Students Travel Back to the Middle Ages

Article excerpt

Byline: Cathi Edman

Knights, jesters, serfs, monks, and a royal court filled the cafeteria of Monroe Middle School in Wheaton for a medieval feast last week.

Costumes from the Middle Ages are not easy to come by, but the sixth-grade students managed to create some period garb using a variety of materials. Bridesmaid dresses were recycled and altered and poster board was turned into pointy hats with long flowing chiffon hanging off the end. One knight even wore a helmet made from tin foil.

The sixth grade is in the midst of learning about the Middle Ages and the feast - which included a lunch of chicken, bean soup with bread, corn and cake eaten with no utensils - helped bring the historic times to life, said teacher Barb Palace, who was decked out in a gold and scarlet gown.

More than 50 parents served as serfs and wenches for the day, lining up to serve the meal.

But feasting wasn't the only activity .

The school hired two "knights" to come in and discuss life in medieval times. Several students also were chosen as knights for the day due to their exemplary behavior as citizens and students.

In a traditional ceremony the students were knighted by Principal Wayne Spychala, who tapped each on the shoulders with a sword.

Tumblers and Madrigal singers also entertained and musicians played instruments of the day.

At the end of the festivities, students were entertained by teachers and staff acting out the stories of King Arthur. Several students also performed their own unique rendition of the Three Musketeers.

"It's really just a fun day," Palace said.

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