Emerald Heights students host Medieval Feast

The wine and mead, in the form of grape juice and root beer, were flowing freely at Emerald Heights Elementary School in Silverdale last week.

The school’s annual Medieval Feast for sixth-graders has become a sort of rite of passage over the years.

It’s the culmination of an ancient history curriculum that exposes students to the human experience from “Mesopotamia all the way to the Middle Ages,”   said sixth-grade teacher Denyse Hemmersbach, one of the “queens” at the feast.

“It’s very fun and the kids really look forward to it,” Hemmersbach added.

Joining Hemmersbach as queens-for-a-day were fellow sixth-grade teachers Carol Dahl and Shelley Schopf. Each member of the trio was summoned individually into the lunch room by a crier and the sound of horns.

“We used to have a King, but he retired,” joked Hemmersbach.

Many of the students had donned costumes for the event.

“Some are more into dressing up than others,” Hemmersbach said.

As part of the medieval studies program, students spent several weeks studying in Manor Groups and homework has entailed “nightly deeds” in which students were able to earn feudal farthings for their manors. Following up on last week’s feast and ongoing studies, guilds will set up at the school this week where students will get to spend some of the farthings they have earned.

Music teacher Vicki Braden, who had been teaching contemporary music, got in on the medieval action and helped students get ready for performing at the feast.

“We switched gears and went straight from 60s, 70s and 80s music to Medieval times,” she said.

Years from now, many of the sixth-graders will look back and remember the feast and what they learned at Emerald Heights when they visit as high-school seniors for an annual assembly.

“Several of their favorite memories were of this feast back in the day,” Dahl said. “It’s been a big deal at our school for a long time.”


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