If I was to take my students to this Royal Saskacthewan Museum, there would be much preparation involved. With regards to exploring the First Nations component of the museum, I would make my own worksheet for students to use as a tool to guide them. This worksheet would include questions and points of interest that would be different from the one provided from the museum because I would want to challenge some of the artifacts as well as use them for discussion. I would also want to allow for an explore component that did not involved a worksheet. My experience with the ECS class and using the museum worksheet was limited in that I was so focused on answering the questions, and I missed everything and anything that was not on the worksheet. I have a few ideas on how I could adapt that experience with my own students.
First, I would allow for a 20 minute “go explore” activity. The only prompt they would have in terms of guidance would be to make a note of one thing they found particularly interesting. After 20 minutes, we would regroup and I would provide them my own handout with questions that would be geared towards more of what we would have been learning about Treaties and Indigenous people of Canada. Questions would include, “what was missing?”and “What would you add to (a specific artifact)”, and much more in that nature. Post museum visit I would address questions for discussion in a lesson format such as, “did this feel like a history lesson or a current event lesson? why?” and “if both, why is it important to learn about the history, why is it important to learn about current trends/events/challenges, and why is it important to be able to distinguish the difference and relationship between the two?”
In addition to all the learning opportunities that a museum visit has on curriculum content, the act of changing the learning environment is beneficial. It is from my own experience and observations that students retain information when they are engaged in a different type of learning environment. Based on that idea, changing the environment, getting out of the classroom, and moving around can most definitely facilitate in comprehension and memorable experiences.