Fun Stuff

September 9, 2007 at 8:25 am 4 comments

I’m beginning to think of little things to gather and collect that I can eventually use in my teaching. I know it may be lame of me (although I’d dispute that hypothesis, but I can only imagine what some of my colleagues would say) but I want to be the Crazy Teacher, the one who comes to school and wears a strange hat, the one who opens up class with dramatic readings – you know the one. I’ll start out the year by frightening and embarrassing my students (“Geez, can you believe Mrs. Bees? What a spaz”) and end up being the one teacher they remember forever. Nice dream, huh. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, I’m building up a sleeve full of tricks, and Saturday morning one of them arrived in the mail. My postal carrier was swearing and grumbling all the way to my door, and it was easy to see why when I collected my little flat-rate parcel stuffed with nearly thirty pounds of chain mail.

See, I’ve got one of the awesomest* friends any girl could ever have – a Wolf Sister. My Wolf Sister is connected into the impressively vast California renaissance faire scene, and works in booths that sell all kinds of fun and hard-to-get-here things. One of her cohorts had a chain mail tunic that wasn’t moving, and so she was able to get it for me at an extraordinary discount. I don’t know if you know how much these things typically market for online or at faires, but mine is going to end up costing about $75. It’s historically-accurate, from the way it is made right down to the amount it weighs – which means it is one heavy emmereffer.

chainmail-shirt-full I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to use it this year; we’re doing an Arthurian excursion this semester, but I’m not really going to be teaching until next semester. And, honestly, I don’t know if I’ll have a quote-unquote legitimate reason to play with chain mail in my real teaching. I know that Arthurian legend is a tenth grade thing in these parts, but there’s probably plenty of ways that a creative and/or sneaky teacher could work in a bit of Camelot into just about any secondary English classroom.

Can you imagine the possibilities? If I’m doing costumes, I can put on the chain mail (for as long as I can stand it – my poor shoulders!) and spruce up a reading or lesson. If I’ve got kids who think they Know It All, I can use the chain mail as a little historical reality check. “So, you think you’d like to be a knight, huh? Well, put on this shirt, will you? And imagine wearing pants, and a hood, and gloves, out of the same thing. Pretty cool, huh?” I can just see the jocks’ faces turning red…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, dear, that sounded vengeful, and it really wasn’t. It might be tuba players too, obviously.

I haven’t tried it on yet, but I’ve heard that it goes midway to the knees on most wimmenfolk. I’ve also heard that one would be advised to wear a shirt underneath to protect from the rings. The picture up there is basically the tunic, with a coif that I don’t have.

Anyway, there’s a lot a person could do with chain mail, I think, and not just that tunic. How neat would it be to let your class have some hands-on experience with making chain mail? One website sells all kinds of chain mail kits, including $15-for-ten student kits to make chain mail bracelets and $5.60-for-three kits to make chain mail juggling balls/hacky sacks.

Mr. Bees’s emphasis is American government/history, but I can foresee a weird turn of events in which he might be teaching medieval history. This seems like a pretty neat toy to have in our mutual arsenal, and I can’t wait to have the chance to play with it. ๐Ÿ™‚

* Yes, I’m aware.


Entry filed under: FUN STUFF, MISCELLANEOUS. Tags: .

Placements and Concerns: Blog as Self-Therapy Chain Mail

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ms_teacher  |  September 9, 2007 at 10:53 am

    when you use that chain mail in your first lesson, please post about it. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences. I’m often seen doing goofy stuff with my sixth graders. I had one comment earlier this week that I was silly, but it was said in the most approving way. It made my day!

  • 2. Miss!  |  September 9, 2007 at 6:41 pm

    Love it! This is my first year teaching world history and my kids would be totally geeked about making something with chain mail.

    Great blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 3. Jennai Ell  |  September 10, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    You can always tell the mentor teacher that you happen to have one, before the Aurthurian section, and offer to let them use it, if they’d like.

    shows you’re resourceful and “thinking outside the box” if nothing else ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 4. Kit  |  September 11, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Don’t you know that “what a spaz” from a pre-teen or teenager is a huge compliment and should be celebrated as a badge of honor. I have the same image of your classroom. Just look at you and Mr. Bees at Halloween and football games.


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The Bee’s Knees

This is the teaching journal of a student first-year second-year THIRD-YEAR (!!!) English teacher. I am writing this blog as a reflection for myself, a way to keep friends and family updated, and a sharing-ground between other educators online. I love comments!

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