The story of how the Renaissance, Reformation and Scientific Revolution transformed Europe and humanity itself.

PowerPoint Presentations

Tragedy led to a rebirth in Europe led by a family of low class wool merchants - the Medicis.

Leonardo and Michelangelo battle it out for title of World's Great Turtle... I mean artist.

The true power was still the church but it had become corrupted in many ways.

The Medicis sought to change art and social rank, Martin Luther aimed much higher at the Church.

Galileo also challenged the church. He tried to use the Medici name to back him up. Did it help?

Lessons and Activities


1. Renaissance Walkthru - Simple worksheet introducing the Renaissance based on the graphics in Holt's Medieval to Modern Times.

2. Renaissance DBQ - More complex introduction using the same graphics. Students must take a position on an essential question and defend their answer using the sources provided. (Common Core Ready - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1)

3. CSI: Florence - A History Mystery investigation into the attempted assassination of Lorenzo de Medici. (Common Core Ready - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1)

4. Machiavelli's "The Prince" Lab - A lab on what it means to be a good leader today and what Machiavelli thought of good leaders in The Prince. Students can use this summary of the book to help answer the questions. Here's an additional set of questions if you want to extend the lab.

5. Perspective - a short comparison of European art throughout history followed by students trying to draw using "modern" techniques like realism and perspective which were introduced in the Renaissance.

6. Da Vinci's Notebook - students create a "lost" page of Da Vinci's notebook for a modern invention.

7. Sistine Chapel Art - students create "art" while drawing upside-down under their desks. Hilarity ensues when I tell their story back to them based on how I interpret their awful drawings.

8. Renaissance Christmas - For this lab we listen to a Medieval/Renaissance carol (usually this one) and compare it to modern carols. We then perform a dance from I do the Washerwoman's Branle since it is by far the most ridiculous (and pretty easy for students to learn).

9. Weigh the Evidence: The Renaissance - Similar to the DBQ above but with (mostly) different evidence. Same question - was the Renaissance a very big change?

10. Dig: Renaissance (review game) - A short review game for the Renaissance. Ask students questions and "dig" the squares if they get them right until they guess the image.

11. Digging for the Truth: Florence - Examine the architecture of Florence as it stands today to determine the influence of the Medici family. Teacher Script included.


1. Reformation Walkthru - Series of questions based on the graphics in Holt's Medieval to Early Modern Times.

2. Reformation Culture Shock - After opening with this short reading about Jan Hus students watch a short movie clip in a foreign language (I show Madagascar in French) then take a quiz on it to simulate the use of Latin in the Catholic Church. They are then given the opportunity to buy an A+ on the quiz to simulate indulgences. Other activities, time permitting, include listening to worship music from different churches and two Four-Quarter picture analyses.

3. Reformation Stations - 9 stations using mostly primary sources from the Reformation. Students in groups move around the room analyzing the documents and responding to questions.

4. Reformation Dossiers - A group lesson where students evaluate dossiers of six Renaissance figures (Luther, Tyndale, Hus, Henry VIII, Pope Leo X, and Torquemada) to determine which should be arrested. Works well as an introduction to the unit.nts

5. Reformation Quest for Knowledge - Series of questions based on the text in the Holt book modeled after the questions asked on the CST.

Scientific Revolution

1. Scientific Revolution Walkthru - Overview assignment using the graphics in the textbook.

2. HA: Ptolemy and Scientific Thought - Introductory primary source analysis where students read over Ptolemy's rationale for the non-movement of the Earth and then make conjectures about scientific theories based on personal experience.

3. Tell The Truth: Galileo - A scripted play/gameshow where students ask questions of 3 potential Galileos to determine who the "real" one is.

4. DBQ: Reformation vs. Scientific Revolution - Document analysis centered around the question "Which was a bigger threat to the Catholic Church the Reformation or the Scientific Revolution?"