Study of Medieval Times Will Culminate in a Feast
April 14, 2021
Tomorrow, April 15, the sixth graders at Meadowlark Elementary School and a small group of guests will gather for the annual Medieval Feast. The Medieval Feast is the culminating event of a unit of study in which students learn about the everyday life of people living in Europe from around 500-1500 A.D. After engaging in lessons about the social hierarchy, jobs and economy, castle life, and the advancements of the time, the Feast allows the students to celebrate.
To represent the historical period, students transform the school’s gymnasium into Meadowlark Manor. They decorate the space with crests, shields, flags, stained glass windows, stone walls, wall sconces “lit” with orange and red tissue paper, and decorative and insulating tapestries—lavishly painted bulletin board paper.
Organizer of the event, Janelle Deanon reports that compared to previous events, this year’s gathering will see some adjustments. “Unfortunately, the kids won’t have the option to invite guests, so it will just be the two sixth grade classes, their teachers, and a few other staff.”
Similar to years past, the menu will be prepared entirely with medieval recipes and feature pork, beef barley soup, ginger glazed carrots, cinnamon apples, turmeric rice, coleslaw, and bread. For dessert, Deanon is hoping that the students will get to experience making apple tarts in class. She explained that the main change to the food will be that it will be served buffet style instead of family style.
Although the entire Feast will not appear on Zoom, some aspects of the event will be recorded and a link shared with families.
“Each kiddo gives a castle presentation, and that will be done in their time period costume and sent out to parents. Another exciting part of the Feast is the knighting ceremony for students that have gone out into the community to commit deeds of good character. Those who have completed the six challenges of knighthood will be knighted at the Feast by the King, who will be played by Superintendent Darin Hannum. This is another part of the Feast that will be recorded and sent to families,” Deanon stated.
As of April 9, none of the candidates for knighthood had yet completed all six challenges, although Deanon hinted that five were “super close.” Candidates have until the day of the Feast to complete their challenges.
To keep the size of the gathering small, there won’t be a musical performance, but several of the sixth graders will act as jesters to entertain those in attendance.
According to Deanon, in order to prepare for the Feast, students spend nearly a month learning about life in medieval Europe. They study the government systems, economy, craft guilds, and the process of knighthood, just to name a few.
“After spending this time learning just what it was like in the ‘dark ages,’ the students have a pretty good feel for how important a feast of celebration would have been,” Deanon said.