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Tools of the Trade

State of the art

That’s not just a laptop on your desk — it’s a free pass to countless museums and galleries around the world. So, when a trip to the Tate (or even Toronto) is out of the question, online collections can mean a trove of creativity and discovery, right at your students’ fingertips.

By Melissa Campeau

    A one-stop shop for Canadian museums, this site links to 500+ virtual exhibits. Find out what makes Cape Breton music unique, how sport is woven into Canada’s cultural fabric and how photojournalists tell complex stories without saying a word. Visit:

  2. Ontario Museums
    Would a map of portage routes help bring Indigenous history to life? How about a movie about Franco- Ontarians’ memories of northern Ontario? Whatever the lesson plan, odds are there’s an exhibit to enhance it with this curated cross-province collection.

  3. Aga Khan Museum
    A 15th-century watercolour of a sea serpent swallows a fleet. Engineers of that same era create a sophisticated fountain. The rich art and science of Muslim civilizations can be explored through lesson plans, a glossary of terms and a guide for art-based learning.

  4. Royal Ontario Museum
    Type “Roman” into this site’s 10,000-item searchable catalogue and discover 500+ artifacts from that era. Or filter by date, geography, maker and more. Take a virtual walk through a maze of dinosaurs, study a Canadian history timeline or play educational games.

  5. Art Gallery of Ontario
    What song comes to mind when you look at a painting? Or, what title would you give a particular work of art? Find these prompts (and more) in the teacher resource section, plus access to selected collections and inspiration for in-class creativity.

  6. Canada Science and Technology Museum
    A bike isn’t just a bike — it’s an agent of social change! And a basketball? Well, that’s a tool to help explain force and energy. Take advantage of this site’s teaching modules, tailored by grade level, that apply relatable science and tech to everyday life.

  7. Tate Kids
    This site is all about finding the joy in creativity. Young Banksy wannabees can use the street art tool, then “hang” their work in a virtual gallery. Students can also create protest posters, moving sculptures and soak up the kid-hosted videos about famous artists.

  8. Google Arts & Culture
    Zoom in on the tiniest details of Chagall’s Paris Opera ceiling or the view from the stage at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. Explore everything from mosaics to Mesopotamian masterpieces. Gain an all-access pass to world art, thanks to this Google engine.