Canoes on the beach at Peter's Lake

Overall Goal
To introduce students to the basics of canoeing skills and an activity that they can continue to learn and engage in throughout their lives. To connect students to a pivotal part of Canadian history and the ingenuity of the indigenous peoples.

Grade 6 Curriculum Connections

Social Studies - Heritage and Identity: Communities in Canada, Past and Present

  • assess contributions to Canadian identity made by various groups and by various features of Canadian communities and regions
  • use the social studies inquiry process to investigate different perspectives on the historical and/or contemporary experiences of two or more distinct communities in Canada
Physical and Health Education
  • participate actively and regularly in a wide variety of physical activities, and demonstrate an understanding of factors that encourage lifelong participation in physical activity
  • demonstrate an understanding of the importance of being physically active, and apply physical fitness concepts and practices that contribute to healthy, active living
  • demonstrate responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others as they participate in physical activities
  • perform movement skills, demonstrating an understanding of the basic requirements of the skills and applying movement concepts as appropriate, as they engage in a variety of physical activities
  • apply movement strategies appropriately, demonstrating an understanding of the components of a variety of physical activities, in order to enhance their ability to participate successfully in those activities


Success Criteria/Learning Goals

1. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the proper safety procedures of canoeing i.e., PFD’s, stabilizing a canoe etc.
2. Students will demonstrate basic paddling strokes.
3. Students will explain how canoes played a significant role in First Nations transportation.
4. Students will explain how canoes played a significant role in the interactions between First Nations and the French and British in regards to early fur trade.


Program Description
After Victoria Day, depending on water temperature and the weather, the water warms up and the bugs come out so we head for Peter's Lake. Our beautiful onsite lake with waterfront is home to few residents, bountiful wildlife plus our canoes, dock and beach! Not only is canoeing at SOES a wonderful life long memory for students but an educational experience that is relevant in the classroom.

After a supervised dumping (capsize) in a canoe on the first afternoon, students will engage in the essential Canadian experience of canoe travel. Students will learn canoe history and it’s place in Canadian exploration. They will be taught basic paddling strokes in our restricted beach area before they take an adventure out into our protected lake. This program may include a lunch out on the lake.

Pre-Trip Activity
This is a great video about the making of the Birch Bark Canoe and its place in our history that would make a great introduction to a late spring trip to SOES.
Next Step Environmental Action
As the canoe program takes place on the water and is affected by water quality, students can investigate our human impact on water in our every day lives and ways they can be water quality advocates.
The Birch Bark Canoe - curriculum resource for Manitoba teachers is equally valuable for Ontario teachers and our curriculum.Ω


  • Weather dependent after Victoria Day through to the end of the school year
  • All students MUST have a signed WATERFRONT PERMISSION FORM to swim or canoe
  • Students MUST bring swim clothing and closed-toed footwear