History has always been one of my favorite subjects. Studying the Renaissance provides a fantastic opportunity to study literature, art, architecture, history, the lives of individuals, and more! In this last post of the 5 Days of...Homeschool Blog Hop, I will provide activities, journal-writing opportunities and questions, ways to include geography, music, and literature in your lessons, and projects for your children to complete to help bring history alive. I urge parents to preview books, movies, and other resources and references prior to sharing with your children. Only you, as the parent, know what your children are ready to read or view in a movie.
A great place to start is If You Were Me and Lived in...Renaissance Italy by Carole P. Roman with illustrations by Silvia Brunetti. This book offers so much valuable information for studying the Italian Renaissance – from a glossary in the back of the book to information on the Medici family, who sponsored many artists of the time period.
- What is the Renaissance? What are some of the words that might be studied during a unit about the Renaissance?
- Read over my notes on the Italian Renaissance.
- Create a timeline – write down the significant events of the Renaissance.
- For children who enjoy geography, label a map of Europe with the nations that existed during the Renaissance. You can further this by labeling how Italy was divided during this time period. Be sure to include important Italian cities!
- Research your name. Is there an Italian equivalent to your name?
- Research the traditional foods of the time period and prepare a Renaissance-themed dinner party. Maybe your guests can even dress up as important people from the time period.
- Design and sew traditional Italian Renaissance clothing.
- There were many famous artists and inventors who are remembered for their work during the Renaissance. Visit a museum to see their paintings or sculptures or visit the library to borrow books about them.
- Build a replica of the common Italian home – the palazzo. Be sure to include the bedrooms, a place for your father's business, kitchen, and more!
- Create a schedule to follow the subjects typically taught during this time period: grammar, philosophy, arithmetic, Latin, and public speaking for the boys; art, music, dancing, and needlepoint for the girls.
- And don't forget about looking at the Renaissance England! How can we forget leaders like Queen Elizabeth I or writers like William Shakespeare?
- One of my favorite things to do with students when I was teaching high school, was to introduce them to primary sources like speeches, letters, and diary entries. There are so many great speeches of Queen Elizabeth I to read including her speech on religion of 1583.
- Attend a live performance of a Shakespearean play, read one of the works, or view one of the many movies produced.
- Sistine Madonna by Raphael
- David by Donatello
- Hands of God and Adam by Michelangelo
- David by Michelangelo
- Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
- The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci
- The Ditchley Portrait of Elizabeth I by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger
- Illuminated manuscripts
Resources and References
The National Archives' Elizabeth I's Monarchy
Spartacus Educational: Queen Elizabeth I
Vatican Museums - Sistine Chapel
History's The Medici Family