Madison High School Students Dig into Food for Thought at the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts

On Saturday, October 3rd at the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, students from the Madison High School Sophomore US I class presented on-going PowerPoint presentations answering the question, "What was it like to run a household in Early America?"

Once again Madison High School history teacher, Mark DeBiasse, and Museum Education Coordinator, Meg Wastie have collaborated to develop a unique learning experience for the local students.

In September, twenty-three sophomore history US I students were giving the challenge of answering the question, "What was it like to run a household in Early America?" After some in class preparations, the students found their answers by exploring the Museum's current exhibit Food for Thought, which focuses on the preparation and cooking of food during the Colonial era.

On Thursday, September, 23rd students visited the Museum to tour the exhibit, get a real sense of what an 18th century kitchen was like and to receive actual Early American recipes found in period cook books found in the Museum's library, collection and archives. They then searched through the exhibit identifying which artifact on display would have been required to create the particular dish they were designated.

Students then teamed-up to recreate the recipe at home in a modern day kitchen comparing their methods to those of the mid-18th century. The teams were then required to report back to the class about their findings, as well as, share with fellow classmates, the period dishes they had prepared.

Throughout this hands-on assignment students were asked to document their findings and design a PowerPoint presentation around them to show during Bottle Hill Day at the Museum on October 3rd. Visitors of all ages joined the 5 groups of High School students on the 3rd and were treated to samples of the Early American recipes. Audience members learned about the comparisons of Colonial living to that of today and were able to answer for themselves, "What was it like to run a household in Early America?"

The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts is located at 9 Main Street in the heart of downtown Madison, just two blocks from the Madison train station. For information, please call 973-377-2982 x10 or visit our website at 

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