Medieval Job Opportunities Centennial Sixth Graders Show What Day-to-Day Life Was like for the Average Jester
Miles, Arlene, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Arlene Miles Daily Herald Correspondent
Knights in shining armor, ladies in waiting, a visit to the alchemist's and then a trip to the fair - it all sounds like a scene from "Camelot," right?
Well, these knights brandished swords and armor made of cardboard and tinfoil, the ladies' dresses came ready-made from a store or the Internet, and the alchemist's remedies were most likely to consist of colorful candies.
Oh, and they're all 11 and 12 years old.
Sixth graders at Centennial Elementary School in Bartlett conducted their annual Medieval Fair recently. About 40 booths detailed various aspects of medieval life, from what people wore, ate and drank, to more detailed issues such as warfare, weaponry and torture.
The annual fair is part of a combined social studies and reading unit, teacher Betsy Stoughton said.
"They do a lot of research for this," Stoughton said. "In addition to presenting the fair to the rest of the school, they have classroom presentations to make to show what they have learned."
Everyone gets involved with the fair - including teachers and administrators, parents and students from Centennial's other grades.
"They (the students) have a list of about 40 occupations from which to choose to do their research on," noted teacher Mike Moehrlin. "This makes history come alive for them."
Stoughton and Moehrlin were in character, along with the other staff members, thanks to medieval costumes that Stoughton had made several years ago for the project. Many of the students were very much in character too, such as Courtney Popovich, who acted the part of a fortune teller inside a tent.
"Ah very good, your wife will have two children, a boy and a girl," Courtney tells a young male visitor by the light of a lava lamp. "Oh go, go now. The spirits are angry!"
Courtney said she chose to play a fortune teller after doing a lot of research on herbs.
"I love to act and I thought that this would be a lot of fun," she said. …