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Backus… where history meets nature! 




Step back in time with your class at Backus Heritage Village. History comes to life as students spend time in authentic log homes, barns and an octagonal school house. You might even step through the doors of the 1798 Grist Mill and learn how stone ground flour was produced more than 200 years ago. Students can learn about the fur trade, everyday life in the 19th century and find out what school was like way back when.

Changing Roles, Relationships & Responsibilities- A Child’s Life
Grades K-1
Students will explore the Heritage Village using their five senses and examine how
a community can meet the needs of the people who live there. Learn and construct the basic elements of a map, create a simple quilt pattern and engage your senses smelling herbs from the garden.
A Day in the Pioneer Community Grades 1-3
Students will explore what life was like in Canada during the mid 18th – 19th century. Participate in an 1860’s classroom routine followed by your choice of three hands-on activities.
Pioneer Life
Grades 2-10 (Half-Day or Full-Day) Design Your Own Day
Step back in time and spend a day in the Heritage Village. This interactive program will have students trying their hand at a variety of activities. We can work with you to design a program that meets your needs.
Simple Machines
Grades 4-6
Half-Day or Full-Day
Students will investigate simple machines throughout the Heritage Village with a hands-on look at how pulleys and gears were incorporated into pioneer times, and how these devices were used to improve everyday life. Students will also compare changes in technology and the importance of these simple machines today.
Trappers and Traders
Grades 6-8
Students will participate in an orienteering and bartering activity that simulates the day-to-day activities of a fur trader in Upper Canada. Following a brief introduction and discussion on the value of the beaver pelt, the role of the First Nations peoples on the traders and the industry, and the importance of the fur trade on Canada’s identity.

War of 1812 – Con?ict and Challenges: Life of a Soldier
Grades 7-8
Students will role play to experience the life of a soldier, exploring how political
and legal changes, social and economic changes, and interactions between different groups all affected life in Canada during this time period. Students will participate in encampment building, military training and skirmishing.
Women’s Changing Roles in Society: The Dr. Annie Story
Grade 7-8
Students will have the opportunity to explore the growth of the women’s suffrage movement. Hands-on activities and dramatic arts will engage students to investigate a woman’s place in society, in both past and present times, and explore the issues affecting these changes.
Cherry Valley School
All Grades / Ages
Visit the one-room octagonal school house and discover what school was like in the 19th century. Students will take part in history as they explore how a pioneer school day differs from today’s modern day facilities. Children will get a hands-on lesson on the 3 R’s and writing on slates.
Heritage Village Tour
All Grades / Ages
Explore the Backhouse family farm, and what life was like living as a 19th century settler. The program gives an introduction to pioneer times and can be tailored to meet your class’s grade level and interest.



The Conservation Education Centre, with its interpretive displays and trails provides opportunities for students to explore nature first hand. Long Point Region’s rich natural history and waterfowling traditions are highlighted in two gallery areas. Experience a forest or meadow ecosystem; bird watch or examine life in the pond; hike through a Carolinian forest – these happenings and more are just some of the adventures students can experience at Backus.


Select a focus for your program from the following two options:

? Seasonal Changes and Survival Grades 1-4
Learn about seasonal changes in the environment and discover how different plants and animals adapt to survive.
? Senses and Survival
Grades 1-6
Students will learn about the unique senses, abilities and adaptations that animals have, while exploring the connections to survival.

Select a focus for your program from the following four options:

? Habitats
Grades 1-10
While exploring the components of
a healthy habitat, students will learn characteristics of both local and international habitats, including the names of local species. Students will also discover how different animals use their environment to meet their needs.
? Insect Safari
Grades 1-6
Explore the forest, pond, meadow, and even our garden to investigate the variety of insects at Backus. Through the use of songs, games, costumes and microscopes, students will learn about insects’ adaptations, sounds and more!


Early Fall/Late Spring Program Option: Magnificent Monarchs: focuses on the life of a species-at-risk, the migratory monarch butterfly.

? Soil Searchers
Grade 3
Students will learn about soil types, their properties, and what lives in the soil. Discover ways soil is lost and what can be done to keep it in place.
? Biodiversity
Grades 4-10
Become an expert on biodiversity with a classroom lesson followed by a hike, exploring what makes this area such a diverse “hot spot.” Sort leaves, collect pine cones and investigate animal skulls and pelts.


Select a focus for your program from the following three options:

? Keeping Track of Wildlife
Grades 1- 4
Become a wildlife detective and search for clues in a variety of natural habitats. This indoor-outdoor experience starts with a beginner’s tracking exercise and then it is onto the trails to look for evidence of wildlife.
? Bird Detectives
Grades 1-6
Use your detective skills to identify bird clues both in the classroom and on the trails. Learn to ID birds based on their size, shape, flight pattern, call, and nest.

Grades 1-10
Through various outdoor activities and games, students learn first-hand about ecological concepts such as camouflage, adaptation, predator-prey relationships and animal behaviour. Running shoes are suggested.
? Hurray for Plants!
Grades 3, 4 & 6
With a focus on seasonal plants at Backus, students will learn about plant structures, pollination, and native and invasive species in a fun and interactive way.



SURVIVAL SKILLS & TEAM WORK Select a focus for your program from the following three options:

Grades 4-10
Students learn to fi nd their own way in small groups following a lesson on map and compass reading. Groups work together and seek out hidden symbols around the park while completing a nature questionnaire.
First Nations Games
Grades 2-7
Build important skills as you learn and play traditional games. Learn what skills would have helped First Nations people survive, or be a good leader. Compare these games to those that are played today.
Optional Full-Day Program Available
Backus Survivors
Grades 4-10
Master your outdoor survival skills. In the Backus Survivors program, learn the value of preparing for a trip and fire building skills in the morning, followed by a lesson on building a shelter and map reading in the afternoon.

Program Option: Campfire Lunch. Bring your own supplies for a cookout e.g. hot dogs, marshmallows, buns, condiments.


Select a focus for your program from the following two options:

? Furs to Fins
Grades 1-4
Students will discover different animal groups while exploring the lives of various vertebrates. Costumes, team challenges, and mimicking movements will excite all!
? The Boned and the Boneless
Grades 6-8
Students will have a chance to act like animals through a variety of challenges, as the lives of vertebrates and invertebrates are explored.

Select a focus for your program from the following two options:

? Pond Study Grades 1-3 Maximum 40 Students
? Stream Ecology Grades 4-10 Maximum 30 Students

Older Grade Option: Collecting physical data to determine the health of the ecosystem.



KEYWORDS: medieval times field trip, grade 5 social studies, heritage and identity,
Early Societies

Tillsonburg, norfolk, simcoe
Program Type
Field Trip
Classes | Workshops
Guided Tours
Interpretive Program
Self-Guided Tours

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