Renaissance and Reformation


This section in particular focuses on why change had become so desired in Europe and how the artists of the time helped set the tone for later changes in religion and science.
History Labs: CSI: Florence, Da Vinci's Notebook, Raphael and Perspective, Leadership with Niccolo Machiavelli




Renaissance Introduction

The Black Death, the failure of the Crusades and the fall of Constantinople were enough to finally shake the people of Europe out of the Dark Ages. See here how a renewed focus on learning and human creation brought light back.


Medicis, Machiavelli & Shakespeare

Who were the key figures involved in the Renaissance?


Michelangelo & Da Vinci

The light of the Renaissance is best shown through its art. In this show we'll take a look at two specific artists, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo to see how art changed at this time.



Two week unit focusing primarily on Martin Luther and the changes he inspired in the Christian church. The first week examines the various abuses occurring in the church at the time and the second week at Luther's response. I have found that tying the unit around one figure makes it much easier for students to relate and understand the otherwise very difficult concepts and situations. Other figures are mentioned in the labs and activities. Contains one of my favorite labs of the year - Culture Shock: Reformation!

History Labs: Reformation Stations, Culture Shock: Reformation





Reformation Part 1- The Beginning

Even during the beginning of the Renaissance the Church remained an incredibly powerful force in Europe. Some though began to question some of it's actions. Could those voices bring change?


Reformation Part 2- Luther

One of the most vocal challengers was Martin Luther of Germany. His rise from nothing to key historical figure is an amazing story.



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

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.

CSI Florence- A History Mystery investigation into the attempted assassination of Lorenzo de Medici. Student Journal (Turned in) CSI part 2

Renaissance Art 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. 

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

Sistine Chapel Artstudents create "art" while drawing upside-down under their desks.

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

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

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.

Reformation Quest for Knowledge- Series of questions based on the text in the book modeled after the questions asked on the TN Ready