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Hancock Creek students get lesson in Medieval history

By Staff | Dec 18, 2014

There were lots of kings, queens, princesses, knights and archers at Hancock Creek Elementary School on Tuesday as one of the classes at the school held a Medieval celebration as a way to teach students what it was like for children in the days of King Arthur.

Students dressed up as their favorite medieval character and did some of the things kids did in their time, such as make ink, primitive air fresheners and bob for apples.

Carol Evenson, a gifted resource teacher at the school, which helps enrich gifted students above and beyond the normal curriculum, said her third- and fourth-grade students had been learning about Medieval times.

“They have been learning about what it took to become a knight. They are learning about what it was like to live in a castle, and this was a culmination of what it was like to be a child back then,” Evenson said.

After a morning feast of scones, poached pears and cheese bread, the students were broken into four groups, which took turns making air fresheners out of oranges and cloves, went apple bobbing, made ink out of the juice from berries, and miniature catapults that heaved marshmallows in the air.

At the end of the celebration, the students played “Capture the Flag.”

Evenson said unlike Tuesday’s activities, life in those days was hard for children, especially the poor.

“They had to work hard. Those who were privileged had some schooling, but they got to play some games,” Evenson said. “Peasant life was very hard, with all work and no play. But those of privilege got to learn archery and be with the knights.”

The students were learning a whole lot, with nearly all dressed up as anything but a peasant. Kynslie Purvis, 9, dressed as Robin Hood because she likes archery.

“I learned about the Keep, a really tall tower in a castle where they could hit someone with a bow and arrow if they intruded and not see them,” Purvis said. “I liked bobbing for apples. My nose is still wet.”

Cooper Stone, 9, liked the castles and the positions they had there. But said he wanted to hold a unique position.

“I would want to be a wizard because of their magic. I would try to help the world with it,” Stone said. “I liked the marshmallow catapult and learned about the making of a knight and how they grew up to become one. It’s all interesting.”

The learning didn’t stop with the students. Kayce Staruk, assistant principal, also learned a lot and was impressed with how the children enjoyed the experience.

“It’s hand-on learning about those times from the way they dressed to how the spoke to what they ate and how they occupied their time,” Staruk said. “I love the smell of cloves and haven’t smelled them in years. It’s just neat stuff going on and the kids have a great leader in Carol.”