Cape Horn-Skye Elementary students were transported back to the Middle Ages with a fun and informative assembly by the Knights of Veritas on November 15.
“Our new English and Language Arts program covers the Middle Ages in fourth grade and the kids are just eating up the facts about the knights,” said CH-S fourth grade teacher, Kathleen Lawrence. “I found this group to come and share their knowledge of armor, chivalry, and more with the students.” Knights of Veritas is a non-profit organization specializing in interactive educational demonstrations of medieval arms, armor, combat, knighthood and chivalry.
The hour and a half presentation introduced the Code of Chivalry, dispelled myths with facts about this time period and provided exciting demonstrations of historical combat technique. The authentically weighted and detailed steel swords and armor provided an eye-opening experience to the students who were allowed the rare opportunity to handle the weapons and try on some of the armor. Students learned that medieval swordsmanship used natural physical laws such as geometry and leverage which meant that it wasn’t always the strongest competitor who emerged victorious. To demonstrate this point, Eric Slyter, Director of the Knights of Veritas, called student volunteer Parker Dexter up to demonstrate that even though she wasn’t the strongest or biggest knight, she could still defeat her opponent by the way in which she held and used her weapon.
“I hope that by having the kids experience swordsmanship and armor first hand they will have more background knowledge to make better connections as they read the curriculum materials,” said Lawrence. “This will help them more effectively visualize what they are reading.”
The presenters also spoke to the students about chivalry and what it means today, in our society to be a chivalrous person. “I am hoping that this message resonates loud and clear to the kids, without them actually realizing that they have just learned a valuable life lesson,” she said.
“The armor was much stronger than it looks in the movies,” said student Mercy Johnston. “It was different than I expected.”
“You had to be a wealthy person to be a knight,” said Johnston, who learned along with the group that a suit of armor cost in the Middle Ages the equivalent of a house today.
Student Perry Wastradowski enjoyed the presentation and seeing the armor and combat techniques. “It would be cool to live in the Middle Ages but it seems kind of harsh. The kind of life you would have depended on who you were. If you were a serf, you were stuck working really hard your whole life.”