Free Field Trips &
Educational Resources

To encourage student access to the inaugural public exhibition of the Sir Samuel Steele Collection, the University of Alberta Libraries have commissioned the development of school programming. We are excited to offer, free of charge, a variety of unique and engaging programs that complement the current Alberta Social Studies curriculum for grades four through seven. These programs feature:

  • Free entrance to the exhibition for school groups, with tours provided by trained docents.
  • Lesson plans with a strong match to the Alberta Social Studies curriculum, developed in accordance with the latest research and Historical Thinking Concepts (see sidebar).
  • Rich primary sources available online for teachers and students to support inquiry-based learning in a student-friendly format.

Click on the links below for more information:

To book a field trip or to be added to our mailing list, please contact Diane Schaub at 780.492.2659 or

School Program Descriptions

The curriculum activities based on the Sir Sam Steele exhibition and web resoruces will focus on Steele’s public career and personal life as a great Canadian who made an enormous contribution to the settlement of the West, the development of Alberta, and the development of the NWMP and the Canadian military.

The on-site portion of the school programs will take from 60 to 90 minutes approximately. Accompanying lesson plans will include pre-visit, during-visit and post-visit activities.

The curriculum materials have been developed according to the following themes:

  1. The role that Sir Sam Steele played in the settlement of Alberta.
  2. Sir Sam Steele’s career in the RCMP and his key role in maintaining law and order during the settlement of the Canadian West.
  3. Sir Sam Steele’s participation in the expansion of Canada, especially his experiences during the Red River Expedition and the March West.
  4. The significant role that Steele played in the Yukon and in World War I.
  5. The significant relationships Steele had with his wife, two daughters and son.

Booking Information

For all booking requests and program content inquiries, including site visits for teachers, please contact Diane Schaub at or 780-492-2659.

Programs will booked on a first come, first serve basis. Due to the limited time the exhibition will be open, it is advisable to book your program as soon as possible. A booking contract and detail sheet will be emailed to the school contact. Information required will include:

  • Preferred dates and whether you would like a morning or afternoon program. Please note that most programs are approximately 90 minutes in length, but this can be shortened for younger students.
  • Grade
  • Number of students
  • Number of special needs students
  • Number of adult supervisors (one supervising adult per five students is recommended)
  • Special requests

Educational Resources Overview

The Sir Sam Steele Collection provides an amazing educational opportunity for students to visit an historical exhibition in person or online. The website includes excellent pictures of artifacts and digital copies of documents that can be read online by students. Students can test their detective skills at reading 19th century hand-writing against transcribed copies of many of the documents.

Teachers are invited to book visits to the Sir Sam Steele Collection for their grade 4, 5, 6 and 7 classes in June or September 2012. Students who attend the exhibition in June will have an opportunity to apply their classroom learning to a real historical exhibition with many unique artifacts and documents. Teachers are invited to use the pre-, during and post- visit activities to design a rich year-end experience for their students. Teachers who are planning to bring their new classes in September at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year will have an opportunity to spark their students’ interests in the history of Alberta, the prairies, the northwest and Canada. They will also have a chance to introduce students to historical thinking and the methods of historians when they view original artifacts and read documents that they can build on for the rest of the year.

Many teachers may not be able to arrange class trips to see the Sir Sam Steele Collection in person and we encourage you to take advantage of the excellent website. The pre-, during and post- visit activities will work very well for a digital tour of the exhibit from any classroom in Alberta and the rest of Canada. In addition to the exhibit artifacts and documents, the archivists have pulled additional sources from the Sir Sam Steele Collection for student investigation. These resources will assist teachers and students in their study of the learning outcomes in the Alberta Social Studies curriculum. They will give students a deeper sense of the historical context and family life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The Steele family controversy over their 17 year old son, Harwood’s wish to enlist in the Canadian Army in 1914 is just one example.

Please see the “Educational Resources & Lesson Plans” sidebar to access instructional materials.

These programs are offered free of charge courtesy of the University of Alberta Libraries.

The University of Alberta Libraries, a member of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries, has the second largest academic and research collection in Canada and is ranked 11th in North America. Its collections consist of more than seven million titles and ten million physical items including over 180,000 rare and unique items housed in the world-renowned Bruce Peel Special Collections Library. The Libraries’ operate eight branches and a storage/retrieval facility that together provide specialized collections and services for the students, faculty and other communities we serve, on the main Edmonton campus and on the Saint-Jean and Augustana campuses.