School Program Descriptions

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Programs at History Park

A Child’s Life in the 1890s (Grade 2)
Students will learn about life in a farming community and compare that with urban and suburban life today. They will search for the historical matches to modern objects of daily life. Buildings may include the Umbarger House, Schoolhouse, Fruit Barn, Stables, and Chinese American Historical Museum.

Historic Transportation Experience (Grade 2)
Note: Beginning in November 2014, teachers in Grade 1 may register to bring their classes.
Students will experience transportation of yester-year when they take a ride on an authentic trolley car on the trolley line up Senter Road. They will see how wheels made life easier for early San Joséans as they visit Dashaway Stables and the Exhibits at the Trolley Barn. They will view a film clip of early types of transportation from 1905 San Francisco.

Kids on trolley

Live, Work, Play, Daily Life in the 1800’s (Grades 2 and 3)
Through Docent led hands-on activities, students discover more about daily life in the late 19th century. This 90 minute program gives second and third graders a peek into the everyday world of daily chores in the home and school day activities in a one-room schoolhouse. This program meets the demands of larger groups of children and combo classes.

Experience Victorian Days (Grade 3)
Students learn about daily life in 19th-century Santa Clara Valley by doing and comparing. They bake scones, perform duties of servants, dress up in Victorian garments, play parlor games and make a toy to take home. Feel free to bring your own camera to take pictures of students in costume.

People At Work (Grade 3)
Taking on the roles of various workers, students will visit three workplaces to learn about different occupations in the Santa Clara Valley in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Learn how these businesses supported agricultural communities, and how they contributed to the growth of the region. Buildings may include the Doctor’s Office, Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn, Bank of Italy, Print Shop, Dashaway Stables or Chinese American Historical Museum.

Valley of Heart’s Delight (Grades 3-4)
Students explore the agricultural history of the Santa Clara Valley by visiting the Stevens Ranch Fruit Barn. They’ll learn about regional geography, agriculture and technology, and the canning industry. Activities include weighing fruit, designing a crate/can label, and visiting migrant farm worker houses from the early part of the 20th century. Perhaps you would like to bring a dried fruit snack for your students to try.

History Park Tour (Grades 4-12)
Classes are divided into groups for docent-led tours of select buildings in History Park. These tours provide snapshot views of different lifestyles and occupations in Santa Clara Valley’s history. All students will not visit the same buildings. No hands-on activities offered.

Experience Adobe Days (Grade 4)
Students experience daily life in El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe at the oldest address in San José. They make an adobe brick, dip a candle, design a brand, rope a steer, card wool, weave, grind maize, fry a tortilla and make yerba buena tea, create a corn husk figure, and dress up in Californio clothes. Students should pack a snack; they’ll take turns snacking and exploring the Adobe. Feel free to bring your own camera to take pictures of students in costume.

School Group at History ParkComing to America, The Immigration Experience (Grades 4, 5, 6)
History Park affords the opportunity for students to experience firsthand the cultures and lifestyles of several immigrant groups that helped to settle the Santa Clara Valley. Upon arrival, the group will pass through the “Port of Entry” and meet the “Immigration Inspector.” The Inspector will present an introduction to the program and then lead the children to the one-room school house where they will experience how immigrant children felt when they first entered American schools. In small groups, students will visit the Portuguese Historical Museum, the Chinese American Historical Museum, the Bank of Italy and the Steven Ranch Fruit Barn before joining back up to visit the Museum of the Boat People and the Republic of Vietnam.

School Days in the 1890s (Grades 4-5)
Students experience a day at school in the 1890s. Children learn to “make” their manners, do mental arithmetic, practice penmanship and discuss current events of the time. No school day would be complete without recess.

Westward Ho! (Grade 5)
Westward Ho 25th AnniversaryA boy playing hoop during the Westward Ho school program
Happy 25th Birthday, Westward Ho! The autumn of 2014 marked the silver anniversary of HSJ’s popular school program in which students form wagon companies to traverse the famous Overland Trail. They plot their routes West on a map and strategize for perils of the rough trip, then purchase a wagon and load it with supplies for survival. At the resting-up camp students churn butter, make pioneer sweets, and compete at rolling hoops. Feel free to bring your own camera to take pictures of students in costume. Presented by The California Pioneers of Santa Clara County

Adventures at Your School

Gold Rush Adventure Kit (Grade 4)
The kit contains everything you need to integrate your curriculum while creating your own “Boom Town.” The kit contains gold panning materials, enough for one class. Through the use of photographs, maps, diaries, and other documents, you will be able to tell the story of the California Gold Rush through the eyes and words of those who lived it.

Home School Programs and Scout Leaders

Let us customize a program for multiple ages in your home school group. If you see a program that might fit one of your themes, please call us at 408.918.1047 to discuss possibilities. Programs can deal with Early California History, Westward Expansion, Gold Rush era, immigration, and the Victorian era or industrial revolution.

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