Teachers' Resources


The year 2009 marks the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada. To celebrate this centennial and to highlight the historical significance and technological importance of Canada’s early aviation heritage, the Canada Aviation Museum has developed an interactive online exhibition entitled Canadian Aviation through Time. The goal of the exhibition is to highlight the many links that exist between Canada’s aviation past and its present. It includes a Timeline, Mini-Exhibits, a Game and a Teachers’ Resource Kit, all of which are linked to the Museum’s redeveloped Image Bank.

The Timeline focuses on significant events in Canada’s aviation history within the wider context of milestones in science and technology and international events that affected life in Canada. It explores four eras*:

  • The Pioneer Era (1900–1914)
  • The First World War Era (1914–1918)
  • The Interwar Era (1919–1939)
  • The Second World War Era (1939–1945)

*Note that while later eras will be added to the Timeline in the coming months, the material for teachers currently focuses on the first half of the twentieth century.

Complementing the Timeline, the Mini-Exhibits concentrate on specific aspects of aviation (from aircraft design and production to public perception of various achievements), and allow visitors to examine in detail some of the more important advances in the field.

The Game allows students to recreate specific aircraft from the Pioneer and First World War eras and learn more about the evolution of the developing technology.


By highlighting the threads that exist between past events in aviation and science and technological advances in other areas, Canadian Aviation through Time encourages students to investigate the past, make their own connection to it, and draw their own conclusions about what has gone before.

The exhibition’s Timeline, Exhiblets and Game are aimed at students between grades 7 and 10 in Ontario and secondary 1 to 2 in Quebec. The Teachers’ Resource Kit is aimed at their educators.

The Teachers’ Resource Kit includes five activities for students studying History/Social Studies, Language Arts, Visual Arts, Geography and Science in grades 8 to 10 in Ontario and in secondary 1, 2 and 3 in Quebec. Some activities may also be used in grade 6 and 7 classrooms. The activities complement the Timeline, Exhiblets and Game found in Canadian Aviation through Time. To encourage a multidisciplinary approach to the exhibition, they provide subject and cross-curriculum links for teachers in Ontario and Quebec. The activities may also be used by educators in other provinces and territories.


To fully explore the Canadian Aviation through Time, students must have access to computers (ideally with Adobe Flash Player installed) and the Internet, either at home or in a computer lab. Most parts of the site can also be printed and reviewed in a classroom setting. All lesson plans can be printed, and are provided in both HTML and PDF formats.


Before assigning the activities, it is important that you and your students are familiar with the Canadian Aviation through Time exhibition at http://casmuseum.techno-science.ca/microsites/en/timeline/index.php.

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 an Adobe Flash Player installed—if this is not possible, please use the HTML options. All parts of the exhibition—Timeline, Mini-Exhibits, Game and Teachers’ Resource Kit, as well as the Image Bank—are accessible by clicking on the appropriate button on the top navigation bar on each page.
    • Visit each section:
      • The Timeline covers selected events in three broad categories:
        • Canadian Aviation Events: discoveries, innovations or events linked to the history of aviation in Canada
        • Science & Technology Milestones: scientific discoveries or achievements that were unrelated to aviation OR took place outside Canada
        • Canadian Life: events that affected Canadians (new inventions, social movements, etc.)
      • The Timeline currently covers four eras: the Pioneer Era, the First World War Era, the Interwar Years and the Second World War Era.
      • The Mini-Exhibits are a series of essays on events in Canada’s aviation history, brought to life with historical photographs.
      • The Game, Getting into the Air, allows players to recreate aircraft from the Pioneer and First World War eras, and learn more about the four forces of flight.
      • The Teachers’ Resource Kit contains five activities that emphasize different subjects and introduce cross-curriculum links. Three focus on history and language arts, and two on science (experimenting with flight).
      • The Image Bank gives visitors access to the Museum’s extensive image collection.
  2. In class, divide students into groups of two or three, and ask them to explore the site (particularly the Timeline). Ask students to read one Mini-Exhibit, and find the events it describes within the Timeline.