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!

Apply for a School Grant

We are still taking applications for book grants for the 2019/2020 school year.

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 2019-2020.

  • A book grant for your class or school (for a selection of Vancouver-specific books)
  • A field trip grant (e.g. site visit or classroom visit by a tour guide/workshop) Extended till Fall 2020.
  • You can apply one time per year, per class. Priority will be given to teachers and schools who have not received a grant previously.

Click to fill out the School Grants Application

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

Professional Development Days with VHF

In February 2020, VHF and the Vancouver Japanese Language School & Japanese Hall’s Laura Saimoto led a morning session and walking tour of the building and neighbourhood of the historic Japanese District in Vancouver. After lunch at Dosanko (local restaurant), John Atkin led a 2 hour walking tour from the district through Gastown and into downtown, looking at the heritage sites & areas, historic and current developments.

We hope to be able to offer a future 2020 session for teachers. If you would like to learn more or be on our direct schools email list, email us.


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.

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