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From the National Museum of Australia, The museum education mix: students, teachers and museum educators

Australian Curriculum

Year 5 / Historical Skills / Historical questions and research / ACHHS101

Years 3 and 4 / Digital Technologies Processes and Production Skills / ACTDIP012


Australian Museum | Western Australian Museum | National Museum of Australia | South Australian Museum | Australian National Maritime Museum | Powerhouse Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences | Immigration Museum, Melbourne | Museum Victoria | Museum of Sydney | Australian War Memorial | Museum of Australian Democracy

Visiting a museum

A visit to a museum is valuable for students to expand their learning beyond the school environment, and to have access to real objects, specimens and artefacts. This PETAA page helps you to structure your visit, and to integrate the experience into a unit of work.

For schools in the Greater Sydney area a new opportunity has been created by general admission now being free for under-16s to the Australian Museum and the Powerhouse Museum.

Teaching points

Before organising a museum visit you should consider:

  • The purpose of your visit
  • The proposed outcomes of the visit
  • Which museum best suits your purpose.

To organise the visit

  • Discuss the proposed visit with colleagues (including your principal) and students.
  • Discuss your idea with the museum. Ask about costs, times when your group could visit, and whether they have appropriate teaching materials.
  • Book your venue.
  • Book transport, setting out in writing the date and time of visit, the destination, return arrangements and numbers involved.
  • Send out permission notes.
  • Organise helpers.

To integrate the visit into a unit of work

Before the visit, make time for some activities that introduce relevant terms and ‘big picture’ concepts to the students. Introduce relevant text types such as information reports and procedures. Give students opportunities to share any knowledge they already have on the topic. Explain that you will be exploring these concepts at the museum.

At the museum

Activities at the museum should allow students to develop new knowledge, as well as using their observation and critical thinking skills in hands-on exploration. Allow students to view the entire exhibition before embarking on activities.

After the visit

Students should now be given opportunities to synthesise their new knowledge and understanding through creation of artworks, graphs, tables or sketches and writing using various text types.