Learning at home

Our Museums may be closed, but we have plenty of ways to keep learning at home through our online activities, exhibits and videos. Check out great resources from the Nova Scotia Archives and the Nova Scotia Provincial Library. Stay in touch with us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Exhibits

Nova Scotia Made, Nova Scotia Used, Nova Scotia Found

Curators from each of the seven disciplines represented at the museum – Botany, Geology, Zoology, Archaeology, Ethnology, History and Marine History – selected some of their favourite Nova Scotia made/used/found objects and specimens, reflecting the richness and variety of our collections. 

Vanguard: 150 years of Remarkable Nova Scotians

Women and men who changed and inspired Nova Scotia, 1867 - 2017.

Nova Scotia and the War of 1812

Despite the fact that the War of 1812 was a near three year clash between the United States and Great Britain, it was arguably the British North American colonies (what is now Canada) that were most profoundly altered by the conflict.

Remembering the Forgotten Dead

Nova Scotia and the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1920.

Coal and Grit

Coal and Grit is a small permanent exhibit that tells the story of mining coal in this area from those early beginnings up to and including the surface (open pit) mines in operation in 2008. Highlighted is the Westray Disaster of 1992, which killed 26 miners and is still remembered vividly by Nova Scotians.

Titanic in Nova Scotia

Considered one of the greatest marine disasters in recorded history, the story of RMS Titanic begins in Southampton on April 10, 1912, when the vessel left on her maiden voyage. For some of those who lost their lives aboard the ill-fated vessel, Halifax, Nova Scotia is where their story came to an end. Learn how citizens throughout Nova Scotia took on the grim responsibility of providing victims of the sinking with a final place to rest.

The 1917 Halifax Harbour Explosion

7:30 am December 6: the French ship Mont-Blanc left her anchorage outside the mouth of the harbour to join a convoy gathering in Bedford Basin. She was loaded with 2,300 tons of wet & dry picric acid, 200 tons of TNT, 10 tons of gun cotton & 35 tons of benzol.

Publications

Research is one of the fundamental activities of the Nova Scotia Museum.  Museum publications share research about our collection to advance our understanding of the world and encourage research by others.  The Museum publishes BooksCuratorial ReportsInfosheets, and Exhibit Research Reports. Nova Scotia Museum publications are available electronically through an Open Journal System catalogue hosted by Dalhousie University.

Museum Maker

Maybe you've explored our collections - now we want to learn about yours. While we are all spending more time at home these days, why not create your own exhibit to show off your collection - just like a museum. 

Become a Museum Maker

How to make your own museum diorama

Science & Natural History

Scavenger Hunts

Several activity sheets encouraging observation and exploration around your neighbourhood.

Scavenger hunts (PDF 708 kB)

Nature Observations

Using natural objects found around the house or in your yard, practice the skills of close observation and recording those observations in notes or drawings.

Observation Station (PDF 131 kB)

Object Investigation

Think like an archaeologist as you explore objects at home or online. Make detailed records of what you see and discover what ordinary objects can tell us about the people who use them.

Exploring Objects and Specimens (PDF 167 kB)

Anatomy of a Flower

Basic diagram of a flower with parts labelled and vocabulary included. Take what you learn then sketch and label a flower from your garden or neighbourhood.

Anatomy of a flower (PDF 134 kB)

Shark Teeth Lesson Plan

Lesson plan and activity sheet that shows the relationship between the size of a shark tooth and the animal that it belonged to.

Shark Teeth Activity (PDF 1.4 mB)

Simple Machines in Industry

A series of short videos that teach about how simple machines were used to power workshops, mills and factories in the past.

Watch Simple Machines videos on YouTube

Showcase of Nova Scotia Fossils and Geology

A video series hosted by Curator of Geology, Dr. Tim Fedak. Developed for grade 12 students, he interviews geoscientists from around the world who have experience with the rich geology of Nova Scotia

Fossils and Geology

Fossil Trackways

Find out what you can discover about ancient animals just by looking at the tracks they left behind.

Nova Scotia Dinosaur Trackway Activity (PDF 2 mB)

Nova Scotia Pebbles

Educational pamphlet on ways to identify and classify a wide array of rock types found in Nova Scotia. Great resource for nature observations!

ags.earthsciences.dal.ca/TransferFolder/NSPebbles.pdf

Culture and Heritage

Nine Men’s Morris Board Game

Instructions on how to create and play a board game that was popular among sailors in the past.

Nine Man Morris (PDF 517 kB)

Nautical Superstitions Crossword

A challenging crossword made up of the beliefs that sailors held during the age of sail.

Nautical Superstition (PDF 42 kB)

Textile Crafts

A series of instruction sheets on knitting, weaving, and quilting.

Info sheets on textile crafts (PDF 5.45 mB)

Knitting patterns (PDF 495 kB)

Founding cultures

The Mi'kmaq

Thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers, the Mi'kmaq called themselves L'nu'k, which simply means 'the people,' 'human beings.' Their present name, Mi'kmaq, derives from nikmaq, meaning 'my kin-friends.' Their descendants are still living in the area now known as the Atlantic Provinces and the Southern Gaspe Bay Peninsula. 

African Nova Scotians

As a founding culture, African Nova Scotian history is deep and storied. Today, there are more than 50 African Nova Scotian communities throughout the province of Nova Scotia. Almost 15,000 African Nova Scotians call this province home, contributing to the rich diversity that defines Nova Scotia.

The Gaels

We have created documents to help teachers introduce Gaelic in their classrooms using the following Gaelic documents. We draw on Nova Scotia Gaelic idioms and themes found throughout the culture. Activities, lessons-plans and resource websites will provide students a chance to learn about the rich history of the Gael in Nova Scotia while engaging children in hands-on, interactive and fun cultural experiences.

L'Acadie

The epic story of the Acadians began when the Europeans of French descent, attracted to the riches of the sea and of the land, began colonizing the ‘New World’ in the 1600s. Because the Acadian people enjoyed good relations with the Native population, they learned to survive in this new land by hunting, fishing and farming. 

Nova Scotia Archives

The Nova Scotia Archives acquires, preserves and makes available the province's documentary heritage — recorded information of provincial significance created or accumulated by government and the private sector over the last 300 years.

Virtual Archives, Resource Guides and Databases

Learning with Archival Documents 

This activity encourages critical thinking through close inspection of archival images and maps. A picture is worth a thousand words. (PDF 22 mB)

Nova Scotia Provincial Library

The Provincial Library works with Nova Scotia’s 80 public libraries, providing leadership and support to ensure libraries continue to offer services that enrich lives and communities. The Provincial Library is not an actual library facility; it serves the public libraries that serve Nova Scotians, working together with government and the province’s nine library regionsCheck out your local library region for access to E-Library resources: