7th Grade World Cultures and Geography Lessons: (4 Parts)
The Italian Renaissance
The students will be presented with a list of resources (textbook, handouts and primary source documents) which will give students the informational background necessary to determine the people, places and events that transpired during the Italian Renaissance.
As each class unfolds, whatever classroom assignments are incomplete will be done for homework.
The learning activity scenario would be for students to write the vocabulary words in their journals. The students will then put them aside and finish for homework. The teacher will review the vocabulary words as the unit progresses. The students will complete the vocabulary journals for homework based on the Marzano, Pickering and Pollock process. During the course of three to four class lessons, the students will read a handout entitled "Italian Renaissance." Teacher and students will read and underline the key figures who are involved. Then students will complete reading comprehension questions located on the handout. Next, students will read pages 301-304 in the World Cultures and Geography textbook and complete a Renaissance Accomplishments spider diagram. Students will then read a handout entitled "Scientific Thought: Renaissance". Students will then read a primary source document regarding the invention of the microscope and its effect on modern medicine. Last, students will then watch a video from www.unitedstreaming.com which will give them information regarding the Italian Renaissance and take notes on the video.
Today's world is a very small place, and we know a lot about the world in which we live and its inhabitants. However, this was not always the case. There was a time in history, when human beings only knew of the European continent and very little beyond that. This lack of knowledge was to change with the Age of Discovery. This Age of Discovery began in 1400, and it was to take us around the world, discovering new and exciting places. Back in 1400, travel was very difficult and dangerous. Most people could not read or write. There were few maps available to travelers and technology was not very advanced. All these factors added to the difficulty of traveling, and as a result people really only had knowledge of their own immediate area. However, some people did still manage to explore despite these obstacles! The Vikings went out to America and briefly lived there, and some merchants from Venice had managed to travel to China prior to 1400.
As a result of the European exploration of the "New World" many people began immigrating there for religious freedoms, political freedoms and economic opportunities.
The enormous European impact on the Americas is still obvious today in languages and cultures, as well as in religious and political beliefs
Age of Exploration: Spain
The Christian missionaries who accompanied the conquistadors and settlers established mission towns throughout the Spain's new world empire and played an important role in converting the Native Americans to Christianity as well as teaching them European methods of producing agriculture.
Age of Exploration: England
Spain and Portugal led the Age of Exploration. However, England came to dominate the continent of North America. During the settlement process, eighty percent of the people living in the original thirteen colonies along the east coast were from England. These original thirteen colonies became known as the United States of America in 1776 at the advent of the American Revolutionary War.
America was ultimately influenced by The "Columbian Exchange" a phrase coined by historian Alfred Crosby which describes the interchange of plants, animals, and diseases between the Old World and the Americas following Columbus's arrival in the Caribbean in 1492. For reasons beyond human control, rooted deep in the divergent evolutionary histories of the continents, the Columbian Exchange massively benefited the people of Europe and its colonies while bringing catastrophe to Native Americans.