“Folklife ~ Your Life!”
A distinctive, enriching, and fun field trip for schools, camps, or youth groups!
This engaging, hands-on educational program provides an opportunity to discover the world of folklife which is an important part of every person’s life –it involves the way we celebrate holidays, our family stories, the songs we sing and much more.
All sessions are designed to help children learn more about themselves, their families and communities and inspire an appreciation for traditions and heritage.
Our program is geared toward elementary-age students.
Goals for your students:
- An understanding of what folklore is, why it is important and how to make a choice of participating in tradition in daily life.
- An appreciation for the distinctiveness of others and their folklife traditions.
- A positive experience in a variety of folklife activities.
- Understanding of yourself and your family.
“Folklife ~ Your Life” consists of 40 minute rotating activities that are readily adaptable to multiple ages and ability levels, bookended by a large-group, interactive introduction and conclusion designed to reinforce educational concepts and contextualize the day’s activities. The activities have been carefully selected to provide a balance of experiences: hands-on (craft), movement (folk dance), auditory/vocalizations (music) and active (games or prairie exploration).
Large groups are split into three or four smaller groups (up to approximately 20 students each) for a round robin of activities that rotate throughout the day. Students bring a sack lunch to eat on the grounds (refrigeration available). We will help you select two, three or four of the following activities, depending on class sizes, age level, time constraints and your needs.
Program Session Options:
Life is a Dance: People around the world and throughout history have moved together to music for celebratory and social occasions. You and your students will enjoy easy and fun social dances from several parts of the world. The children will be prompted to think about dance in their lives: Do you take dance lessons? Does your grandma ask you to polka at weddings? Do you dance at parties? If your students can walk and smile at the same time they will enjoy this activity. Adaptable to any age.
International Music in the Plum Grove Church: Traditional music in Wisconsin has filtered in from an amazing array of immigrant groups, which has transformed the musical profile of the state. Students will be introduced to a variety of traditional music forms, played on instruments originally from various cultures including Swedish bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, guitar, triangle, Appalachian mountain dulcimer, and Indian harmonium. Adaptable to any age.
Hey! Let’s Play!: Its floorboards creak, there is no clock on the wall and the facilities are “air” conditioned. The century old Wakefield Schoolhouse is the perfect setting for playing some traditional, non electronic games. You and your students will be challenged with the secret of the magic broom, become pros at winking, and learn a very quiet game of tag. As always, students are encouraged to think about how games and play are important to us thoughout our lives. Adaptable to any age.
From Sheep to Wool to Felt: Students will learn the history and process of making felt from wool. From a handful of wool, a bowl of soapy goo and lots of elbow grease you and your students will make a colorful ball of wool to take home. Great for all ages. Roll up your sleeves for a wet and woolly experience!
Wild Wisconsin Prairie Walk: We have acres of restored tall grass prairie to explore! Children will get an introduction to tall grass prairies and their importance through the use of their senses, an exploratory hike and some educational games. Weather permitting.
Maypole Dancing (Available Mid April – Mid June): This colorful and unique English tradition of dancing is a way to greet the month of May and the new spring season. Children will learn the history of Maypole dancing while weaving a variety of interesting patterns around the garlanded pole.
Papel Picado (Mexican Tissue Paper Banners): These colorful, festive traditional cutouts are easy to make and bring great satisfaction to the creators. Your students will learn the history and folklore of picadas and about the people who make them. The children will be asked to think about how their family, school and neighborhood decorate for special occasions. Good for all age levels.
Field Trip Program Notes:
- Programs are priced per group, not per person.
- 2-5 parents per class are encouraged to participate.
- Commercial playground equipment is available for outdoor recess time
Fees vary, depending on the scope of the program (schedule, number of staff needed, location, etc.). Folklore Village has limited funds available for schools needing financial support, through its Educational Outreach Support Fund. Priority is given to rural and smaller schools, schools with limited funding for cultural programs, and schools scheduling a Folklore Village program for the first time.
Programs take place in the 5500 square foot Farwell Hall activities center, the 1893 Wakefield School, the tall-grass prairie and the 1882 Plum Grove Church. Students walk on a trail between buildings, with the farthest being about 3 blocks away. A bus will need to be available to transport students between buildings in inclement weather. Not all buildings are handicapped accessible at this time, though we can usually accommodate special needs. Please call if you have accessibility concerns.
How to Schedule a Program
Contact us at (608) 924-4000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the rotations you would like to include, the number of students and grade level. We will work with you to create an enriching, fun, and fantastic program!