NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
February 7, 2012 Walnut, CA 91789
Stepping Back in Time
Chaparral Hosts Medieval Faire
DIAMOND BAR, CA—Over 400 Chaparral Middle School 7th graders enjoyed games and activities from the past during a Medieval Faire held February 1.
Many were costumed as 16th century knights and rural peasants for the 4th annual event culminating their Social Studies curriculum on the medieval and renaissance periods.
Students and staff were encouraged to dress in simple costumes they could easily make from ideas posted on the school’s website or rent from a local business.
The hands-on activities included interdisciplinary lessons in the core content areas of Science and Math (catapults), Language Arts (journal writing), and Physical Education (activities).
Students completed a journal that detailed their journey into the past participating in four workshops and a falconry presentation.
Principal Ron Thibodeaux joined the themed event dressing in king’s battle gear for the day. He said staff and students look forward to the event each year that just keeps growing.
“Activities like this are a good way for students to learn how all of our disciplines are connected to each other. The best part is that they are learning while having so much fun!” Thibodeaux said.
Falcon’s Court presenters led activities in authentic renaissance character and costume including craft workshops with baskets, puppets, chain maille, and wheat weaving.
Students launched marshmallows with catapults, then collected and analyzed their data.
And they played the game of Rounders (a form of baseball), learned military drills, country dancing, and juggling.
The District’s Food Services Department even offered a special “Medieval Meal” of chicken, baked potato, corn on the cob, apple, cookie, and milk for $2.50.
7th Grade Social Studies Teachers Gary Imai, Brad Chapman, and Quintin Garcia coordinated the program with the support of all the school’s teachers, instructional aides, custodial staff, office staff, administration, food services, and of course students and their parents.
“The kids didn't’ feel like they were being taught today,” Imai said about the once in a lifetime experience.
Next year, he hopes to bring a live joust with knights and horses for the entire school!
In the basket-weaving workshop, students first soaked the wheat to make it pliable and then formed their baskets.
Student learned to make chain maille, the metal plating knights wore during medieval period. The demanding renaissance apprentice life included being required to make 1,000 links an hour and only being allowed to go home to visit their families three days each year.
During the catapult activity, peasant Michelle Phung and Theresa Yang were surprised to see their marshmallow fly 327 centimeters!
During military drills, groups learned what it was like to be in the soldier in the army, with formations, discipline, drills, and other aspects of military like. Students held 12’ tall sticks during the activity.
A trained bird of prey flew over students during the falconry presentation.