Students at Scottsdale Christian Academy have learned this spring that life in medieval times was far from fun and games.
"They were very unsanitary back then. They actually might have smelled pretty bad," said Alex Elliott-Makedonsky, 11.
But medieval times in the Realm of Eagleshire — otherwise known as the school’s gym — were considerably more fun.
Kim Hartmann’s sixthgrade class ended its unit on the Middle Ages by hosting the all-day Renaissance Fair on Friday, an event that also raised money for a charity.
Each student dressed as a character, including Niccolo Machiavelli, William Wallace and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
"I want them to have the experience of living the history," Hartmann said. "I want to make history fun, and they loved today."
Some kids rented their elaborate costumes, including velvet princess dresses and shiny silver knight costumes. Others made their own apparel.
Mia Macchiaroli and her mother sewed a "woodland fairy" costume over spring break. Mia, 12, sewed green fabric and netting together and used plastic leaves as straps. She tied on shiny wings and wore gold sparkles and heavy green eye makeup, resembling a character from Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream."
Alex, dressed as an archer in a long, black robe, said she was excited about the archery competition to be held later that afternoon. Other students were looking forward to the jousting contest, in which kids would stand on a low balance beam and joust with padded poles until one fell off the beam.
For lunch, parent volunteers cooked up a medieval feast, including chicken drumsticks. But each kid had to drink out of his or her own tin cup, Mia explained, so as "not to spread the Black Plague."
While the Renaissance Fair was educational, it also had a charitable goal, said mother Kim Macchiaroli.
The sixth-graders raised money for the Eden House orphanage by making and selling crafts like hats, rings, gold coins and "dragons’ teeth."
Eden House is a home for girls in Thailand who have been sold into slavery or prostitution.