From: Nicole Gilbertson 2016
History Standards: 7.8.2
Explain the importance of Florence in the early stages of the Renaissance and the growth of independent trading cities (e.g., Venice), with emphasis on the cities' importance in the spread of Renaissance ideas.
CCSS Standards:CCSS RH 6. Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Guiding Question: Why would Florence be the “mother” of the Renaissance? How did the city give birth to this cultural movement?
Overview of Lesson:
As a whole group, ask students to define the term “Renaissance.” Ask students to do this individually and perhaps offer some methods for finding the term, using the index in the textbook, dictionary, going online and using google. As a whole class create a student-friendly definition that includes the term, location, and period (if this information comes up as part of the class discussion).
Ask students to consider the lesson questions: Why would Florence be the “mother” of the Renaissance? How did the city give birth to this cultural movement?
Direct students to the textbook to p.476-7. The teacher will work with students to identify the evidence that the textbook provides to support its claim that Italy (and more specifically Florence) “was the birthplace of the Renaissance.” Teachers may want to read the first paragraphs and identify how the text provides specific evidence for the this claim. For example, traders in the cities came into contact with people from around the world and were influence by their ideas. For the section on Florence, students can work in groups to identify the evidence to support the claim and then debrief as a whole group.
Show students excerpts from the film, The Medici, from PBS minutes 5:05-12:15
Students will then read a National Geographic article on “Brunelleschi’s Dome” and consider the question: How was the dome an example of the Renaissance?
Students may want to explore the additional resources on the National Geographic website such as a cartoon explaining how Brunelleschi built the dome and an interior 3D view of the church to provide further evidence for the lesson question and to learn more about the building of the dome.