Teachers’ Resource Kit
The Canada Aviation Museum’s mission is to increase appreciation of Canada’s aviation heritage, demonstrate the vital role that aviation has played in the lives of Canadians, and illustrate the significance of aviation in the growth and prosperity of the country.

In the online exhibition Brushstrokes and Wingtips: Painting Canada’s Skies, we use the Museum's collection of aviation art to achieve this mission by linking art—a non-verbal means of expressing ideas—with Canada’s social and technological history. The exhibition has four sections: Stories, Paintings, Game, and Teachers. The Stories and Game sections are aimed specifically at students in grades 6 to 8 (Quebec: primary 6 and secondary 1 and 2). The Teachers section is aimed at their educators.

In the Stories section, the events depicted in the paintings are interpreted through the eyes of a grandfather and grandmother, as they explain to their two grandchildren how aviation has evolved in Canada. The characters describe momentous events in Canada’s early aviation history, using images from the Museum’s art collection and, to a lesser degree, its archival photograph collection. The narrative uses art as a medium to present the Stories in a creative and evocative manner, prompting visitors to look at aviation from a different and non-traditional perspective.


The Teachers’ Resource Kit includes four activities for students in grades 6 to 8 (Quebec: primary 6 and secondary 1 and 2) studying Science, History, Art, Language Arts, and Drama. Each activity complements the Stories section in the exhibition, and provides subject and cross-curriculum links for each province and territory in Canada.

A set of short-answer questions for each of the Stories, designed to test listening and reading comprehension, is also included.

Technical Requirements

To participate fully in the activities offered, students must have access to computers and the Internet, either at home or in a computer lab. Most activities can be printed and completed in a classroom setting. Having Adobe Flash Player installed on the computers will significantly enhance the students’ experience.

Curriculum Links

As the curriculum across Canada varies widely, the provincial and territorial strands and curriculum links are referenced at the start of each activity. In addition, each activity provides cross-curricular links to encourage a multidisciplinary approach to the exhibition.


Before assigning the activities, it is important that you and the students are familiar with the Brushstrokes and Wingtips exhibition.

We recommend the following preparatory steps:
  1. Before meeting with students, book a computer lab and familiarize yourself with the site; ensure the lab has Adobe Flash Player installed—if this is not possible, please use the HTML options. Each of the four sections of the exhibition—Stories, Paintings, Game, and Teachers—can be accessed by using the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.
    1. Visit each section:
      1. The Stories section comprises four animated narratives, featuring grandparents Nana and Poppa discussing the history of aviation with their grandchildren Claire and Mark. To enhance understanding of the events covered, each story includes photographs and paintings from the Museum’s collection.
      2. The Paintings section features works of art from the Museum’s collection and, in some cases, photographs related to a particular painting. Certain paintings have a special Explore! link, whereby an interactive menu leads to some or all of the Who? What? and Where? questions the work might prompt, as well as a snapshot of What Else Was Going On? during the period it represents.
      3. The Game section offers an engaging activity to give visitors further insight into the challenges faced by Canadian bush pilots. Please note: this activity is in HTML format only.
      4. The Teachers section contains four activities and a set of short-answer questions to test listening and reading comprehension.
  2. In class, divide students into groups of two or three, and ask them to explore the site. Provide a list of specific paintings to find and view, and assign one of the four stories to listen to and read. Short-answer questions on each story may be printed from the Teachers section and handed out to students.

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