Cedar Springs — From gearing up in medieval garb to witnessing the clangs of “combat,” students at Cedar View Elementary got a close-up look at some elements of their curriculum during a recent visit from a medieval reenactment troupe.
The presentation tied into fourth-graders’ recent studies of the medieval era.
“We’re learning about the Middle Ages and stuff,” said Emmett Onan, whose entire grade has been studying the time period.
Learning about knights has been Emmett’s favorite part of the section, so he was thrilled when the knights of Her Majesty’s Royal Guard — a nonprofit reenactment group — stopped by to help students celebrate the culmination of a fruitful series of lessons.
Emmett’s classmate Frances Roberts said the knights were a highlight for her as well, both in class and during the presentation. She said she sees knights as heroes.
“I like learning about the knights and how they help the serfs, or help in the war,” Frances said. “They save people.”
Lessons ‘Come Alive’
Emmett, Frances and their classmates were all oohs and ahhs as they surveyed the equipment brought to the school by Her Majesty’s Royal Guard, picking up and trying on shields and helmets as the reenactors prepared to conduct mock battles.
Principal Sam Becker said the visit came at the perfect time, as students had just wrapped up a test on the time period.
“This is kind of the coup de grâce of all that work,” he said. “It makes it come alive and connects it to them.”
Becker said it’s become tradition for the knights to visit Cedar View, noting that they’ve appeared for the past several years.
Teachers like Anna Visockis are happy to punctuate their in-class curriculum with such an engaging and entertaining group of guests.
“This is just a fun way to end that unit and kind of get to see it in real life,” Visockis said. “(Students) see pictures in the books and we show them videos, but this is so cool that they get to see it actually in person, and feel those materials of things they’re learning about.”
During the grand finale of the presentation, the knights suited up in armor and selected weapons to demonstrate how duels were fought. Then, swords and shields met on the floor of the elementary gym.
The knights took a moment to tell students that, though combat was a way of life during the Middle Ages, many battles were avoided due to intimidation. Soldiers often conceded upon seeing a rival army that was larger or better equipped, they said.