Ch 2: Enlightenment Lesson Plans & Activities

About This Chapter

You can prepare for teaching your students about the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution by watching the video lessons in this chapter. These lessons contain lesson plans that will help your students learn about these subjects.

Enlightenment & Scientific Revolution Lesson Plans - Chapter Summary

Included in this chapter are video lessons on key topics your students will need to know about the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution, as well as lesson plans for teaching some of the major topics in the classroom. Watch these lessons to prepare for teaching:

  • The Enlightenment and its major themes
  • Notable Enlightenment thinkers
  • Royal absolutism
  • The timeline and breakthroughs of the Scientific Revolution

This chapter also includes assessment tests that you can take to see what you know about some of the topics you went over in the lessons. Overall, the resources in this chapter will be a tremendous asset to you and you students as you move into this period in world history.

How It Helps

  • Teaches themes: These lesson plans will provide your students with the major themes to look for when studying the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution.
  • Emphasizes individuals: By learning about some of the major figures associated with the Enlightenment and their works, your students will have an easier time grasping the subject as a whole.
  • Provides timelines: Our videos will help your students understand the historical timeline of these periods and their influence on world history.

How It Works

This helpful resource offers teachers lesson plan outlines with relevant tools to make planning world history lessons easy.

  • Find lesson plans for specific Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution topics you want to cover in class.
  • Formulate your world history class outline using the suggested classroom tools offered in the lesson plans.
  • Share the related Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution lessons for each lesson plan with students in class to make learning fun and engaging.
  • Use related lesson quizzes to ensure your students understand the most important Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution concepts from the lessons.
  • Engage your students with relevant world history-related activities, discussion questions or other materials found in the lesson plan outline.

46 Lessons in Chapter 2: Enlightenment Lesson Plans & Activities
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Major Themes of the Enlightenment: Reason, Individualism & Skepticism

1. Major Themes of the Enlightenment: Reason, Individualism & Skepticism

In this lesson, we will identify the major themes associated with the Enlightenment. We will also explore the major figures and learn about their contributions. We will understand the lasting impact of the Enlightenment by putting it in historical context.

The Enlightenment Thinkers & Their Ideas

2. The Enlightenment Thinkers & Their Ideas

In this lesson, we discuss the varied and diverse 18th-century intellectual movement known as the Enlightenment. In addition to exploring its background and nature, we highlight several of the era's chief philosophers and their ideas.

Thomas Hobbes Lesson Plan

3. Thomas Hobbes Lesson Plan

This lesson plan will provide you with the necessary layout to help students learn and retain the basic information on Thomas Hobbes using a lesson, quiz, activity, discussion questions, and key vocabulary terms.

Thomas Hobbes: Biography, Beliefs & Quotes

4. Thomas Hobbes: Biography, Beliefs & Quotes

Thomas Hobbes was an English philosopher, political scientist, academic, historian, and journalist in the 17th century. He is best known for his book 'Leviathan' (1651) and his views on how politics affects society.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau Lesson Plan

5. Jean-Jacques Rousseau Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to help you teach your students about Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Two video lessons will guide students to understand his philosophy and ideas, their impact, and his legacy. Discussion questions, a quiz, and activity help concepts stick.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Ideas, Impact & Works

6. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Ideas, Impact & Works

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most important philosophers of the Enlightenment period. Learn about his important works, his main ideas, and how he influenced other philosophers, movements, and governments in this lesson.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Philosophy and Legacy

7. Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Philosophy and Legacy

In this lesson, we will learn about a famous philosopher named Jean-Jacques Rousseau. We will understand the specific views he advanced and identify his contributions to the field of philosophy.

Louis XIV Lesson Plan

8. Louis XIV Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan and materials from Study.com, you'll have everything you need to help your students better understand the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King, and the resulting transformation of France.

The Reign of Louis XIV in France: Accomplishments & Influence

9. The Reign of Louis XIV in France: Accomplishments & Influence

In this lesson, we explore the reign of Louis XIV in France. Domestically, Louis revolutionized numerous facets of French government and administration over his 72-year reign.

Age of Absolutism Lesson Plan

10. Age of Absolutism Lesson Plan

Introduce absolute monarchy to your students in this lesson plan. Students will watch a video, participate in discussion questions, complete an activity, and take a quiz.

Royal Absolutism in France: Monarchical Power & Louis XIV

11. Royal Absolutism in France: Monarchical Power & Louis XIV

In this lesson, we will study France's absolute monarchy. We will learn its characteristics, examine its rise, and meet Louis XIV, the 'Sun King,' who brought royal absolutism to its height.

John Locke Lesson Plan

12. John Locke Lesson Plan

While the practice of the ideas of the social contract may be one that some may feel uncomfortable introducing into a high school classroom, this lesson plan will help your students understand more than that from John Locke.

Two Treatises Of Government by Locke: Summary & Explanation

13. Two Treatises Of Government by Locke: Summary & Explanation

John Locke's ideas about government and human nature became the starting point for modern political theory and, ultimately, the American Revolution. Locke's concepts of freedom, law, and the purpose of government were foundational to the modern conception of democracy.

John Locke on Personal Identity

14. John Locke on Personal Identity

This lesson explains John Locke's theories on personal identity. In doing so, it highlights the prince and pauper argument as well as the day man and night man theory.

Baron de Montesquieu Lesson Plan

15. Baron de Montesquieu Lesson Plan

This lesson will provide you with a warm-up activity, discussion activity, main activity, two quizzes, and discussion topics and questions that will help students learn more about Baron De Montesquieu and his views.

Baron de Montesquieu: Biography, Theories & Philosophy

16. Baron de Montesquieu: Biography, Theories & Philosophy

In this lesson, we explore the life and theories of the the French Enlightenment's foremost political theorist, Charles-Louis de Secondat - more commonly known as Montesquieu.

Social Contract Lesson Plan

17. Social Contract Lesson Plan

In this lesson we help our students understand the concept of social contracts, help them recognize the social contract in our country, and encourage them to develop their own to more fully understand the concept.

What is a Social Contract? - Definition & Examples

18. What is a Social Contract? - Definition & Examples

Learn about the idea of a social contract. Then you can understand how the concept has helped people to create modern governments all over the world that are more responsible to their citizens.

Voltaire Lesson Plan

19. Voltaire Lesson Plan

Who was Voltaire and why was he an important figure in the age of Enlightenment? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to summarize Voltaire's life and work. An activity aimed at analysis connects students to the words of Voltaire.

Voltaire: Philosophy & Works

20. Voltaire: Philosophy & Works

In this lesson we examine the literary contributions of Fran├žois-Marie Arouet (better known as Voltaire), a prominent writer and thinker of the French Enlightenment.

Hobbes vs. Locke Lesson Plan

21. Hobbes vs. Locke Lesson Plan

In this lesson plan students will learn about the major political ideas of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke by watching a video, closely reading the transcript, and collecting the facts in a graphic organizer. They will then compare those ideas through an engaging role-playing activity.

Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views

22. Thomas Hobbes & John Locke: Political Theories & Competing Views

In this lesson, we discuss the two premier English political theorists of the 17th century: Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. We'll also take a look at their impact on Western philosophy in contemporary and modern times.

State of Nature Lesson Plan

23. State of Nature Lesson Plan

In this lesson plan we will teach students about the complex philosophical term 'state of nature.' Through discussion and a debate, our students will understand what it is and how each philosopher viewed it.

State of Nature: Definition, Philosophy & Examples

24. State of Nature: Definition, Philosophy & Examples

In this lesson, we'll discuss the philosophical concept of the state of nature. The sate of nature was explored by the well-known philosophers Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Hobbes' Leviathan Lesson Plan

25. Hobbes' Leviathan Lesson Plan

What was the underlying message of Thomas Hobbes' 'Leviathan'? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to summarize key points from the treatise for the class. A small group activity assesses comprehension.

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan: Summary, Quotes & Analysis

26. Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan: Summary, Quotes & Analysis

Thomas Hobbes, in his treatise Leviathan, discussed what he believes are the downfalls of government, and how humans can achieve the perfect commonwealth. This lesson will summarize it and offer some quotes and analysis.

Existentialism Lesson Plan

27. Existentialism Lesson Plan

Teachers, in this lesson students will explore the philosophy of existentialism. They will watch a video, participate in discussion questions, complete a research activity and take a quiz.

Existentialism: Definition, History, Characteristics & Examples

28. Existentialism: Definition, History, Characteristics & Examples

This lesson describes existentialist philosophy, including its historical roots and key characteristics. While imagining what the world was like after World War II, you'll also consider the value of the existentialist viewpoint in describing human existence.

Candide Lesson Plan

29. Candide Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to review Voltaire's book 'Candide' with your students. Students will read a text lesson, critically discuss the book, and take on the role of a character in a fun playacting activity.

Voltaire's Candide: Summary & Analysis

30. Voltaire's Candide: Summary & Analysis

Why is this short 18th-Century comedic novel not only an important work of literature but also one of the top-10 banned books of all time? Explore the wacky characters and shocking story line that is one of France's most recognizable contributions to world culture.

Candide Comprehension Questions

31. Candide Comprehension Questions

Voltaire's ''Candide'' is a satirical story of constant trial and tribulation that mocks religion and class. This lesson provides a variety of comprehension questions to aid in your students' understanding of the story.

William Blake Lesson Plan

32. William Blake Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about William Blake. A video lesson details Blake's life, methods and work. Discussion questions, hands-on learning and a quiz are included to help increase comprehension.

William Blake: Poems, Quotes and Biography

33. William Blake: Poems, Quotes and Biography

Who is William Blake? He's a Romantic poet, an illustrator and a mystic. He used words, drawings and an innovative relief etching style, called illuminated printing, to create some of the most unusual and creative works of the Romantic era.

Enlightened Absolutism Lesson Plan

34. Enlightened Absolutism Lesson Plan

Teach your students about enlightened absolution with this lesson plan. A video anchors the lesson, defining the term then showing how it related to the domestic politics of Western and Central European nations of the 18th century. Cooperative activities and a quiz make learning stick.

Enlightened Despots in France, Austria & Prussia: Reforms & Goals

35. Enlightened Despots in France, Austria & Prussia: Reforms & Goals

In this lesson we explore the term 'Enlightened Despotism' and how it pertains to the domestic politics of several 18th-century Western and Central European nations.

Catherine the Great Lesson Plan

36. Catherine the Great Lesson Plan

Teach your students about Catherine the Great with this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson explaining her life and accomplishments using comprehension strategies along the way, analyzing content through discussion and activities. Check understanding with a quiz.

Catherine the Great: Biography, Quotes & Facts

37. Catherine the Great: Biography, Quotes & Facts

Catherine the Great was a German born Russian Queen. Her reign was noted for cultural, artistic, educational, and political reforms as well as territorial expansion.

The Enlightenment Activities

38. The Enlightenment Activities

Giving students focused and fun activities can help them to retain important information. This lesson focuses on Enlightenment-based activities teachers can use in a classroom setting.

Enlightenment vs. Great Awakening Lesson Plan

39. Enlightenment vs. Great Awakening Lesson Plan

This lesson plan covers the difference between ''The First Great Awakening'' and ''Enlightenment''. Students will learn what the major differences were as well as understand the effect each had on America at the time.

English Bill of Rights Activities

40. English Bill of Rights Activities

Any teacher seeking activity ideas for secondary and/or post-secondary students in American and/or World History, here's a lesson plan just for you. Each of these activities will cover subject matter regarding the English Bill of Rights.

Social Contract Lesson Plan for Elementary School

41. Social Contract Lesson Plan for Elementary School

This lesson will help your elementary students understand John Locke's social contract theory. Students will read a text lesson, participate in group activities, and prove their knowledge with a short quiz.

Social Contract Theory Lesson Plan

42. Social Contract Theory Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan, your students will learn about the social contract theory and its major proponents. They will apply this by writing their own constitutions using these theories.

The Lamb by William Blake Lesson Plan

43. The Lamb by William Blake Lesson Plan

With this lesson plan, your students are going to analyze William Blake's poem 'The Lamb.' They will explore Blake's methods and use of imagery by emulating his style in their own poetry.

The Enlightenment & World Revolutions Activities for High School

44. The Enlightenment & World Revolutions Activities for High School

The Enlightenment and the world revolutions that followed make for an exciting chapter of world history. This lesson offers some activities that will keep your students engaged as they learn about this aspect of history.

Enlightenment Lesson Plan

45. Enlightenment Lesson Plan

There are a number of lofty ideas associated with the Enlightenment, but this lesson plan, as well as materials from Study.com, can help put it all within reach of your students.

Enlightenment Thinkers Lesson Plan

46. Enlightenment Thinkers Lesson Plan

Use this Study.com lesson plan to define the Age of Enlightenment. Dive into the major thinkers of this time period, and teach students their contributions. Follow up with an engaging activity.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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