Oakdale Junior High School seventh graders were recently treated to a different type of ‘fair’ as a Renaissance Faire was hosted on the campus.
Teacher Micki Dias shared that she connected with Tallon Knight of Falcon’s Court and Workshop in the Woods based out of Vallejo, which came to the local campus to share their expertise. The group is a not for profit which offers highly engaging, knowledgeable and entertaining education to students about birds of prey and their importance in the Valley.
“I wanted to organize this event for years,” Dias stated, noting she first met Knight at a conference. “The faire goes beyond the cliché of touching history because the students not only participated actively in the faire, they dressed the part, ate as one would in the era and carried a passport from station to station.”
According to Dias, the Renaissance Faire ties directly in to the Common Core State Standards by way of science, math, English and history. It offered students the opportunity to think outside the box with unique and creative ways of learning lessons.
“The students were absolutely encouraged to be creative and innovative with their attire,” she said. “A knight costume was made of sunshades as armor, pillowcases were fashioned into peasant ware and royalty was represented with crowns, capes and homemade scepters.”
All of it played in to the hands-on learning theme.
“Researching and dressing for the time period allows the students to feel more connected to the event,” Dias continued. “They enjoyed viewing the various walks of life from the era.”
A fun competition was also a successful part of the event. Over 60 catapults and trebuchets occupied the OJHS field, tossing tennis balls from five to almost 100 feet. Winners of the competition were treated to movie tickets.
The winners were: Emma Harper, 92 feet, First Place; Anthony Covello, 84 feet, Second Place and Emily Ruvalcaba and Jackie Casillas, 75 feet, Third Place.
“The students seemed to enjoy the entire day and all the events,” Dias said of the varying stations.
Events included introductory and passports, falconer, arms and armor, Rounders (similar to baseball) and renaissance theater.
“If I was pressed for an answer, I believe Rounders would be the favorite,” Dias said. “I think the students enjoyed learning about and playing the forerunner to baseball