A knight in shining armor has come to the rescue at Warren Area Elementary School.
Fourth-grade teacher Martin Durnell dressed in knightly garb – heraldic tunic, cape, helmet and hood, gauntlets and pauldrons (shoulder armour) – leading into a lesson on knights and castles.
“The purpose of this activity was to complete an informative paragraph on lords and serfs so that we can move on to the next CKLA lesson on knights and castles,” said Durnell.
“This costume depicts a coat of arms that identified a person in battle and was often, if not always, an image of your family crest,” Durnel said. “Silver represents armor and was meant to protect in battle.”
He hoped that his students seeing him dressed as a knight would help them become interested in the subject.
“My desire with this activity was to motivate the children to arouse in them a greater interest in the material as well as to create an environment of engaged learners,” Durnel said. “The kids were really engaged in what was being discussed here. I think I was able to do that for them through this use of immersion and imagery.
The lesson on castles and knights and a recent lesson in second grade with pupils working on henna art linked to the Indian festival of Diwali are examples of the Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum at school, according to deputy headmaster Kylie Harris.
“All of these amazing cultural activities that appear in our classrooms at WAEC are secondary to the recently implemented Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) curriculum,” said Harris. “As well as teaching basic reading and writing skills, the program is incredibly rich in literature, history and science, including health/the human body. Many of our teachers find ways to add fun and exciting culminating activities at the end of planned units to increase student interest and bring all the components of the units together into a fun and highly memorable student experience.