Heritage Study Guide for Schools

A study guide for educators to engage young learners in Vancouver's diverse history and heritage places

Project Goals

VHF is working to increase students’ awareness and knowledge of local heritage places and history by providing learning opportunities inside and outside the classroom. Our goal is to encourage students and teachers to engage with Vancouver’s diverse heritage places, and contribute to meaningful discussions around their histories and future legacies. In gaining understanding and appreciation of the many people, places and events that have shaped the city, VHF is inspiring students and educators to become active participants in the creation, archiving and sharing of knowledge around heritage places in Vancouver.

Click here to view or download the VHF Heritage Study Guide 2019

Components of the guide include:

  • Curriculum connections for BC Social Studies grade 3,4,5 and 8,9,10
  • What is heritage?
  • Resources for Heritage Places: VHF, Local Indigenous and Other resources
  • Connecting with Heritage in the Classroom: Activity Ideas
  • Heritage opportunities for teachers and students, VHF School Grants, feedback

Please use the Heritage Study Guide and let us know about your classroom experiences or projects around local history and heritage places in your school communities. We are developing additional lesson plans and activity guides based on what we hear from teachers and school communities and will share a revised version in the fall of 2020.

Email to request a school visit, share feedback or ask a question!

A Virtual Professional Development Day for Educators on Connecting with Local Heritage and History in Schools

Step Outside & Explore Online: Local Heritage and History

Date: Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Time: 9am – 3pm

Cost: $20 inc. tax  Register Here

Hear directly from local teachers and teacher-librarians, civic historian John Atkin, and cultural heritage educators in a full-day virtual exploration and hands-on workshop. Vancouver and BC’s histories are full of diverse stories and experiences. Many historic places are visible in our streetscapes and neighbourhoods but often cultural histories and stories of resilience are lesser-known. What can we learn from the buildings, people, parks, monuments and place names around us? How do we connect the present with the past, and reshape the narratives around which students learn about local history? We hope the full-day session will: help you and your school access the many online and physical resources available, provide you with ways of seeing heritage, provide lessons and templates for your own classes and schools, and find support and collaboration within Lower Mainland teachers and heritage organizations. Expect to listen, participate and get outside!


Apply for a School Grant: Virtual Field Trip or Book Box

If you are a teacher or affiliated with an educational institution in Vancouver (priority is given to Vancouver School Board public schools), you can apply for one of two available grants for 2020-2021.

  • 1) A selection of Vancouver-based books or
  • 2) A virtual field trip (local museums or archives, guest speakers)
  • One application per teacher per year.
  • Priority will be given to teachers and schools who have not received a grant previously.
  • Feedback from applicants will help shape the Heritage Study Guide and provide valuable insight for educators.

Click to Apply for a  School Grant

An Updated Selection of Online Resources

VHF’s Places That Matter Community History Resource website

VHF’s Heritage Site Finder Interactive Map

VHF’s Vancouver House Styles

BC Heritage Fairs (2020 virtual edition)

Yucho Chow Chinatown’s first and most prolific commercial photographer. Website, gallery of photographs of early Vancouver’s diverse communities and book (can be requested for Book Grant).

Bill Reid Centre at SFU (apps and educational materials)

Musqueam Teaching Kit and Teacher’s Resources website

xʷməθkʷəy̓əm: qʷi:l̕qʷəl̕ ʔə kʷθə snəw̓eyəɬ ct “Musqueam: Giving Information about our Teachings” – Museum of Anthropology teaching kits (French and English)

City of Vancouver Archives

Vancouver School Board Heritage and Archives

Remarkable Women (City of Vancouver Awards of Excellence)

Recent new street names

Project Timeline

  • 2018-2019:  Consultation Phase with classroom visits, research and input.
  • Fall 2019: First version of VHF’s Heritage Study Guide launch – pilot within schools and available online. School grants open!
  • 2020 Winter-Spring: Heritage Week and  Professional Development Days Field Trips with VHF. School Grants disbursed till the end of June 2020, field trip grants will be extended through end of 2020.
  • End of 2020: Continued collaborations with school communities and lesson ideas and resources updates. An updated version to be released summer/fall 2020.
  • Grants and outreach to schools and educators ongoing for 2020-2021

( )