Leather crafts taught at an in-school program
Teaching Shakespeare in the classroom
Students learn English country dance at the children’s workshops
held every fall at the Northern Renaissance Faire site at Casa de
NorCal Renaissance Institute provides hands-on workshops for
students ages 10 to 16 so they can have some experience of life
in the Elizabethan age of England. The workshops are designed to
conform to the California State Standards in the Social Studies
curriculum. The four workshops are:
Taught by a
credentialed teacher of history, this workshop describes the
social classes, clothing, foods, education, religion, and
customs of 16th century England. Selected students dress in
period clothing and act out scenarios that describe aspects of
life at the time, such as having a meal (which varied according
to social class). Marriage customs, medical treatments, and
family life are also covered.
important in any age, and it was very important in the 16th
century. A master swordsman (advisor to many actors in movies)
will instruct students in proper sword techniques — using dowels
— as well as safety and the ethics of using a weapon. This is a
popular workshop for the girls as well as the boys.
No matter what
social class you belonged to, dancing in the 16th century was a
very common pastime. Students will learn 2 or 3 easy country
dances with an experienced dance teacher and a musician. These
are dances that can be done throughout the school year as a P.E.
things in the 16th century were made by hand at home or by
skilled crafts people. Students will learn about the guild
system of artisans common in the period, and will become
artisans themselves as they make an individualized pouch or
wristband which they can keep. Taught by a skilled leather
Workshops can be
attended in one of two ways:
At the Renaissance Faire site
next to Casa de Fruta, east of Gilroy on Highway 152
on Fridays, mid-September to mid-October.
The faire is held in the fall every year,
and on Fridays during the faire, workshops are held in the
recreated 16th century English village. A tour of the village is
included as part of the workshops. Workshops begin at 8:30 and
finish at about 2:30 p.m. Students bring their own lunch and
drinks; water is provided throughout the day.
The teachers come in
costume to your school and run the workshops described above in
your classrooms. Students rotate from classroom to classroom;
the crafts project is typically done outdoors if tables are
available, and the swordsmanship class is also best done
outside. Maximum is 15 students per class.
The basic fee is
$32/student, which can vary up or down by a few dollars
depending on the size of the group.
Email the education coordinator, Steve
email@example.com, or call
him at 650-355-7173 (leave message). Or call Dianne Longdo,
Director, at 818-472-0588 (leave message).