Government of Ontario

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Ministry of Government and Consumer Services




Online Resources at the Archives of Ontario

Materials to Support Inquiry-Based Learning

Montage of two documentary posters and a black and white photograph of nurses

Interested in learning with primary sources, but don’t know where to start? The Archives of Ontario provides a range of resources and lesson kits appropriate for students from grades 3 to 12, as well as online exhibits that feature primary source material from our extensive collections.

All our resource and lesson kits align with the Ontario curriculum and emphasize the skills of critical literacy, historical inquiry, interpretation, and analysis. Resources can be downloaded as either a Microsoft Word© file or a PDF for easy viewing and printing.

Have a suggestion for future resources? Contact us at Reference@ontario.ca to tell us what you need!

Activities Using Primary Sources

Primary Source Flashcards

Looking for a new way to help students build their language, literacy, and inquiry skills? The Archives of Ontario has created flashcards to support young learners – whether at home or in the classroom.

Our Alphabet Flashcards use primary sources from the Archives of Ontario’s collections to help students in grades 1-4* learn the letters of the alphabet, new vocabulary, and unique stories from Ontario’s past!

For students in grades 7/8, our Social Studies Flashcards will help them learn key terms used in Ontario’s social studies, history, and geography curriculum using primary sources from our collections.

For learners of all ages, our Black Histories Primary Source Cards use archival records to illustrate the layers of experience within Black Canadian history between 1793 and 1925. 

Designed to be viewed both on-screen as a PDF or printed onto paper, you can download the flashcards here:

*Note: the back of each card contains important information about each primary source – to best understand these historical notes, we recommend that younger learners look at them with an adult.

Lesson Plans by...