Tuesday, March 08, 2016

A Medieval Morning


Today was the "5th week activity" for the medieval unit of our co-op.  Our co-op has a 7 year rotation of unit themes, so we last did this unit in November, 2008, and I happened to be the head of that unit.  I blogged about our medieval feast here and here.  It turned out great, but it was a TON of work.

This year, however, one of the moms found a company called Medieval Fantasies, based here in VA, that puts on programs for schools, as well as other events.  They spent the morning with us, from 9:30-12:30, and it was really great! MUCH less work for the moms of the unit!
The company is a husband and wife, as well as their daughter and dog.  "Sir Blackwolf" is a Welsh knight who actually speaks Welsh and sounds very convincingly like he was from the Middle Ages.  His wife, "Lady Dagryning", is explaining medieval clothes and all her accessories here.  "Rhiannon" is their homeschooled daughter, who performs with them.  She said when I asked her that the Middle Ages is definitely her specialty--imagine that!

The day started off cloudy, but the sun burned away the clouds by midmorning, and then it was roasting!  There were quite a few kids who dressed up--and several newer kids who wished they had dressed up, but didn't realize so many others would be doing it.  Grace once again didn't wear her dress.  She felt too self-conscious, plus I think she may be coming down with a UTI, so she was already fragile enough without pushing that this morning.  I was just glad she got through the day, since I had to help there this morning!
After talking about clothing and travel, they talked about their Welsh Corgi dog, Luna, and gave a little demonstration with her.  We were all in a circle, and then they tossed a beach ball at Luna.  She would bop it up in the air with her nose, and herd it along when it was on the ground.  If the ball came to one of the kids, they kicked it back into the circle so she could chase it around.  Such a cute dog, but very high energy!  Also, they said not a dog for toddlers, since they are herding dogs, LOL.

Next we were divided up into 5 groups to go around to different games.  I was with Micah's group, which made him very happy, since I hadn't been in his classroom all year long. Our first activity was "rhyming games", and here Elena McC is the farmer in "Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley".  At the end of her acting out the little rhyme, she spins around ("surveys her land") and picks another farmer for the next verse, which is what she is doing here.  You may have noticed that she is wearing the exact same dress as Faith, which made them both very happy!  Twins!
Next was bocce, and then "skittles", which is a little bowling, except with carved wooden cylinders.  They don't roll the way you might expect, so it was trickier than expected to knock down the logs!  Anna is showing her form here.
Next was a rope ring toss, which was surprisingly difficult.  Micah had fun doing it though!  Behind them is the last activity, a relay race about doing medieval chores, in which you had to run back and forth carrying a basket of (plastic) vegetables, hay, a (plush) pig, and "poop" (2 big hard foam shapes), in the right order.  Everyone was getting hot by now!
Next we all went back to the tents, and they talked about customs and courtesies at a medieval feast.  They the kids sampled bread, cheese, cabbage, salami, blueberries, and juice.  They were tiny samples though--just a bite!  Everyone was starved when they got back here, and those who remembered the medieval feast 7 years ago were enviously talking about the giant turkey legs the 6th graders had, and all the food that we had for that feast!
Last was dancing!  We did 2 circle dances, and then for the last dance, the ladies were in a small circle, with the gentlemen on the outside.  They danced in opposite directions, mirroring the movements, although it was kind of controlled chaos by that point, LOL.  Everyone was hot, tired, and hungry, so no one was paying as careful attention as they had been at the beginning of the morning, and mainly I think you could say the boys and the girls were just circling in opposite directions, without really doing many of the steps!

It was fun, and the best part of it was, everyone just went home, and the company cleaned it all up!  Medieval Fantasies did a great job, and I would not hesitate to recommend them.  Very interesting, and they spent 3 hours with our group!

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