Renaissance Unit Plan

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your high schoolers about the Renaissance with this helpful unit plan. Along the way, they will learn analytical, cooperative, and communicative skills through hands-on activities and projects.

The Renaissance Lesson Outline

Since the Renaissance spanned roughly three centuries, it helps to teach the subject by commencing with a broad outline before proceeding to specific subject matter. What was so special about the Renaissance that makes historians find it fascinating? After the Middle Ages, it was a return to classic Greek and Roman art and literature. It was a time of da Vinci, Michelangelo and Shakespeare. By studying the Renaissance, your high school students will appreciate the contributions of this era that still reverberate to this day. They will understand what characteristics comprise a masterpiece and how these famous works have shaped future societies.

Step 1: Pre-Discussion

Before your students delve into the topic of the Renaissance, have a class discussion to gauge their knowledge of the subject. Utilize these questions to get the ball rolling:

  • When did the Renaissance begin?
  • What were some characteristics of the era?
  • Why are historians so fascinated with the Renaissance?
  • What eras were just before and just after the Renaissance?
  • When did the Renaissance end?

Step 2: Taking Notes

When you assign your students the topic of the Renaissance, remind them to take copious notes including their comments, questions, likes, and dislikes.

Then you can assign this Italian Renaissance Lesson Plan to introduce the topic and reinforce some of the basics of the era.

The Renaissance later began to branch out to other countries north of Italy. This Northern Renaissance Lesson Plan describes the spread of some of the ideas of the time period.

Step 3: Discussing and Sharing

After your students have researched the Renaissance and taken notes, open the floor for a lively class discussion. Be sure to include the following subject matter:

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