13 engaging and interactive lessons for your unit on the Renaissance! From stations activities, mapping challenges, readings, and quizzes, your students will be able to explore the various events, people, and ideas that shaped the Renaissance. Lessons include:
1. The Dark Ages?
This activity will have students reading primary sources about the Middle Ages to determine if that time period should be considered “The Dark Ages”. A modified version of this activity is available for struggling students.
2. Rise of the Renaissance
Students will take notes on a graphic organizer, examining the three main causes of the Renaissance. This lesson also includes an interactive formative assessment activity, a quiz, and differentiated extension activities.
3. Who were the Ancients?
This quick, one-day activity will have students reviewing the important information from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome to see how the Ancients influenced the Renaissance.
4. Ancient Philosophers Jigsaw
In groups, each student will individually fill out a double-entry journal about a different Ancient philosopher before coming back to their group and teaching their group members what they learned.
5. Renaissance Values
Students will read the primary source text “The Courtier”, connecting the values of the Renaissance to the values of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and today.
Students will read Machiavelli’s “The Prince” to examine the changing views of leadership during the Renaissance.
7. Leonardo da Vinci WebQuest
In the computer lab, students will explore a website to gather information about Leonardo da Vinci and what it means to be a Renaissance Man.
8. Cultural Contributions Stations
Students will go to different stations to explore the various artistic, architectural, and theatrical contributions made during the Renaissance. Students will be reading excerpts from plays, analyzing photos of Renaissance, Ancient, and Medieval buildings, and looking through a PowerPoint presentation to gather their information.
9. Scientific Revolution
Students will take notes on the major accomplishments of the Scientific Revolution, read Galileo’s “Starry Night”, and analyze why the Scientific Revolution began during the Renaissance. This lesson includes two extension activities for early finishers or advanced classes.
10. Martin Luther and the Beginning of the Reformation
Students will begin this week-long lesson by reading about Martin Luther and answering comprehension questions about his beliefs, motives, and legacy. A checkpoint quiz with differentiated extension questions goes along with this part of the lesson.
11. Calvinism and the Catholic Counter-Reformation
Students will take notes on Lutheranism, Calvinism, and the Catholic Counter Reformation before examining the similarities and differences among the different religions in Venn diagrams (basic and advanced versions of this activity are available).
12. The English Reformation
Students will read about the English Reformation, rewriting the information in their own words. A mapping activity that has students examine the spread of the Reformation and the growth of various Protestant religions acts as a culminating activity for the Reformation mini-unit.
13. Review Guide
Students will use their notes, worksheets, and textbooks to review the main information and concepts from the unit.
Each lesson includes detailed teacher directions, journal questions, and answer keys (when needed).