Library Digital Content Access

Renaissance: Rebirth to Revolution

Created By: Missy Netznik, Lincoln Magnet School (Springfield, IL)
Grade Level: 6th
Content Area: Social Studies, Language Arts, Science, Math, Music, Art, P.E.


During this nine week thematic unit, students research the Middle Ages and Renaissance time periods in each of their classes. They use a variety of resources, such as the Internet, CD ROMS, videos, reference books, novels from the time period, among many others, to learn about the time period. Each cooperative team then becomes the expert group on a specific topic from the time period by researching that topic further.

To culminate the unit of study, students perform during a Renaissance Faire to share the information they've acquired. To prepare for the faire, all of the core classes are blocked together, and teams of students write scripts, create costumes, design scenery, and become people from the time period. Parents are invited to attend the Renaissance Faire. Students dress in Medieval costumes and display their scenery. Students present the information researched as if they were in that time period.

Parents and friends get to take a stroll through the Faire, visiting such booths as the Knights, Artists, Scientists, Mathematicians, Vikings, Tower of London, and many more characters depicting this time in history. All the content areas are displayed, as they were all part of an integrated, thematic unit reflecting the Renaissance time period. This is a wonderful time for students and parents to see the past come to life in a very realistic way!

Curriculum Overview:

Social Studies

This is the anchor subject for the unit. Much of the background is built in this subject, and the majority of the research is completed here. The teacher first utilizes the text and videos to set the stage and build background for the time period. Students are then assigned to an expert group and complete research to learn about their topic. They use the Internet, CD ROMS, and reference books to collect their research.

Language Arts

Students read novels set in the time period to gather more information. They also read anthology selections.


Students research scientists from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.


Students research mathematicians from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.


Students learn about music and instruments from Medieval Times. They also learn and perform songs from the time period during the Renaissance Faire.


Students learn about art of the time period. They create their own shields, stained glass, and mosaics. Students, of course, are also very artistic and creative as they design their scenery reflective of the time period.


Students are introduced to games and recreational activities of the time period, including archery, gymnastics, chess, among others.

All Classes:

(blocked schedule during last 2 weeks)

Students use their research to write their scripts. They research, design and create their costumes and backdrops for the faire. Students are assessed using predetermined criteria/rubric.

Examples of topics include the following: