During the recent Thurston Middle School Renaissance Day, seventh-grade students sampled life in medieval times.
The in-house “field trip” was a curriculum-based study of language arts and social studies that provided students with a greater appreciation and understanding of the time period, according to a district announcement.
“After a year of learning and discovering information about that period in time, it is a wonderful way to experience, first hand, just how medieval daily life was,” said Jenny Salberg, Thurston’s assistant principal, who praised teachers Amy Cochren and Michelle Martinez for their cross-curricular efforts.
Both staff and students dressed in Renaissance costumes and rotated through workshops in period dance, sport, crimes and punishment, military drill, wheat weaving, and chainmail by Falcon’s Court, a non-profit group that specializes in historical educational presentations.
Over the course of the seventh-grade school year, students learned about the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in their social studies classes, but also in language arts by reading “Midwife’s Apprentice,” a novel set in the period. As part of the unit, partly made possible by a Schoolpower grant, students summarized changes between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and undertook biographical research on an influential person from the era.
The best part of this fun and educational day was observing students enjoy hands-on activities ,which related directly to what they have studied this year, Cochren said. “I cannot tell you how proud I am of our student enthusiasm and participation on this very special day,” she said.