Teacher and Chaperone Guide

Use this checklist to help ensure that your trip goes smoothly

Note: While it is tempting to want to do “a little bit of everything,” trying to see the whole museum in one day can be overwhelming to students and hinders learning. Choose specific goals that support your classroom learning, and use these to decide what lessons you will book and what galleries you will visit.

Book your visit. Be sure to:

  • Check your school’s calendar for conflicts
  • Include a list of students with special physical or learning requirements.
  • Double check your confirmation to ensure the correct date, number of students, and lesson.
  • Communicate any changes needed to schoolv@rom.on.ca

Read the ROM’s cancellation policy

Complete any paperwork for your school.

Coordinate transportation

  • If arriving by bus, confirm your ROM arrival and departure times with the bus company and make sure they work with the ROM schedule.
  •  Provide the bus company with the link to bus parking.

Notify the ROM of any changes to the student number or programming selections.

Recruit and prepare your chaperones for the trip. This template can be used as a framework for your letter.

  • Follow your board requirements for the number of adult supervisors for off-site visits.

Create your museum groups for self guided times. Our Gallery Trails are designed to work best with small groups of students, and contain several follow-up activities to be done in-class either individually or in their groups.

Watch the school visits orientation video with your class to let them know what to expect on their visit, and what is expected of them.

Work on pre-visit activities that will help familiarize your students with topics to be covered during your visit.

Discuss the learning goals with your students and ensure they know how they will be meeting those goals.

Remind students to leave their valuables at home.

Download relevant apps to any mobile devices you are bringing.

Day of the visit

Make sure you have your supplies, including.

  • Reservation letter

  • Payment

  • Self-guided Gallery Trails or other activities for students

  • Chaperone guide for chaperones

Have a final count of students, teachers, and volunteer chaperones ready for your museum arrival.

Remind students of their groups before getting on the bus.

Remind students of their learning goals.

Remind students and chaperones of behaviour expectations.

Museum Guidelines

Walk. Do not run.

This will ensure that all of our objects and all of our visitors stay safe.

Use indoor voices.

There are many learners sharing the space, and in order for all students and visitors to get the most out of their visit, it is important for them to be able to hear their teachers and each other. Please pay special attention when a museum teacher is giving a lesson in the gallery to avoid disrupting the lesson.

Don’t touch objects. Only touch objects that are clearly marked as safe to touch.

Your skin contains oils that can damage many of the objects over time. In the Hands-on Galleries, be sure to follow the instructions of the Facilitators on how to safely and respectfully interact with the objects.

Food and Drink can only be consumed in the lunchroom or cafeteria. They are not allowed in the galleries.

Even trace amounts of food left behind in the galleries can attract pests that can seriously damage the objects. Remember that the objects in the galleries are real, and it is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that they stay safe.

Photos are allowed unless a sign indicates otherwise.

Ask questions and have fun!

You will encounter many staff members and volunteers around the museum. You can identify them by the ROM lanyards that they wear. All of our staff and volunteers welcome questions, and are happy to help you get the most out of your museum visit.

Getting there

The ROM is located at 100 Queen’s Park, at the corner of Bloor and Avenue Road. View on Google map

The ROM is located next to Museum subway station (on Line 1) and within walking distance of the east end of St. George subway station (on Line 2).

  • By bus
  • By transit

Arrival

  • The President's Choice School Entrance is located on the South side of the building, between the ROM and the Planetarium.
  • Check in with the group organizers at the School Entrance for:

    • payment processing
    • confirmation of student, teacher, and volunteer chaperone numbers
    • coat rack assignment
    • lunch assignment
    • schedule review
  • Lessons MUST end at their scheduled time.

Museum Guidelines

Walk. Do not run.

This will ensure that all of our objects and all of our visitors stay safe.

Use indoor voices.

There are many learners sharing the space, and in order for all students and visitors to get the most out of their visit, it is important for them to be able to hear their teachers and each other. Please pay special attention when a museum teacher is giving a lesson in the gallery to avoid disrupting the lesson.

Don’t touch objects. Only touch objects that are clearly marked as safe to touch.

Your skin contains oils that can damage many of the objects over time. In the Hands-on Galleries, be sure to follow the instructions of the Facilitators on how to safely and respectfully interact with the objects.

Food and Drink can only be consumed in the lunchroom or cafeteria. They are not allowed in the galleries.

Even trace amounts of food left behind in the galleries can attract pests that can seriously damage the objects. Remember that the objects in the galleries are real, and it is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that they stay safe.

Photos are allowed unless a sign indicates otherwise.

Ask questions and have fun!

You will encounter many staff members and volunteers around the museum. You can identify them by the ROM lanyards that they wear. All of our staff and volunteers welcome questions, and are happy to help you get the most out of your museum visit.

 

 

In the classroom/galleries

  • Give chaperones a copy of the daily schedule, including the departure time and lunch time assigned to you by the ROM Group Organizers.
  • When with with a museum teacher, supervise your students and assist your chaperones in supporting the museum teacher during your lesson.
  • When completing assignments in the galleries, supervise and support the students and be sure they are following the museum guidelines.
  • Remind students to show consideration for other museum users and school groups
  • If you have not planned a specific assignment to reinforce your classroom curriculum, have students complete a Gallery Trail that complements your learning goals at the museum.

Lunch

  • On your arrival, your group will be assigned a 1/2 hour lunch period in the ROMKids lunch room. Space is limited, so please arrive promptly for your lunch.
  • Make sure your group has completely cleaned their tables before leaving the lunch room.
  • The ROMKids Lunch Room has vending machines with a variety of drinks and snacks.
  • Food and Drink is not permitted anywhere in the museum outside of the lunch rooms, for the safety and conservation of the artifacts. If your class needs to snack before their museum lesson, you may wish to have your students eat while in transit.
  • Older students may leave the building at lunch to purchase food at nearby restaurants. Re-entry must be via the School Entrance.
  • It is strongly recommended that students bring their own lunch. The Druxy’s ROM Café is available, but seating is limited and only food purchased in the Café may be eaten there.
  • Large backpacks and extra baggage take more time to store and access, affecting your time in the galleries. Consider leaving backpacks at school and briding only lunch bags, or collecting lunches into a basket or large plastic bag so that they can be quickly accessed at lunch time.
  • In nicer weather, your group may choose to eat outside in Philosopher’s Walk, along the west side of the building.

Coat racks & backpacks

  • On arrival, your group will be issued a pull-out coat rack. Your school name, class, and lunch time will be written on the rack for the duration of your visit.
  • The coat racks are equipped with hooks and storage shelves for all coats, hats, and bags.
  • Hats and backpacks are not permitted in the museum, and must be left in the coat racks. Small purses and fanny packs are permissible.
  • The coat rack will be pushed in when not in use, but they are not closely monitored. Students are strongly encouraged to avoid bringing any valuables.

Shop

  • The main ROM Gift Shop is located on Level 1 in Gloria Chen Court, next to the main Bloor Street Entrance.
  • Check in with the staff person at the entrance point and let them know the name of your school before you enter. On the way back into the museum, check in with the staff person again.
  • Plan time at the end of your visit for shopping, as it can be frustrating for students to have to carry purchases throughout the museum, and purchases are often left behind.
  • As Food and Drink cannot be consumed outside of the lunch rooms, students must wait to enjoy any treats they have purchased until after leaving the ROM.

Photos and video

  • With the exception of certain special exhibitions, photos and video are allowed anywhere in the museum.
  • We recommend that students keep their devices powered off and away during the lesson portion of their visit, as they frequently cause distractions and delays that can impact the quality of your lesson.
  • Please ask for permission before sharing any images of ROM staff or volunteers on Social Media.

Facilities & Accessibility

  • Washrooms are located on each floor of the museum. Washrooms are wheelchair accessible, and a family washroom is located on Level 2, off the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs.
  • Other facilities for special needs are available. Please contact schoolv@rom.on.ca to make arrangements.

Follow-up Activities

Follow up activities are crucial to the processing and retention of museum learning. In addition to follow-up questions within our Gallery Trails, you may wish to complete some of the following:

  • Complete post-visit activities. These activities provide students a chance to apply knowledge they have gained, and allow teachers a means of assessing student progress.

Send feedback

Tag feedback or student examples on Social Media with  #ROMLearning . Nothing makes ROM Staff and Volunteers happier than seeing artwork, writing, and other examples of what students gained from their museum experience. You can also send feedback to schoolv@rom.on.ca.

Book a trip for next year.

Book a trip for next year. Some lessons fill up fast, and lots of advance notice will allow you to build the museum visit directly into your yearly curriculum.

Download this section as a PDF

Things to remember

  • Always stay with your group, even when they are with their museum teacher. The galleries and labs can be full of distractions, and teachers count on your support to help keep students focused on the lesson.
  • Be sure that students are following the Museum Guidelines.
  • If you need help, you can ask a facilitator or security guard.
  • The volunteers and facilitators in the galleries welcome questions and enjoy engaging students in learning activities, but the responsibility of supervising the students remains with you. Please continue to monitor and guide your students while they are engaged with a ROM educator or in the Hands-on Galleries.

Tips for engaging students

  • When exploring the museum with the students, ask them about what they have been learning in class.
  • Guiding questions are open-ended questions that avoid yes/no, right/wrong answers, and allow students an opportunity to interpret and engage with the objects. Some examples include:

    • What is your favourite thing in this gallery?
    • What is interesting about it?
    • How does it relate to what you learned in class?
  • The Hands-on Galleries on Level 2 allow students to engage in a hands-on, interactive way with objects from the natural history collections (in Hands-on Biodiversity), and the ancient civilizations, world cultures, earth sciences, and fossils collections (in CIBC Discovery).
  • The staff and volunteers in the gallery enjoy answering questions, and may be able to help if your students aren’t able to find information that they are searching for.

Additional Resources

  • Maps are available at the school entrance, main entrance, and online. They can be accessed from your mobile device.
  • For additional ways of engaging with ROM objects, download the ROM Apps: