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The Renaissance

The Renaissance


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Grade Level Grades 3-8
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards

About This Lesson

The Renaissance introduces students to this great cultural period, which began in Italian city-states and then spread across much of Europe, impelled by Gutenberg’s printing press. Students learn how artists were supported by patrons, such as the wealthy Medici family or Pope Julius II, for whom Raphael painted frescoes and Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Students explore the lives and works of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, Castiglione’s writings on courtly behavior, Machiavelli’s ideas about politics, and Shakespeare and Cervantes as exemplars of the Renaissance spirit in literature. Students also learn how the Renaissance spread to northern Europe.

This unit includes a Student Reader, Timeline Image Cards, and Teacher Guide, providing Guided Reading Supports and the following Additional Activities: excerpts from The Courtier, The Prince, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; domain vocabulary activities; map skills exercises; an activity about linear perspective in art; a virtual tour of Venice; activities focused on artistic and architectural masterpieces by da Vinci, Titian, Botticelli, Brunelleschi, Raphael, Michelangelo and Van Eyck; and a Unit Assessment.


Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.


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