Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The European Renaissance - 8th grade outline

In the summer of 1999, I took a graduate course where I was required to develop a large-scale project 8th-grade level outline on a theme.  The theme that I selected was the Renaissance.

This is the outline that I created in order to show cross-curriculum concepts on that subject.

Renaissance Unit Outline - Grade 8

I.    Purpose:  Throughout a six week time period, students will become familiar with the Renaissance time period through cross-curriculum studies.  Students will be involved in many forms of instruction to both illuminate and clarify the time period and its contributions in terms of art, music, history, science, mathematics, language, world language and sports.

II.  Outcomes:
•    Following class discussions and videos, students will identify and characterize the foundations of the Renaissance.  This will be assessed through the KWL method.
•    Students will be able to describe the Copernican Theory and apply it creatively.  This will be assessed through an editorial activity (oral communication).
•    Students will define the following terms of the Renaissance to be assessed through a short-answer test:  Renaissance, humanist, humanities, Aristotelian (Aristotle), Inquisition, indulgences, heliocentric, geocentric, elliptical, alchemy, metaphysical poetry, classical allusion, metaphysical conceit, satire, neo-Classicism, perspective, utopia, city-state, nationalism, inductive method, scientific method.
•    Following a class discussion and readings, students will be able to explain concepts about themes in poetry, and define concept, symbolism and rhyme scheme by providing a written or musical example of each.
•    After analyzing a handout example of a timeline and evaluating key features through discussion, students will create a graphic organizer that distinguishes primary facts of the Renaissance on history/politics, literature/theater, arts/music, and science/technology/inventions.
•    Given a set of questions to be answered from a handout and assessed through a rubric, students will choose from a selection of guilds and create an autobiography of themselves living in the Renaissance using appropriate information (resources, society, occupation, inventions) with the use of previous materials.
•    After viewing the film "Romeo & Juliet" and reading the play as arranged for modern reading, students will analyze and retell the story in their own words in short answers in a test and evaluated with a rubric.  
•    After viewing the films "Romeo & Juliet" and "West Side Story," students will compare and contrast both films through a "Siskel & Ebert/Lyons & Medved" review of no more than five minutes, evaluated with a rubric
•    After class discussion and comparison outline, students will work in cooperative pairs and be evaluated with a peer critique rubric, to research, design, display and describe a poster featuring two corresponding themes between a modern theater and/or film production, a book and/or story, or a book/story and movie/theater production.

A.    Definition of Movement
Overall Definition &
Styles Introduced
Terminology and Vocabulary
B.    Historical Perspective
Length of Time of period
Social Perspective & Events
Political Climate
Religion & society
C.    Literature of the Renaissance
D.    Art
Introduction of new styles
E.    Drama & Theater
Construction of the theater
Construction of a play
Themes & Issues in society
F.    Scientific & Mathematical Discoveries & Inventions of the Renaissance
Bacon & Descartes- Experimentation and scientific research
Gutenberg - Spreading the word(s)
Copernicus - Heliocentrism vs. Geocentrism
Harvey - Blood circulation
Vesalius - Modern Anatomy
 Brahe -  The Position of the Planets
Kepler - The three laws of the solar system
Galileo - The telescope, dynamics & mechanics
Newton - Physical laws of the universe
Gilbert -Magnetism
Da Vinci - Master Inventor
Boyle - Laboratory pioneer
Hooke - The compound microscope
Leeuwenhoek - Microbe hunter
Pascal - Pressure & liquid laws

WEEK ONE:  Introduction to the Renaissance
    What do students know?  Questions?
    Review of description of Renaissance as time period
    Major events in cultural progress
    The Age of (Re)Discovery
    Discussion on multi-cultural Renaissance periods
WEEK TWO:   History and contributions
      The divisions of European countries
      War & Peace in Europe
      Monarchy and city-states
        Thomas Hobbes
      John Locke
        Niccolo Machiavelli
      Martin Luther
      Writing an illustrated newspaper
      Mapping a Renaissance timeline

WEEK THREE: Introduction of Literature
        Discussion of significant terminology
        Authors and their styles
        Sir Thomas Moore
        Desiderius Erasmus
        Niccolo Machiavelli
        Francis Bacon
        Miguel de Cervantes
        William Shakespeare
        Creative Writing on Renaissance theme
WEEK FOUR:    The Rise of Art
          The influence of the Church on Art
          The Great Cathedrals
          The Development of Dance
          The Great Master Painters
          Leonardo Da Vinci's Art/Science
          The birth of Opera

WEEK FIVE:  Discussion of Theater and Rules
     The Globe Theater
     Books, Printing & Theater
WEEK SIX:  Exploring the Scientific Revolution
    Nicolaus Copernicus
    Ideas about the Solar System
    Religious influences on science
    Tycho Brahe
    Johannes Kepler
    Isaac Newton
        Gravity & magnetism
    William Harvey & blood analyses
    Andreas Vesalius
    Beginnings of medical research
    Classroom hands-on experiments



1.    Timeline  (5%)
2.    Poster  (5%)
3.    Editorial speaking activity  (10%)
4.   Shakespeare movie review  (10%)


1.    Definitions & terms  (15%)
2.    Autobiography  (20%)
3.    Test on "Romeo & Juliet"  (15%)

CLASS ASSIGNMENTS (outlines, essays) (10%)

VI.    Absent students/missed work
•    Students who miss class when an assignment is due must have a written excuse or doctor's note and must hand in the work the day upon returning to class.  E-mail submission for emergencies are available.
•    Students who are absent the day of a quiz may make it up after school or during their lunch period the following day.
•    Students who do not discuss a possible delay on a completed project will have points deducted from their final grade.


1.    Student text
2.    Teacher text
3.    Encyclopedia of the Renaissance
4.    Additional handouts
5.    Encarta 98
6.    Transparencies
7.    Markers
8.    Posterboard
9.    Highlighters
10.    Literature books
11.    Overhead
12.    Scissors
13.    Construction paper
14.    Computers
15.    Index cards
16.    Three-ring binder (optional)
17.    Journals
18.    Library and reference books
19.    A&E Biography series videos
20.    "Romeo & Juliet" - MGM Films
21.    "West Side Story" - MGM Films
22.  "Copernicus" - The Rise of Science Series
VIII.    Bibliography

Aston, Margaret.  (1996).  The Panorama of the Renaissance.  New York:  Harry N. Abrams.

Anderson, Margaret Jean.  (1996).  Isaac Newton:  The Greatest Scientist of All Time:  Great Minds of Science.  Springfield, New Jersey:  Enslow Publishing.

Armstrong, Spencer.  (1960).  101 of the World's Greatest Books.  New York:  
Greystone Press.

Atchity, Kenneth J. (Editor) & McKenna, Rosemary (Editor).  (1996)).  The Renaissance Reader.  New York:  Harpercollins.

Black, C.F., Greengrass, Mark, & Howarth, David.  (1993).  Cultural Atlas of the Renaissance.  New York: Macmillan General Reference

Browning, D.C.  (1993).  The Complete Dictionary of Shakespeare Quotations.  New York:  Barnes & Noble Books.

Boorstin, Daniel J.  (1983).  The Discoverers:  A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself.  New York:  Random House.

Downs, Robert B.  (1961).  Famous Books Since 1492.  New York:  Barnes & Noble
Cady, Frank W. & Cartmell, Van H.  (1946).  Shakespeare Arranged for Modern Reading.  New York:  Doubleday and Company.

Cornwell, Anne Christake & Damianakos, Alexander N.  (1993). The Renaissance/Audio Cassette (Western Civilization). University Press & Sound

Durant, Will.  (1953).  The Story of Civilization (Series V) - The Renaissance.
New York:  Simon and Shuster.

Durant, Ariel & Will.  (1968).  The Lessons of History.  New York:  Simon and Shuster.

Emerson, Kathy Lynn.  (1996).  The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in Renaissance England.  New York:  Writer's Digest Books.
Fadiman, Clifton.  (1960).  The Lifetime Reading Plan.  Cleveland, Ohio:  The World Publishing Company.

Fonte, Moderata & Cox, Virginia (Editor).  (1997).  The Worth of Women : Wherein Is Clearly Revealed Their Nobility and Their Superiority to Men (Other Voice in Early Modern Europe).  Chicago, IL:  University of Chicago Press.

Grun, Bernard.  (1975).  The Timetables of History.  New York:  Touchstone.

Hall, Alice G.  Benjamin Franklin.  National Geographic, Vol. 148, No. 1 (July 1975).
Washington, D.C.:  National Geographic Society.

Hamilton, Edith.  (1942).  Mythology - Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes.  New York:  The New American Library.

Jardine, Lisa.  (1996).  Worldly Goods:  A New History of the Renaissance.  New York:
Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Traditional).

Jeffery, David.   A Renaissance for Michelangelo.   National Geographic, Vol. 176, No. 6 (December 1989).  Washington, D.C.:  National Geographic Society.

May, Nadia (Narrator) & Pater, Walter.  (1995).  The Renaissance.  New York:
Blackstone Audio Books.

Smith, Pamela H.  (1994). The Business of Alchemy : Science and Culture in the
Holy Roman Empire.  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press.

Stephens, John.  (1990).  The Italian Renaissance : The Origins of Intellectual and
Artistic Change Before the Reformation.  London, England: Longman Group United Kingdom.

Thompson, Bard.  (1996). Humanists and Reformers : A History of the Renaissance
and Reformation.  New York: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Velikovsky, Immanuel.  (1950).  Worlds in Collision.  New York:  Pocket Books (division of Simon and Shuster.)

Weber, Eugen.  (1995).  The Western Tradition:  From the Ancient World to Louis XIV.  Lexington, MA:  D. C. Heath and Company

Benjamin Franklin: Citizen of the World.  A&E Biography Series
Copernicus and His World.  The Rise of Science Series, BBC-TV/Open University
Elizabeth I:  The Virgin Queen.  A&E Biography series
From the Earth to the Moon.  HBO Films, 1997.
Henry VIII:  Scandals of a King.  A&E Biography series.
Leonardo da Vinci:  Renaissance Master.  A&E Biography series.
Lucrezia Borgia - Pretty Poison.  A&E Biography series.
Michelangelo - Artist & Man.  A&E Biography series.
Romeo & Juliet.  MGM, 1968.
Sir Isaac Newton:  The Gravity of Genius.  A&E Biography series.
Sister Wendy's Story of Painting.  The Renaissance.  BBC WorldWide Americas.
William Shakespear - Life of Drama.  A&E Biography series.
West Side Story.  MGM, 1961.

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