Throughout the year, fourth graders learn about medieval history. There are visits from Upper School
faculty to discuss important historical figures and cultures. One of these visits included Upper School history teacher, Mr. Greg Kinney, who came to further expand their study of Mohammed and Islam. The children eagerly took notes, soaking in what Mr. Kinney had to share. This annual event is truly a highlight for the students.
Another visit from an Upper School faculty member comes on Reformation Day. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses (statements) on the door of Wittenberg Castle Church in Germany, sparking the beginning of the Reformation. In observance of this day, fourth grade enjoys a special snack and receives a visit from Martin Luther (aka Dr. Marino) in remembrance of his contributions to the church.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Fourth graders also study Justinian the Great and the Byzantine Empire. During these studies students design mosaics similar to those found in churches of the time period. Mrs. Culp’s class creates a mosaic of Justinian while Mrs. Wells’ class designs one of the Hagia Sophia, the church Justinian built in Constantinople.
After studying the Byzantine Empire and the East-West Schism, the fourth grade students visit St. John Orthodox Church. Father John Mashburn speaks to the children about the Orthodox Church and briefly touches on the East-West Schism of 1054. He explains some of the icons that were beautifully painted on the church walls. These are similar to those that fourth grade discussed while studying the Byzantine Empire.
At Christmas time, fourth grade lords and ladies dress in festive holiday guise of the period and process to a royal time of feasting in the “Great Hall” of Queen Deborah. His Eminence, the Bishop Kinney, leads the procession and each guest is announced upon entry into the hall. This entertaining event commemorates fourth grade history studies of the feudal system as well as castles, crusades, and the changing of many crowns throughout medieval Europe. As courses are announced and served by a herald, a jester regales the court and students perform on violin, piano, and guitar. Performers are thanked by the queen with coins of chocolate imprinted with the queen’s likeness. Additionally, a harpsicord is brought in and played by music appreciation instructor and fourth grade parent Ginger Statom. Parents create a true to life experience with hanging tapestries, candles, knights of armor, and exquisite table décor.
We are grateful to all those who make these learning experiences possible.