Learning about life in Medieval Times

Twirling into the middle ages

Sixth graders can't hold back their smiles as they bow to each other, escort partners around the circle and dance the Farandole, among other medieval dances, accompanied by pipe and drum.
The time-travel experience is part of an interdisciplinary ELA/ Social studies unit on the Middle Ages, led by John and Sondra Bromka of the Bells and Motley Consort.
“After getting past the initials giggles at having to hold hands and curtsy and bow to their partners, the students transform into residents of a medieval village,” said teacher Marcia Daley-Savo. “They wear self-made headpieces and participate in dances that would have been part of traditional spring festival.”

Imagining a traditional spring festival

Courtly moments in the Middle School gym

"This was great!"

This is a favorite program in John Jay Middle School's sixth grade.

In Social Studies, students draw on their knowledge of ancient civilizations, and learn about the influences of Greek and Roman culture on feudal Europe.

In English language arts class, the students read the monologues from "Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village" by Laura Amy Schlitz.

Workshops on art, music, culture, etiquette and dance bring the learning alive for the students. "This was great!" said one student after a round of dancing.