Renaissance Overview

Week 1: Renaissance Overview


Read K – 2: Read “Note” (see below).  Then do “Renaissance Coloring” worksheet (from “Activities” section)before asking your students the discussion questions.

4 – 6: Read this article on the internet: and read “Note” (see below)

7 – 8: Your Travel Guide to Renaissance Europe by Nancy Day

Note:  The Renaissance was a period of time after the Middle Ages when people became interested once again in art, education, music, theatre, science, and mathematics.  These subjects were a regular part of society during ancient Greek and Roman periods, but pursuit of these subjects had almost disappeared during the Dark & Middle Ages.  The word Renaissance means “Rebirth” or “New Beginning”.  It began in the country of Italy in Europe.  Many new achievements and changes were made during this time.  Artwork became more realistic.   Theatre became very popular.   The authority of the Catholic church was challenged.  The printing press was invented and books became more common.  Explorers travelled to new parts of the world.  Scientists made new discoveries about the heavens.


  • In what country did the Renaissance begin? (Italy)
  • What does the word Renaissance mean? (rebirth or new beginning)
  • Name at least 6 disciplines of life that changed quite a bit during the Renaissance?  (art, theatre, church, books, exploration, & science)

Questions for grades 3 – 5:

  • Why is this time period called the Renaissance? (rebirth of art, classical writing, music, mathematics, history & philosophy)
  • T/F The Renaissance occurred in Asia. (F – Europe)
  • What were the most important cities of the Renaissance? (Rome, Venice, & Florence)
  • Name the 2 most famous artists of the Renaissance? (Michelangelo & Leonardo Di Vinci)

Questions for grades 6 – 8:

  • What languages were spoken during the Renaissance? (Spanish, English, French, German, & Tuscan (Italian)
  • What were the 3 most famous cities known for? (Florence: wealth & artistry; Rome: Pope head of Catholic church; Venice: center of trade)
  • T/F Spices were very valuable during the Renaissance? (T)
  • Was it common for people to travel great distances at this time? (no; most people didn’t go more than 15 miles from home)
  • How did people travel? (walking, boat, cart pulled by horses, oxen, or mules)
  • T/F During the Renaissance, maps were pretty accurate. (F)
  • What were some of the forms of government during the Renaissance? (some feudalism, monarchies, papal rule)
  • Of what class were most people at this time? (Poor: peasants)
  • What was a patron? (Rich person who provided money for artists, scientists, & explorers to do their work)
  • What was an apprentice? A master? (Master was someone very skilled at a craft; an apprentice was a young person learning the craft.)
  • Were apprentices and masters poor, middle, or upper class? (middle)
  • What religion were most people during the Renaissance? (Catholic)
  • What was the Spanish Inquisition? (a group of judges who investigated heretics [people who didn’t follow the church’s teachings])
  • What happened to many people found guilty of heresy? (killed)
  • How did clothes show wealth? (fabrics & dyes that were expensive were worn by the rich; rich had many clothes; poor might only have 1 set of clothes)
  • T/F Clothes during the Renaissance were bright and colorful. (T)
  • What was the Vatican? (Pope’s headquarters)
  • T/F Most girls learned to read and write. (F)
  • What did people do for entertainment during the Renaissance? (theatre, chess, tournaments, jousts, races)
  • How many meals did people eat a day? (2)
  • What did they eat? (rich: birds, deer, boar, feasts with expensive spices; poor: soups, mushes, bread, some fish, cheese, eggs, & poultry)
  • What did people drink at the time? (milk, wine, beer, or ale; water was too dirty to drink)
  • What did merchants sell? (food, fabric, spices, jewelry, gold, jewels)
  • Did most people own books? (no)
  • What was the plague? (terrible disease also called the black death because it caused painful, black swellings; many died)
  • T/F Renaissance Europe was a peaceful place. (F: many wars & revolts)
  • T/F People bathed often. (F)

Activities: K – 2: Renaissance coloring page: Renaissance coloring

3 – 5:  Renaissance and Reformation word find: Ren word find

6 – 8:  Choose one of the following essays:

  • Write a 5 paragraph 3 proof essay discussing three things you learned about the Renaissance from reading this book.
  • Would you like to live during the Renaissance? Why or why not? (5 paragraph, 3 proof essay.)

 Copyright September 10th, 2015 by Gwen Fredette

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Filed under Exploration, Reformation, Renaissance

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