The Xs have started studying Middle Ages. On the XsMo’s first day back from break, they each received a sticky note and wrote down words they thought connected to Medieval times.
Lucas Kaganovsky said, “We basically thought of the word Medieval times and [wrote] what came to mind.”
Tuck Gerrity, XsMo, said they would have preferred to perform a play about the Middle Ages opposed to the one about Mesopotamia. Tuck expressed that he would rather learn about the Medieval times because it was more well known period, and it would be easier to compare the Middle Ages to current day.
All of the Xs are eager to explore the wonders the Middle Ages has in store. In preparation for the unit, the XsMe were given the option to read a variety of books suggested by Megan Holland, their group teacher, over the break to gain more general knowledge about Medieval times. Some of the books the students read were The Book of Boy and Blood Red Horse.
Two XsMe students, Jasper Jackson and Bruno Liddell, are also eager to start working on the Middle Ages and they are especially looking forward to specific topics like medicine, knights and the army, and religion.
The Xs are also looking forward to trips in the near future. For those interested in religion, both Xs groups have an exciting trip scheduled to a monastery. The annual trip is usually a favorite of the Xs. They spend an entire day in a modern monastery learning about calligraphy, rituals, and daily life.
Another notable trip is a day-long excursion to the Met Cloisters uptown. The Cloisters are a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and its Romanesque style architecture is similar to the monasteries of Medieval times. The trip is often seen as one of the best trips for the Xs and it puts them on the spot to learn and relate to the time periods they are studying. Aside from trips, the Xs also take part in doing a plentiful amount of research on the Middle Ages.
Similar to the Xs’ previous studies of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the they have to spend lots of time searching for credible sources such as books, artifacts, videos, and websites. After examining several sources, the Xs take notes that are substantial enough to build up to their presentations.
The XsMe have already started to learn and practice calligraphy, a highlight for many Xs. “I am really excited because we have attempted to write calligraphy by copying of an online picture but this is the first time we have actually been taught calligraphy,” said Jasper. The Xs have the opportunity to work on their calligraphy skills once a week, eventually working their way up to learning the entire alphabet and becoming more educated in the art. They also get to live the life as if they were children in Medieval times by making their own calligraphy boxes and personalizing the boxes with their names.
In past years, the Xs have also gotten the chance to work with gold leaf, a thin version of gold that they have the ability to work into their works with calligraphy. This skill will also be carried over into their main job of sign-making when they create signs for C&C’s classrooms and offices using calligraphy. At the end of the year, they will write the job certificates for the VIIIs-XIIIs. Aside from the Xs classwork work, the Xs have been tackling some social issues of their own.
The XsMo have expressed concern about the cliqueiness of their grade. “Everyone has their own group of friends but I like how it is,” said Lucas.
The XsMe have communicated that they feel there is an open friend group style in their classroom, specifically during Lunch when the Xs and their groups are spread evenly throughout the lunch room. Jasper declared that he ran a role-playing game with a diverse group of children from both Xs groups. He also stated that the table often had a fresh face every lunch period.
The Xs have been taking initiative in their studies and they already know a substantial amount about Medieval times. All of the Xs are greatly looking forward to their study, and cannot wait for their expansive research. Furthermore, the Xs have been pioneers in figuring out their social dilemmas and making the classroom, and lunchroom, a place where everyone feels comfortable.