loom

ExpandGrades 3 – 4: Gibson Adventure

Grades 3 – 4: Gibson Adventure
Ontario curriculum subject: Social Studies
Grade 3 Topic: Communities in Canada, 1780 – 1850
Grade 4 Topci: Political and Physical Regions of Canada, human activity and the environment

3 hour program option ($8.63 plus tax)

  • Students will use 19th-century recipes and techniques to prepare and enjoy a mid-day meal

Choose two of the following:

  • Card sheep's fleece and explore textile production from sheep to mill
  • Play with 19th-century toys and games, and learn about the Gibson family children
  • Explore social and family roles from the 19th-century through inquiry-based discussion and examination of historic images and clothing
  • Program includes 30 minutes in the program room to eat lunch at no extra charge 

ExpandGrades 5 – 7: In Arms Against the Government

Grades 5 – 7: In Arms Against the Government
Ontario curriculum subject: History
Grade 5 Topic: The Role of Government and Responsible Citizenship
Grade 6 Topic: Communities in Canada, Past and Present
Grade 7 Topic: Canada, 1800 – 1850, Conflict and Challenges 

3 hour program ($8.63 plus tax)

  • Students will use 19th-century recipes and techniques to prepare and enjoy a mid-day meal
  • Identify issues that led David Gibson and the local community to join the rebellion of 1837
  • Explore rebellion personalities through a rebellion re-enactment activity
  • Program includes 30 minutes in the program room to eat lunch at no extra charge

ExpandHoliday Program - Grades 1 – 3: Holiday Preparations

Holiday Program - Grades 1 – 3: Holiday Preparations 
Ontario curriculum subject: Holiday Season Programming
Grade 1 Topic: Our Changing Roles and Responsibilities 
Grade 2 Topic: Changing family and community traditions
Grade 3 Topic: Communities in Canada, 1780 – 1850 

2 hours ($4.87)

  • Students will make gingerbread over the open hearth
  • Play with 19-century toys and games
  • Make a 19th century holiday toy to take home.
  • Participate in a traditional Scottish first footing ceremony
  • Card and spin sheep's fleece and explore textile production from sheep to mill

ExpandHoliday Program - Grades 3 – 4: Gibson Holiday Adventures

Holiday Program - Grades 3 – 4: Gibson Holiday Adventures
Ontario curriculum subject: Holiday Season Programming
Grade 3 Topic: Communities in Canada, 1780 – 1850

Grade 4 Topic: Political and Physical Regions of Canada 

3 hour program ($8.85 plus tax)

Holiday program available from November 1st to January 30th

  • Students will make a holiday-inspired mid-day meal
  • Students will learn about different holiday traditions, including how the Gibson Family celebrated the holidays.
  • Card and spin sheep's fleece and explore textile production from sheep to mill
  • Play with 19-century toys and games

ExpandCurriculum Connections

Curriculum Connections

Grade 1
Students will examine various roles, relationships and responsibilities, how and why these may change and how they are connected to one's identity, culture and sense of self. 

Grade 2
In the Holiday Preparations program, students will use the inquiry process to investigate some of the past and present traditions and celebrations within their community. In the Family Life program, students will describe similarities and differences in which people in two or more communities in different parts of the world meet their needs and have adapted to the location, climate, and physical features of their regions.

Grade 3
Students will compare ways of life among some specific groups in Canada around the beginning of the nineteenth century, and describe some of the changes between that era and present day. Students will use the social studies inquiry process to investigate major challenges that different groups and communities faced in Canada in the early to mid-19th century. 

Grade 4
Students will learn how industrial development and the natural environment affected each other through the Gibson House Museum context.  Students will use the social studies inquiry process to investigate some issues and challenges associated with balancing human needs/wants with environmental stewardship.

Grade 5
In the In Arms Against the Government program, students will assess responses of governments in Canada to some significant issues, and develop plans of action for governments and citizens to address social and environmental issues. Students will analyze social issues from various perspectives, including the perspective of the government responsible for addressing the issues.

Grade 6
In the In Arms Against the Government program, students will assess contributions to Canadian identity made by various groups, specifically the story of David Gibson and his family. Students will use the inquiry process to investigate different perspectives on the historical experiences of several distinct communities in Toronto.

Grade 7
In the In Arms Against the Government program, Students will analyze aspects of the lives of various groups in Toronto between 1800 and 1850 and use the historical inquiry process to investigate perspectives of different groups relating to the rebellion of 1837.

Looking for something specific?

Search the database for programs by grade, Ontario curriculum subject, keyword, length or museum.