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Classroom Study Guide




Kansas City
Renaissance Festival
www.KCRenFest.com

Ye Olde Renaissance Activities

The following information has been provided in order to facilitate students and teachers in fun, informative, and educational hands on activities. Most material is adaptable to all grade levels. The materials are inexpensive and readily obtained.

Table of Contents


  1. Renaissance Facts

4. Discussion Ideas

5. Was it Possible?

7. Renaissance Word Search

9. Renaissance Crossword Puzzle

11. Renaissance Quest

13. Renaissance Books, Printing, Castle Building

14. Coat of Arms

15. Blank Coat of Arms

16. Renaissance Timeline

19. Artisans

20. Costumes

21. Clothes

22. Customs

25. Language

27. Tournament Jousting

28. Food


29. Festival Location Map

30. Festival Map

31. Merchants

32. Artisan Demos

33. Food & Drink

34. Contest Rules & Entry Forms



Interesting Renaissance Facts



  • In the 16th century it was believed that everything was made up of four (4) elements: earth, air, fire and water.



  • Scholars strove to restore the human-centered values of classic antiquity. This movement, called Humanism, involved studying art, literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome, which had been prohibited during the Middle Ages.





  • The dinner of a wealthy man included 15-20 dishes.




  • People were shorter and smaller in the 16th century; the average man was 5’3” tall and weighed 135 lbs. Anyone over 6’ was considered a giant!




  • Most people only owned the clothes they were wearing.




  • People in the 16th century had horrible table manners. Guests were often reminded to blow their nose with the hand they used for their knife, not with the one they ate with.




  • Half of the people in Europe died before reaching 30 years of age, most from disease. A girl’s life expectancy was 24 due to the dangers of childbirth.




  • Renaissance villagers had walls surrounding them for defense purposes; the smaller the circumference, the safer the village. Streets in the village were as narrow as a man’s shoulders.




  • The first metal screws were used in 1556 to secure a leather bag. Screws were hammered in and could not be removed easily because the screwdriver wasn’t invented until 200 years later.




  • The fork was a new addition to the dinner table during the Renaissance.



  • Trade expeditions grew in popularity in the 16th century; trade routes became safer and a new class of merchants developed. Profits were high, so many merchants became involved. To raise money to pay for the ships and cargos, merchants sold shares in each venture to divide the costs and risks. These “jointstock” companies were the forerunners of modern companies that sell stock to shareholders.



Discussion Ideas

Discuss several occupations that existed during the Renaissance that do not exist today; that still exists today; or that did not exist during the Renaissance. Why have these changes in the job market taken place?


Discuss the opportunities of women in the 16th century as compared to opportunities today. How did they change for the better? How have they changed for the worse? (if at all)
Discuss the environmental factors and hygiene (or lack thereof) that led to the rapid spread of the Black Plague.
Divide your class into small groups. Each group will be a commedia dell’arte troupe (wandering players of the 16th century-the 1st known professional acting troupes). Have each group write a short play and perform it for the class. These plays were about everyday things.


Was it Possible?
The Renaissance was a time of invention. Many brilliant people imagined, designed, and created a variety of new things. On the list below, place a check mark next to the things that did exist during the renaissance era.
_____ fork _____ cotton gin
_____ the “Mona Lisa” _____ screwdriver
_____ printing press _____ eyeglasses
_____ steam engine _____ electric lamp
_____ gun/musket _____ car
_____ microscope _____ submarine
_____ parachute _____ life jacket
_____ world map _____ telescope
_____ stapler _____ saxophone
_____ metal screws _____ helicopter
_____ toothbrush
Was it Possible?

Answers

D = Did Exist

N = Did Not Exist

I = Idea/Design

__D__ fork __N__ cotton gin
__D__ the “Mona Lisa” __N__ screwdriver

__D__ printing press __D__ eyeglasses


__N__ steam engine __N_ electric lamp
__D__ gun/musket __I__ car
__D__ microscope __I__ submarine
__I__ parachute __I__ life jacket
__D__ world map __D__ telescope
__N__ stapler __N__ saxophone
__D__ metal screws __I__ helicopter
__N__ toothbrush


Renaissance Word Search
Here is a list of some things you might see on your visit to our Festival.

Can you find the items in the word search below?

horse goblet harp

knight crown turkey leg

lance armor wench

king peasant sword

queen princess prince

maypole herald fountain



Artisans jester falcon

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Renaissance Word Search

Answers

horse goblet harp

knight crown turkey leg

lance armor wench

king peasant sword

queen princess prince

maypole herald fountain

artisans jester falcon



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Renaissance Crossword Puzzle

Across Down

3. the daughter of a king or queen 1. the queen’s headdress

5. male ruler 2. a member of the working class

6. weapon used in jousting 4. the court clown

7. carried the plague (Black Death) 5. King Arthur’s guests at the round table

8. suit worn by knights 9. water around a castle

10. the queen’s home

11. Renaissance drinking glass




 

 

 

 

 

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Word Bank

king castle lance peasant

princess goblet rat jester

knights crown moat armor

Renaissance Crossword Puzzle

Answers
Across Down

3. the daughter of a king or queen 1. the queen’s headdress

5. male ruler 2. a member of the working class

6. weapon used in jousting 4. the court clown

7. carried the plague (Black Death) 5. King Arthur’s guests at the round table

8. suit worn by knights 9. water around a castle

10. the queen’s home

11. renaissance drinking glass



 

 

 

 

 

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Word Bank

king castle lance peasant

princess goblet rat jester

knights crown moat armor





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