The motto of chivalry is also the motto of wisdom; to serve all, but love only one. –Honore de Balzac
Once before, I transformed the high school park into a medieval fair where characters from English Literature were brought to life, an idea I have shared to Miss Joy, my colleague in teaching English in the 9th grade. However of course, we have so little time to hold a great event. But what I like about working with a hopeless romantic is getting to do the most creative juices there are in class. She had just the perfect idea to give medieval times a tribute: Chivalry Week.
Chivalry Week was the gateway to the Middle Ages when our 9th graders get to be knights and ladies with chivalric code and rules of court to follow respectively. Each day, they get to do a challenge like Kindness Day and Ladies First Day. Boys also picked a lady to whom they were to be loyal to, in adherence to the concept of courtly love that a knight has to treat his lady as his priority and allows her to be in control, thus he does everything a lady tells him to do. Girls also were expected to be more refined in looks and ways, and to inspire their knight to do better. For the feels of Chivalry Week, they decorated their classroom doors with class symbols and codes. The knights also wrote love notes to their ladies and ladies made coat of arms for their knights. They exchanged gifts (this love notes came with flowers for the ladies) on Culminating Day when ribbons of honor were given out to outstanding knights and ladies. It was also fascinating to have seen some ladies who had exerted effort in wearing flowers, gloves and tiaras, and the knights, swords and armors.
The whole idea of Chivalry Week was just perfect for the lesson on the contributions of knights to medieval literature and the legends of King Arthur.
Here are my InstaMag mosaics of what had transpired the entire week:
OPENING OF CHIVALRY WEEK
KNIGHTS AND LADIES
Did I enjoy myself? Well I am one lucky fairy queen who was instrumental into making this experience possible for young people of today. Credits too to Miss Joy for whipping up the outline of activities for Chivalry Week. It was a good shot at letting them understand that some great values like loyalty, honor, faith, honesty, modesty, bravery and courtesy just die hard. These values remain unchanged in these changing times.
Hail to Chivalry!
There was no room for other factions in literature class this week. It was Dauntless exclusive.
What better way is there to flaunt the deeds of the legendary Beowulf than a Dauntless-themed lesson plan?
The roundabout activities towards the epic adventures of Beowulf were initiated through a Bluffing Game which consists of mix-in bluff and fact statements about Beowulf. This helped outlined the highlights of Beowulf’s adventures as well as background information about one of the oldest and best known epics of all time. I must say I had a great time punching rewards cards for well-phrased insights during the open book discussion then after.
As for the ticket to leave, perspectives on what being brave means were stirred.
Are you dauntless enough now?
The hunting begins.
What does it mean to be fearless? dauntless? brave?
The room was a mess during the Dauntless as Beowulf Hunt where students grouped themselves by completing the hunt card containing dauntless traits similar to the the outstanding characteristics of Beowulf as an epic hero. The hunt went on for the one who is not afraid of the dark, the biggest voice, the strongest arm and more. But it did not stop from there. Now that factions of equally dauntless students had been formed, it was a perfect moment to have a face off. Everyone with the biggest voice does a shout out, with the strongest arms an arm wrestle and with the ability to cross channels a challenge to pass through human barricades. There were laughter outburst and even funny injuries after a human barricade was twirled off from one’s seat by the person passing through, but despite the lovely chaos, in as much as I tried to contain it, I could not hide how much I enjoyed the face off.
Flash report: Beowulf saves the day. As the reading text was adapted from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, the idea of broadcasting the deeds of Beowulf hit like black coffee on an empty mind canvas. Re-enactments and interviews from boring to brilliant gave life to the adventures of Beowulf.
To seal off the chapter…
Eyes were glued on the LED TV and I was amused by the epic faces as the students witness how Beowulf was portrayed in an animated film.
Finally, the writing prompt for the 3-minute journal was: “Battling Monsters”. Students were made to express what or whom they consider as monsters in their life and how they will manage to conquer them as Beowulf did with his adversaries.
Whew! An action-packed Dauntless Week.