This unit covers the rise of the Renaissance and its influence on Western culture, as well as the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation.
The Renaissance and Reformation unit contains 6 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in The Renaissance and Reformation Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
The Origins of the Renaissance
Students compare a Renaissance-era map of the Italian peninsula with a current one and identify the differences. Then they review the end of the Middle Ages and connect it to the dawning of the Renaissance. Next, they explore the role of city-states in early Italy and focus on specific information about the city of Florence. Finally, students choose one Italian city-state and create a research report on its role during the Renaissance.
The Spread of the Renaissance in Europe
Students learn about the development of the printing press in the 15th century and compare life before and after its invention. Then they explore the role of the printing press in advancing the ideas of humanism that flourished during the Renaissance and explain some of humanism‚Äôs main ideas. Finally, students consider a modern technology that has influenced life in a similar way to the printing press.
Reopening of the Silk Road
Students learn about the Silk Road during the Mongol period. First they recall what they know about Marco Polo. Then they watch a video that provides a general overview and read about the Chinese port of Quanzhou. Next they read a biography of Marco Polo and an excerpt from his account about Quanzhou. Finally they read a biography of the Muslim traveller Ibn Battatu and compare his account of Quanzhou to that of Marco Polo.
Cultural Activity of the Renaissance
Students are introduced to Leonardo da Vinci as a Renaissance man. Then they learn more broadly about the cultural activity of the Renaissance in the areas of architecture, painting, music, and literature. Next, they work in small groups to research and present one significant figure from the Renaissance. Finally, groups create a timeline of important developments of the Renaissance.
The Origins of the Reformation
Students are introduced to the context for the Protestant Reformation. They learn about the corruption within the Catholic Church and the complaints of Martin Luther. Then they explore what Martin Luther and others did to address their complaints. Next, they examine several of the key reformed beliefs upon which Protestantism is based. Finally, they write an article that explains how the Protestant Reformation was both a protest and a reform.
The Influence of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation
Students learn about the important figures and events of the English Reformation and its unique character. Then they explore the events and outcomes of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. Next, they create a timeline of significant events from the Reformation and Counter-Reformation eras and choose one event to defend as the most significant. Finally, they write a letter to a figure of the era, listing several questions they would like to have answered.