Most students have been to a museum. But, do they know how and, above all, why museums collect specimens and objects? This activity will help students learn more about the various roles of a museum.

Links with Other Subjects
Social Studies (Career Education in Quebec) Language
Duration

Approximately 40 minutes, not counting student work time.

Preparation

The information for this activity can be found mainly on the Web site of the
Canadian Museum of Nature (http://nature.ca), and also on Ukaliq: The Arctic Hare
(http://nature.ca/ukaliq).

Before conducting this activity in the classroom, you will need to:
visit the Web site of the Canadian Museum of Nature and read the pages and sections relating to this activity: staff, conservation, Collections, Research visit Ukaliq: The Arctic Hare, particularly: The Research Project, Hare Collections Read More
Most students have been to a museum. But, do they know how and, above all, why museums collect specimens and objects? This activity will help students learn more about the various roles of a museum.

Links with Other Subjects
  • Social Studies (Career Education in Quebec)
  • Language
Duration

Approximately 40 minutes, not counting student work time.

Preparation

The information for this activity can be found mainly on the Web site of the
Canadian Museum of Nature (http://nature.ca), and also on Ukaliq: The Arctic Hare
(http://nature.ca/ukaliq).

Before conducting this activity in the classroom, you will need to:
  • visit the Web site of the Canadian Museum of Nature and read the pages and sections relating to this activity: staff, conservation, Collections, Research
  • visit Ukaliq: The Arctic Hare, particularly: The Research Project, Hare Collections
  • draw up a list of different jobs at the museum (researcher, registrar, archivist, collection manager, conservator, exhibition designer, educator, security agent) and cut out each word so they can be put up on the chalkboard.
Required Materials
  • computer with Internet access
  • paper and pencil

© 2008, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.

Ask students to share their own museum experiences. How many have they been to? Which ones? Did they go with their school or their families? Were they able to talk with the people who work in these museums?

Discuss the role of museums and the types of jobs found there.
Ask students to share their own museum experiences. How many have they been to? Which ones? Did they go with their school or their families? Were they able to talk with the people who work in these museums?

Discuss the role of museums and the types of jobs found there.

© 2008, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.

Put the words (job titles) that you have cut out up on the board and start a discussion with students. What do they know about these jobs? Ask them to take a few minutes to write down what they know about them. Then, ask them to use their notes to draw up a list of the different roles a museum plays. If they have well understood the connection between roles and jobs, they should have written words like conservation, research, education, collection and archives.

Note: Do not give the answers immediately.

Next, guide students through the reference Web sites (http://nature.ca and http://nature.ca/ukaliq), where the answers to the questions below can be found.
How many major groups of collections are there at the Canadian Museum of Nature? Name them. Why do museums keep collections? Give three examples. Explain what happened to the three cards used to gauge the extent of fading caused by exposure to light. (Hint: look in the Collections section of nature.ca). Name ten agents that deteriorate sp Read More
Put the words (job titles) that you have cut out up on the board and start a discussion with students. What do they know about these jobs? Ask them to take a few minutes to write down what they know about them. Then, ask them to use their notes to draw up a list of the different roles a museum plays. If they have well understood the connection between roles and jobs, they should have written words like conservation, research, education, collection and archives.

Note: Do not give the answers immediately.

Next, guide students through the reference Web sites (http://nature.ca and http://nature.ca/ukaliq), where the answers to the questions below can be found.
  • How many major groups of collections are there at the Canadian Museum of Nature? Name them.
  • Why do museums keep collections? Give three examples.
  • Explain what happened to the three cards used to gauge the extent of fading caused by exposure to light. (Hint: look in the Collections section of nature.ca).
  • Name ten agents that deteriorate specimens.
  • What is psychology? (Hint: look in the Research section of nature.ca).
  • What is the name of the researcher who studied the Arctic hare?
  • Name the three types of objects found in the mammals collection.
Once they have found the answers to their questions, students can continue to browse the two sites to check their answers on museum careers and the role of a museum.

© 2008, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.

In conclusion, discuss with students the information found on the two suggested sites. What do they have to say on the role of museums? Be sure to cover the following terms: conservation, research, education, collection and archives. Ask them what they think of the place of museums in today’s society and of their usefulness.

Suggestions for Student Work
Teachers - correct the answers to the questions. Students - research a museum-related career.
Expanding the Lesson

Explore the roles of researchers at the museum. For example, why is it important to learn more about the Arctic hare? Students may be able to find answers on Ukaliq: The Arctic Hare
In conclusion, discuss with students the information found on the two suggested sites. What do they have to say on the role of museums? Be sure to cover the following terms: conservation, research, education, collection and archives. Ask them what they think of the place of museums in today’s society and of their usefulness.

Suggestions for Student Work
  • Teachers - correct the answers to the questions.
  • Students - research a museum-related career.
Expanding the Lesson

Explore the roles of researchers at the museum. For example, why is it important to learn more about the Arctic hare? Students may be able to find answers on Ukaliq: The Arctic Hare

© 2008, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • ask themselves about the different roles of museums
  • discuss museum-related careers.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans