Renaissance introduces students to one of the most famous periods in western history. In this lesson, students will learn about well-known historical figures like the poet Dante and William Shakespeare. They will discover several incredible inventions of the time as well.

Students will also get a glimpse into some of the events that led to the Renaissance and ideas that came out of it. They will learn about the Dark Ages and about Black Death. By the end, they will see how modern society has been greatly influenced by this time period. You can use the “Options for Lesson” section for more ideas or alternatives for this lesson.

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What our Renaissance lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Renaissance introduces students to this famous Italian period that influenced civilization and modern times. It describes several historical figures, inventions, ideas, and other concepts that flourished from the 14th through 17th centuries. Students will learn about the idea of rebirth and why this period occurred in the first place. The period followed a lot of disorder and disaster from the Middle Ages. By the end of the lesson, students will have a firm understanding of this remarkable time in history.

There are five content pages in this lesson that detail many interesting facts about the Renaissance period. The lesson first describes what it is and why it’s important. This period included a lot of change in many key areas of life, such as political, social, economic, and cultural. It also included dramatic change in art, literature, Christianity, and more. People believed these things were “lost” during the Dark Ages. Students will learn how many Italian cities survived the Middle Ages, like Florence and Rome, and prospered greatly. They will learn why this fact made the Italian Renaissance possible.

The lesson continues to describe the people who lived at this time and how their contributions have affected modern society. For instance, students will discover that Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press in the early 1440s. His development helped spread knowledge all across the world. They will learn about Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, two of the most famous art figures in all of history. Additionally, students will learn about many of the ideas and events that occurred during this period.


You will divide your students into groups for the activity portion of the lesson. There are five questions on the worksheet, each with a space for students to write their answers. The students will discuss each question with their group. However, each student will write their own answers in the space.


The practice worksheet splits into two sections. The first section requires students to match terms with their definitions. There is a total of 10 definitions. The second section requires students to match a description to the correct person that it describes. There are only seven people in the word bank, so students will use some people for multiple descriptions.


The lesson also splits the homework into two sections. The first section contains 15 questions relating to the material students learned in the lesson. After answering those questions, they will complete the next section. The second section contains more descriptions, similar to the practice worksheet. There are seven people in the word bank, but there are only seven descriptions. Students will only use each person once.

Additional information


4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Social Studies

State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, LB.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.3

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.