The Renaissance

History Games and Worksheets

Please note: It is recommended that you end this unit with the whole-school, cross-curricular "Renaissance Day" which is outlined in detail here.

A. Introduction and Overview: What was the Renaissance?

1. Escape Room: "Mission: Galileo 1610"
"It is 1610. the Renaissance ('Rebirth') of arts and sciences has transformed Europe. You are students of the great scientist galileo in Padua, Italy. You have all been put in jail by the church for insisting that the earth goes round the sun! You will all taken away to be executed in 45 minutes - unless you can find the key to escape! The location of the key is provided in the coded message in the middle of the room".

2. What was the Renaissance?
An introductory worksheet to get students thinking about Renaissance changes the arts and the sciences.

3. Time Machine Journey to Renaissance Florence

Students should then play this major decision-making game designed to teach students about the key events, characters and concepts of the period. Each student should choose one of the following three worksheets to complete:
a. Who were the main figures of the Renaissance? [easiest]
b. Why did the Renaissance happen? [medium difficulty]
c. How are the main figures of the Renaissance connected? [most challenging]
In addition, ALL students should aim to complete this worksheet, which could form the basis of a factual test.
d. Key words, dates, people, places.
Renaissance Florence - Adventure Game

B. Why did the Renaissance Happen?

1. The Siege of Constantinople
a. Introductory Worksheet
b. Main Task: Interactive Running Dictation Exercise
c. Additional Materials: Pictures of the Siege
Perhaps the main reason why the Renaissance took off in Italy - this activity gets the narrative across in an engaging way. Students are given an interactive "news feed" of events, then can choose to produce EITHER a biased news report in Publisher OR a radio broadcast using their microphone OR a television newsflash using Moviemaker. Each of these tasks is progressively more challenging and they can be graded accordingly. Some examples of videos produced by my own students at the International School of Toulouse can be found here:Laura.

C. Who was the most important person of the Renaissance?

1. Individual Research Task, Wiki Project and Balloon Debate
A detailed lesson plan. A class list is put into the Fruit Machine Name Picker at to choose the Renaissance character each student should produce a research project on. This project will be written in the first person to ensure that the student reads the information, under three clear headings. This is then placed onto a Wiki (see the example my students have produced here). The class then has a balloon debate (instructions provided) to determine who the most important person overall. An alternative approach is to use this website and worksheet - which is simpler and quicker, although less engaging perhaps for the students.

2. End of Unit Essay Assessment
Following directly on from the classroom debate, students then write an essay. This worksheet contains detailed instructions on how to link the characters together rather than simply focusing on what each one individually contributed. A clear markscheme is also provided; I get each student to mark 4 different essays, then we collate all the marks and average out the score for each essay in a peer-assessment exercise.

D. Why did the Renaissance End?

1. The Sack Of Rome: A paper based running dictation exercise working on the same basis as the Siege of Constantinople exericse.

E. End of Unit Quizzes

The Era of the Renaissance - Fling the Teacher Quiz. With 45 possible questions

KeyWord Challenge - The Renaissance
If you are unfamiliar with the format of the game, click here for instructions.


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