Sunday, 3 April 2011

Medieval feasts – who knew they could be so much fun?

Firstly, I must thank one of my colleagues for finding a fantastic power point presentation on the internet, which meant that I didn’t have to drive down to the local resource centre (as I have done for the past 2 year) to borrow the only book in this county on Medieval feasts – which is not very detailed and rather tatty. Secondly, I must thank a teacher somewhere in Britain for taking to time to make this fantastic power point, and then for putting it on the internet for the rest of us to benefit from.

I love this current trend of sharing lesson plans, worksheets, presentations and general teaching resources on the internet. There are some fantastic websites (‘TES’ and ‘Primary resources’ to name my favourite two) which teachers can upload onto and are so easy to access. There really is no point in 50 Year 2 teachers around the country planning 50 identical lessons on ‘Castles’ or ‘Katie Morag’ or ‘Space’! By sharing via the internet I find that I have more time in the classroom to be with the children. Usually in Friday afternoon Golden time, I can be found tapping away at my computer desperately making flipcharts for Monday’s lessons. Today, however, I quickly googled a presentation on ‘Candlemas’ and then spent half an hour making crowns out of boarder roll and decorating them with sequins! Heaven!
Anyway, back to medieval feasts….My class and I thoroughly enjoyed looking through the presentation, discussing the various courses and foods that were enjoyed. I made myself giggle (and my TA, ST and the IT man fixing the class computers!) when I told the class that in the medieval times they “loved meat“ and that their “favourite part was the head”! We then got to discussing the layout of a castle and happened upon a plan view which showed a huge, long gallery. I impressed myself by knowing that this is where they danced after the banquet! *Stanley was very intrigued by the idea of Lords and Ladies dancing up and down the room and sensibly put his hand up to ask what kind of dancing it was. “Like a tango?” he suggested. I tried my best to explain the types of moves they would have been throwing back in the medieval times, but luckily I was saved when my quick thinking TA pulled up a clip from BBC Pride and Prejudice – a dance scene – onto the IWB. (I know P&P is about 8 centuries too late – but I thought it was a pretty good example of the style of dancing!). So there were Lizzie Bennet and the delicious Colin Firth toing and froing very politely, swapping places occasionally and certainly not breaking a sweat, when **Matilda asks me “Did they always look so grumpy when they danced in the medieval times?”. I decided not to even try to explain that Lizzie and Mr. Darcy had just had a heated conversation about the conniving Mr Wickham, so I just answered “Yes”. 

*I shall refer to the children in my class as characters from my favourite children’s books. This one being ‘Flat Stanley’.
**Matilda – need I say more!

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