Medici Home Resources
Home The Renaissance Turning Points Florence Scape The Medici The Show Resources
For Teachers
  National Standards:

The lesson addresses the following national content standards found in the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) Standards Database, 3rd ed. Available:

History Standards
  • Understands contributions of the Scientific Revolution to European society (e.g., the importance of discoveries in mathematics, physics, biology, and chemistry to 17th-and 18th-century Europe; the significance of the principles of the scientific method advanced by Francis Bacon and Renè Descartes; the trial of Galileo and arguments and evidence used to prove him "innocent" or "guilty"; the major features of the Scientific Revolution in major fields of endeavor)

  • Understands significant social and cultural changes that took place during the Renaissance (e.g., advances in printing press technology, the connections between the Italian Renaissance and the development of Humanist ideals in Europe north of the Alps, positive and negative changes in the status of women during the Renaissance and Reformation, the legacy of Renaissance architecture, changes in European art and architecture between the Middle Ages and the High Renaissance)

  • Understands early influences on the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment (e.g., connections between the Scientific Revolution and its antecedents, such as Greek rationalism, medieval theology, Renaissance humanism; connections between the Enlightenment and its antecedents, such as Roman republicanism, the Renaissance, and the Scientific Revolution)

  • Understands how past events are affected by the irrational and the accidental

  • Knows how to perceive past events with historical empathy

  • Understands that change and continuity are equally probable and natural

  • Analyzes the effects specific decisions had on history and studies how things might have been different in the absence of those decisions

  • Analyzes the influences specific ideas and beliefs had on a period of history and specifies how events might have been different in the absence of those ideas and beliefs

  • Analyzes the values held by specific people who influenced history and the role their values played in influencing history

Language Arts Standards
  • Uses a variety of primary sources to gather information for research topics

  • Synthesizes information from multiple research studies to draw conclusions that go beyond those found in any of the individual studies

  • Uses standard format and methodology for documenting reference sources

  • Uses precise and descriptive language that clarifies and enhances ideas and supports different purposes

  • Organizes ideas to achieve cohesion in writing

  • Summarizes and paraphrases information in texts

  • Draws conclusions and makes inferences based on explicit and implicit information in texts

  • Uses a variety of criteria to evaluate the clarity and accuracy of information

  • Summarizes and paraphrases complex, implicit hierarchic structures in informational texts, including the relationships among the concepts and details in those structures

  • Scans a passage to determine whether it contains relevant information

  • Uses new information to adjust and extend personal knowledge base

  • Conveys a clear main point when speaking to others and stays on the topic being discussed

  • Plays a variety of roles in group discussions (e.g., active listener, discussion leader, facilitator)

  • Asks questions to seek elaboration and clarification of ideas

  • Uses strategies to enhance listening comprehension (e.g., takes notes; organizes, summarizes, and paraphrases spoken ideas and details)

  • Uses a variety of verbal and nonverbal techniques for presentations (e.g., modulation of voice; varied inflection; tempo; enunciation; physical gestures; rhetorical questions; word choice, including figurative language, standard English, informal usage, technical language) and demonstrates poise and self-control while presenting

  • Uses criteria to evaluate own and others' effectiveness in group discussions and formal presentations (e.g., accuracy, relevance, and organization of information; clarity of delivery; relationships among purpose, audience, and content; types of arguments used; effectiveness of own contributions)

  • Asks questions as a way to broaden and enrich classroom discussions

  • Uses a variety of strategies to enhance listening comprehension (e.g., focuses attention on message, monitors message for clarity and understanding, asks relevant questions, provides verbal and nonverbal feedback, notes cues such as change of pace or particular words that indicate a new point is about to be made; uses abbreviation system to record information quickly; selects and organizes essential information)

  • Makes formal presentations to the class (e.g., includes definitions for clarity; supports main ideas using anecdotes, examples, statistics, analogies, and other evidence; uses visual aids or technology, such as transparencies, slides, electronic media; cites information sources)

  • Makes multimedia presentations using text, images, and sound (e.g., selects the appropriate medium, such as television broadcast, videos, web pages, films, newspapers, magazines, CD-ROMS, Internet, computer-media-generated images; edits and monitors for quality; organizes, writes, and designs media messages for specific purposes)

  • Understands how images and sound convey messages in visual media (e.g., special effects, camera angles, symbols, color, line, texture, shape, headlines, photographs, reaction shots, sequencing of images, sound effects, music, dialogue, narrative, lighting)

Science Standards
  • Understands the nature of scientific explanations (e.g., use of logically consistent arguments; emphasis on evidence; use of scientific principles, models, and theories; acceptance or displacement of explanations based on new scientific evidence)

  • Knows ways in which science distinguishes itself from other ways of knowing and from other bodies of knowledge (e.g., use of empirical standards, logical arguments, skepticism)

  • Knows that scientific explanations must meet certain criteria to be considered valid (e.g., they must be consistent with experimental and observational evidence about nature, make accurate predictions about systems being studied, be logical, respect the rules of evidence, be open to criticism, report methods and procedures, make a commitment to making knowledge public)

  • Knows that from time to time, major shifts occur in the scientific view of how the world works, but usually the changes that take place in the body of scientific knowledge are small modifications of prior knowledge

  • Knows that all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement in principle, but for most core ideas in science, there is much experimental and observational confirmation

Technology Standards
  • Knows the common features and uses of desktop publishing software

  • Uses boolean searches to execute complex searches on a data base

  • Knows how to import, export, and merge data stored in different formats

  • Knows how to import and export text, data, and graphics between software programs

Visual Arts Standards
  • Knows a variety of historical and cultural contexts regarding characteristics and purposes of works of art

  • Understands relationships among works of art in terms of history, aesthetics, and culture

About the Author: Robin Smith is a high school English teacher in Stafford County, Virginia. She has taught for 26 years, has a master's in English literature, and is nationally board certified in English/Language Arts for Adolescents/Young Adults and certified in Virginia for secondary English, K-12 library media, and gifted education. Robin is currently working on her PhD in Instructional Technology. .

Lesson Plan 1 | Lesson Plan 2 | Lesson Plan 3 | Lesson Plan 4

Where to next
Turning Points   Turning Points
Gallery Gallery: Renaissance Art

For Teachers
- Lesson One
- Lesson Two
- Lesson Three
- Lesson Four


Reading List & Links