History moved out of the classroom and into the fresh air and sunshine at Holmes Junior High School last week, giving students an opportunity to experience in an interactive way what normally comes to them in textbooks.
On Tuesday, all Holmes seventh-graders spent the day immersed in the Renaissance, traveling from station to station around campus, where they encountered Queen Mary and William Shakespeare, enjoyed a game of rounders, made poppets, enjoyed a bit of country dancing and learned all about hunting with falconry.
The following day it was the eighth-graders’ turn to learn about life during the Civil War, including everything from science and spying during the war to battle strategies and camp culture. They even learned how to make a stretcher for a wounded comrade out of a blanket, shirt and wooden sticks.
Both events were put on by Presenters of Living History, a Washington state-based group that uses local actors and experts wherever they go.
“It definitely gives the kids a more active learning experience,” Holmes teacher Mike Dufresne has said.
Dufresne has organized the living history events at Holmes for six years and they are always thoroughly enjoyed by students. The visits are paid for every year by the Holmes PTA out of proceeds from the school’s annual “Unfundraiser.”