From sword fights to eating grub with their hands, about 500 seventh-graders at Ensign Intermediate School lived it up Friday at their annual Renaissance Fair.
The fair had two aims: to reinforce what the students learn about the era in their world history class, and "as a reward for the kids for working extremely hard," said parent volunteer Holly Anderson.
A madrigal chorus sang, students performed Shakespeare and all the children dressed in costume--girls in diaphanous gowns with conical hats or floral wreaths, and boys in monks' robes or paint-spattered artist smocks. One read "Michelangelo at work" amid the smudges.
"The kids get a kick out of it," said Principal Allan Mucerino. "Any time you can mix fun and entertainment and education you take advantage of it."
The students compared and contrasted life then and now, and were fascinated by tales of arranged marriages, class differences between serfs and nobility and the more relaxed standards of personal hygiene.
"It's educational," said Gabe Rosendahl, 12, "but it was still fun. And it was better than reading it out of a book."