Curriculum: A Window to the Past

An innovative project funded by the TELUS Vancouver Community Board

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Imagine life without television, computers, electronic games...a life of meals cooked on a wood-burning stove, handmade clothing, laundry washed by hand...Imagine simple family fun around the piano in the parlour or around the big dining room table...Imagine a world in which the first telephones and motor cars were wonders to behold...

Schoolchildren are fascinated to learn how much life has changed in a mere 100 years and many of them can identify with the experiences of an immigrant family making its way in early Vancouver. Roedde House Museum’s Schools Program provides docent-led tours for elementary school classes from the Lower Mainland. The tours complement an in-class curriculum, A Window to the Past, which is adaptable to all grades. The curriculum covers early 1900s social history, the immigrant experience, genealogy, architecture and the importance of heritage preservation. A Window to the Past won a City of Vancouver Heritage Award in 1997; in 2006 it was extensively revised and updated with the assistance of a TELUS Vancouver Community Board grant, and put online in its entirety. As an on-line resource, A Window to the Past can be accessed by teachers anywhere and with some adjustment; the curriculum can be a useful study guide.


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