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Isaac Herrmann, left, Matt Tassone and Tyler Norcross use food to explain the Renaissance, with examples of what the rich and poor might have eaten.

Hoosac Valley Eighth-Graders Offer Taste of Renaissance Living

By Ashlyn Marcil iBerkshires intern
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The smells of the past drew visitors into cafeteria last Thursday night at Hoosac Valley High School's first annual Renaissance Fair. 
The students provided refreshments that allowed visitors to taste the contrasting flavors of history they titled "rich versus poor." Crockpots full of soup and plates full of cookies were prepared for public taste tests, contributing to the enjoyment of the event.
The eighth-grade students put on an interactive and informative fair about the Renaissance era. Students prepared presentations, similar to a science fair, to showcase their knowledge to parents and community members about food, law, art, exploration, medicine and fashion during the era.
The kids provided foam swords for jousting, baked goods for snacking, and even a "your-face-here" cardboard cutout of Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa."
The event was run by English teacher Molly Meczywor. 
"My students read 'Midsummer Night's Dream,' and they were studying the Renaissance in social studies, and so the goal of the eighth-grade team is to create culminating events where students can demonstrate the skills and the knowledge. ... I just thought a Renaissance fair would be perfect." 
The European Renaissance is considered the period between the 14th and 17th centuries when there was an explosion of science, art, music, literature and philosophy ranging from the political and philosophical treatises of Machiavelli and More to the arts and literature of Michelangelo and Shakespeare to the scientific advancements of Galileo and Kepler. 
A few eighth-grade students shared what they had learned from their research. Students Patrick Lebau and Mason Morin did their project on fashion and warfare. 
"Making this project was the best part." Lebau said. "It was fun to be able to work with my friends," Morin added.
Following the presentations, the crowd gathered into the auditorium for an awards ceremony. The eighth-grade team announced awards for student' participation in their subject classes and attendance. Fellow classmates cheered each other on as individual students got up on stage to accept their awards. 
"Again, we thank you so much for coming, for participating, for being apart of this first annual Renaissance fair and for supporting our students," Meczywor said in conclusion.
The auditorium of students, parents and teachers were then invited back into the cafeteria for refreshments and cake.

Tags: Hoosac Valley,   school presentation,   

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