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Mitch Lopate


Language Arts, Social Studies  




Mitch Lopate

EDU 557.31

Lesson Plan 3 – Grade 8

Topic:  Timelines

Subjects:  Writing, History, English, Art, Science

Type of Lesson:  Evaluation


1.      To familiarize students with the use of a timeline as a learning tool.

2.      To have students suggest and identify important points of the Renaissance.

3.      To have students create a written chronology of significant events during the Renaissance.

4.      To provide a creative vehicle for students to demonstrate their notes and research on the Renaissance.

5.      To review and describe the Learning part of the KWL method as it applies to the events discussed on the Renaissance.

6.      To promote and encourage cooperative learning groups.


Lesson Objectives:

1.      Following a class discussion and review of previous videos and notes, students will be able to identify important events of the Renaissance with 100% accuracy.  (Cognitive Knowledge).

2.      After analyzing a handout example of a timeline and evaluating key features, students will create a graphic organizer to distinguish with 100% accuracy,  primary facts of the Renaissance on history/politics, literature/theater, arts/music, and science/technology.   Cognitive:  Application/Analysis/Synthesis).

3.      Students will interact in cooperative learning pairs to gather, compare and contrast information, and condense facts with 100% accuracy onto one timeline per group.  (Affective: Valuing/Organizing).

4.      Students will illustrate their timelines on a posterboard with 100% accuracy of their choices of significant circumstances of the Renaissance time period.

(Cognitive:  Synthesis/Application/Knowledge).



Pen/pencil, markers, rulers, notebooks, graphic organizer samples, posterboard, textbooks, overhead timeline samples, individual student KWL reference chart.


Lesson Introduction:

            The teacher will ask the class to use their KWL methods sheets from lesson one to review the cultural developments that led to social and creative advancement in the Renaissance.  Emphasis will be placed on inventions, craftsmanship and research in areas like masonry/building design, printing, scientific tools, mathematical computation, astronomy, mechanized technology, warfare, medicine and the healing arts, music/composition and instruments, painting/sculpture, and exploration. The teacher will ask the students if they are aware of a timeline and its use.  Portions of The Timetables of History will be viewed on overhead as an example.




Lesson Development: 

1.      The instructor will provide a guideline on overhead consisting of information the students have learned from notes, videos and class discussion on the Renaissance.  Specific references may include:


·        When did the Renaissance begin?  When did it end?

·        Where?  What other countries experienced it on a large scale?

·        When did humanism begin?  What was its significance?

·        Who pioneered realism?  How did it change philosophy and literature?

·        Who conducted research to advance humanity?:  (Galileo, Leeuwenhoek, Copernicus, Brahe, Kepler, Gutenberg, William Gilbert, William Harvey, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Vesalius, Descartes.) 

·        Who were women who influenced history?:  (Lucrezia Borgia, Catherine De Medici.)

·        Who were artisans that contributed?:  (Leonardo da Vinci,  Michelangelo,  Raphael, Boticelli, Brunelleschi.) 

·        Which thinkers altered social perspectives?: (Petrarch, Machiavelli  Thomas More, Erasmus, Martin Luther, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes,  Hugo Grotius, John Calvin.)

·        What literary authors gained fame?:  (Shakespeare, Bacon, Milton, Swift, de Cervantes, Montaigne.)


2.      The teacher will encourage the students to use other information and names that they find essential for their timeline.

3.      Students will pair off in groups with a partner with whom they have not previously worked.

4.      The teacher will show the overhead examples of The Timetables of History as a potential structure.  Groups will be asked to redesign their own historical Renaissance timeline on the posterboard using the provided material.


Lesson Closure:

1.      The teacher will discuss and compare web organizers and highlights with the class after they are handed in, and ask the class for additional input for selections and categories.

2.      The teacher will ask the class to discuss and evaluate their selections for their timelines.  What was their criteria for an event?  For an individual?

3.      The teacher will ask students for recommendations for a 20th century timeline.  What was their criteria for an event?  For an individual?  What other topics for inclusion could they recommend?



1.      Did the students include the proper information (facts or analyses) in their timeline?

2.      Did the students successfully complete a graphic organizer?

3.      Is the timeline clear, concise and organized?

4.      Did they provide enough information for each category? 

5.      Did they equally share in the research, production and design of the assignment?  Would they want to work again as a team?  What strategies would they change if they could repeat the process?  Which strategies were successful and could be shared with the class as a goal?


Lesson Follow-Up:

1.      Have students select two events or characters from their timeline and write a one-page essay on whom or what they feel would be modern contemporaries or parallel circumstances, and why.

2.      The teacher will ask students to give examples of how the events and people on their timelines have been realized through progress and development, to include our century and the present time.


Adaptations for Special Students:

            If students are hearing-impaired, they may have an aide or interpreter as needed.  Students may work in any area of the classroom with their partner, or visit the library with permission.  The computer will be available on a 10-minute basis per group during class time.  If the student is ESL-classified, he or she may use the resource room for assistance.


N.J. Core Standards:

1.3-Students will utilize art elements and art media to produce artistic products and performances.

3.3-All students will listen actively in a variety of situations to information from a variety of resources.

3.4-All students will write in a clear, concise, organized language that varies in content and form for different purpose and audiences.

3.5-All students will view, understand, and use nontextual information.

5.3-All students will develop an understanding of how people of various cultures have contributed to the advancement of science and technology, and how major discoveries and events have advanced science and technology.

6.4-All students will acquire historical understanding of societal ideas and forces throughout the history of New Jersey, the United States and the world.

6.5-All students will acquire historical understanding of varying cultures throughout the history of New Jersey, the United States, and the world.





Aston, Margaret.  (1996).  The Panorama of the Renaissance.  New York:  Harry N. Abrams.


Black, C.F., Greengrass, Mark, & Howarth, David.  (1993).  Cultural Atlas of the Renaissance.  New York: Macmillan General Reference


Boorstin, Daniel J.  (1983).  The Discoverers:  A History of Man’s Search to Know His World and Himself.  New York:  Random House.


Downs, Robert B.  (1961).  Famous Books Since 1492.  New York:  Barnes & Noble


Cornwell, Anne Christake & Damianakos, Alexander N.  (1993). The Renaissance/Audio Cassette (Western Civilization). University Press & Sound


Durant, Will.  (1953).  The Story of Civilization (Series V) – The Renaissance.

New York:  Simon and Shuster.


Durant, Ariel & Will.  (1968).  The Lessons of History.  New York:  Simon and Shuster.


Grun, Bernard.  (1975).  The Timetables of History.  New York:  Touchstone.


Jardine, Lisa.  (1996).  Worldly Goods:  A New History of the Renaissance.  New York:

Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Traditional).


May, Nadia (Narrator) & Pater, Walter.  (1995).  The Renaissance.  New York:

Blackstone Audio Books.


Thompson, Bard.  (1996). Humanists and Reformers : A History of the Renaissance

and Reformation.  New York: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Company.


Weber, Eugen.  (1995).  The Western Tradition:  From the Ancient World to Louis XIV.  Lexington, MA:  D. C. Heath and Company


Elizabeth I:  The Virgin Queen.  A&E Biography series

Henry VIII:  Scandals of a King.  A&E Biography series.

Leonardo da Vinci:  Renaissance Master.  A&E Biography series.

Lucrezia Borgia – Pretty Poison.  A&E Biography series.

Michelangelo – Artist & Man.  A&E Biography series.

Sir Isaac Newton:  The Gravity of Genius.  A&E Biography series.

Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting.  The Renaissance.  BBC WorldWide Americas.

William Shakespeare – Life of Drama.  A&E Biography series.

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