American Academy travels back in time


American Academy (AA) fourth grade students and their teachers, Tami Bostick, Mandy Smith, Katie Bland, and Angela Martinez, celebrated the Middle Ages with a festival on Friday, January 20. The students had completed their units on the Middle Ages, and to celebrate reenacted numerous entertaining activities of the age.

The day began with students and teachers dressed in time-appropriate clothes. Erin Kane, Head of School, began the great tournament with an opening speech. The tournament encompassed period games of juggling, nine pins, lance throwing, hoops rolling, cross bows, catapult, jousting, blind man's bluff, and tops spinning. Afterwards, the students relished in a period-suitable feast, where curriculum specialist Ginger Norton toasted the queen, the champions, and the games! At the feast, Ron Smith, Academic Director, presented the tournament victors with their trophy and winnings.

The fourth graders then traveled back in time as each of their classes were transformed into different themes from the Middle Ages. In the monastery, which was adorned with brick walls, dim lights, and candles, the students pretended to be monks writing with quills and ink on a scroll of paper. Students created stained glass windows for their monastery while ending their monastery time with Shepherd's bread and water.

Traveling next to the town village, students fished, bartered to sell their fish, and bought hot cider and food. Students reveled in gambling games such as Knuckles and Bones, marbles, Gluckhaus, Morris, and Farkel, where they could win and lose their money. A trip to Ancient Africa was also in store for the kids, where they fashioned African masks and created a skit to reenact African scenarios. The day was completed with a trip to Ancient China where the students constructed delicate Chinese fans and generated some math problems using Chinese math symbols on scrolls of paper.

AA fourth graders delighted in a complete day of historical education through reenactment and celebration, one of the most engaging ways to learn. It will be a day they will not soon forget!

American Academy is a Douglas County K-8 public charter school with a Core Knowledge curriculum and an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math. For more information about the school, please visit them online at, or contact the school at 720-292-5200.


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