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Teacher Open House at OSV

October 21 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm

Times: The Village is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Workshop times vary, please see below for details.

Cost: FREE for Teachers and one guest; Pre-registration is required


Calling all teachers!

Join us for an open house on Saturday, October 21. Learn more about OSV’s field trip options, from self-guided visits to hands-on workshops. Sign up for a workshop yourself and explore how our offerings fit with your curriculum and how you can tailor a visit to OSV to suit your students’ needs.

  • Enjoy snacks and mulled cider by the fire at Museum Education
  • Explore OSV’s program options for schools and youth groups with education staff
  • Haven’t been to Old Sturbridge Village since your own 3rd grade field trip? Take this opportunity to reacquaint yourself with the museum and all it has to offer.
  • Take home self-guided materials, craft instructions, and lesson plans to use with your students
  • Learn more about the Village’s civics-focused programming for 5th-12th graders
  • See if there is grant funding available to bring your students to the Village!

This teacher open house day is free for educators and one guest. All workshops will take place at the Museum Education building. The Village is open from 9:30 to 4:00.

Questions? Please email Liz O’Grady, Assistant Director Museum Education, School and Youth Programs, at eogrady@osv.org, or call (508) 347-0287.

Pre-registration is required so that we can plan accordingly! Click here to sign up

Hands-On Workshops (50 Minutes, ages 6+)

Hands-on workshops at Museum Education are one of the most memorable and engaging experiences a student can have at OSV. Try out one of these workshops yourself along with a guest—they are suitable for ages 6 and up. Please note: The workshops below will be available for sign-up upon arrival. Workshops are first-come, first-served, but we will make sure everyone can participate in at least one! Please come with a first and second choice in mind! Check-in starts at 9:30 a.m. 

Hearth cooking


During this workshop, students work together to make a sweet treat over an open hearth. Led by a museum educator, students make a snack using 19th-century recipes (or receipts, as they were known in the 1830s). Participants read and interpret the recipe, measure ingredients, and get hands-on cooking experience. While the snack is cooking, educators orient students to 19th-century foodways and compare and contrast with their lives today.

Depending on the season, topics may include:

  • Food preservation and the seasonality of food in the 1830s
  • Children’s chores; gender roles in farming families
  • Herbal remedies
  • Exploration and examination of historic kitchen tools



In the 1830s, printers held a very important role in their communities. Printing books, newspapers, invitations, and broadsides, printers played a vital role in the communication of information during the 19th century. In this workshop, participants will explore the printing through few hands-on activities related to the printed word. Museum educators guide students through paper marbling, quill pen writing, and using a printing press. Younger students may use slates for writing and block prints for printing.

Other topics may include:

  • Education and literacy
  • Apprenticeships and choosing a trade
  • The role of women and People of Color in the print shop
  • Technological changes and communication 



Meant for students grades 4 and up. In the woodworking workshop, students explore two different activities to learn more about woodworking trades in the 1830s. In one activity, participants use their measuring and spatial skills, as well as period hand tools, to create a small wood project to take home with them. In the second activity, the group works together to follow a plan to assemble a small timberframe structure while learning about the many different types of woodworking that were part of everyday life in the 1800s.

Other topics may include:

  • Simple machines
  • Woodworking tools and their uses; trades in the 1830s
  • The changing landscape and attitudes about the environment compared to today



Participants in the textile workshop walk through the steps of wool processing, from the shearing of sheep to weaving fabric. The 1830s were a time of great technological and industrial change in America. Even in Sturbridge, where sheep outnumbered people, several textile factories popped up along the rivers to speed up the textile making process. Museum educators instruct students in several hands-on tasks–carding wool, trying out a spinning wheel, and weaving on a loom–while discussing the transition of homespun goods to textile factories during the Industrial Revolution.

Other topics may include:

  • 19th-century clothing and how it was made, where it came from,
    and what fibers were used to make it in comparison to today’s clothing
  • The cleaning and dyeing of textiles
  • Children’s chores
  • Slavery and its connection to the Northern states
  • Farming and agriculture; economics

Farm and Garden


For many people, daily life in rural New England rotated around the farmer’s year. In an area like Sturbridge, most families had at least a small farm or garden. Participants in this workshop will try out several agriculture or horticulture activities related to the farmer’s year. During the spring, students work with historic gardening tools in raised beds, plant seeds to take home, and work together to assemble a model split-rail fence, among other activities. In the fall, explore two important tasks for harvest season: converting apples to cider, and processing dried corn into cornmeal.

Other topics may include:

  • Food preservation
  • Indigenous foodways and horticulture practices
  • Children’s chores; gender roles on the farm
  • Environmentalism and the changing landscape

Sample Guided Village Tour (60 minutes)


Enjoy a bite-sized guided tour of the Museum with one of our knowledgeable museum educators. The guided tour is a popular option for teachers who would like their students to have a more in-depth or themed experience in the Village. Common guided tour themes include children’s life in the 1800s, crafts and trades, civics, and foodways. During your tour, hear more about the ways that a tour of OSV can be integrated into your study not just of history, but of science, technology, and literature as well.


Old Sturbridge Village
1 Old Sturbridge Village Road
Sturbridge, 01566 United States
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