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Category: Social Studies 8

The Great Artists – Renaissance

The Great Artists – Renaissance

Middle Ages vs Renaissance Art

In the middle ages, art was mostly focused on religious themes – scenes from the Bible and depictions of Jesus and saints. In the Renaissance there was a shift from religious themes to art that depicted everyday life.

Visually, there were many differences between Middle Age and Renaissance art. In the Middle Ages, artists were unable to bring paintings to life and make them appear realistic – they had a flat, 2 dimensional appearance. This is because the concepts of proportion and perspective had not yet been developed.


In the 13th-14th century, a Florentine artist, Giotto di Bondone, developed the rule of proportion in painting. Proportion means that everything in a painting is to scale – people are the right size compared to other objects in a painting.


In 1415, Filippo Brunelleschi created the first known perspective drawing/painting. Perspective allows artists to add depth to a picture, giving the appearance of distance on a flat surface.

Renaissance Artists: Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was the ideal Renaissance Man – he was a skilled artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist. While training as an apprentice, he became unusually observant of the natural world. da Vinci learned about the natural world through direct observation and experiment. Leonardo da Vinci is credited with being the first to design a helicopter, tank, and a flying machine.

He planned to write a complete textbook on human anatomy, but never finished. All of his notebooks survived and are filled with detailed notes and drawings. However, da Vinci was an eccentric and wrote all of his notes backwards to prevent people from reading his notebooks.

Video on Leonardo:


Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonaroti Simoni was born in 1475. He was first a sculptor but he is most famous for his fresco paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. A fresco is a type of painting done on fresh plaster placed on walls and ceilings.

Michelangelo began his apprenticeship at the age of 13. By 25, Michelangelo had made a name for himself as a tallented sculptor. Some of his famous works include the Pieta (1499) and the David (1504).

Video on Michelangelo:

Renaissance Thought – Humanism

Unlike medieval artists, Renaissance artists were humanists – people concerned with the goals of
human beings, not spiritual matters (hence the name, “humanism”)


The Bubonic Plague Webquest

The Bubonic Plague Webquest

The Plague WebQuest

In this activity you will explore the origins of the Black Death and how it spread, the symptoms of the plague, treatments offered during the Late Middle Ages, and the overall impacts of the Black Death on Europe.

Before you get started, open a new Word document. You will record your responses to each of the activities below on your Word doc. when you are finished, submit your document on your BLOG and call it The Plague Webquest (click on Add Media to upload the word document).

Part 1 – What is a “Plague”?

Go to the CDC  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external and answer these questions:

1) What is the plague? Write a definition for this disease in your own words.

2) How do you get infected with the plague virus? Write a description of the ways you can be infected, in your own words.

Part 2 – Where did it start?

Go to this PBS  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external and answer this question:

1) Where did the plague start and how/where did it spread? Write out the locations the plague spread to in chronological order.

Part 3 – Reactions to the Plague

Go to Eyewitness  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.History and read the third paragraph (Varying reactions to the disaster) then, answer this question:

1) Make a list of the different ways people of the Middle Ages reacted to news of the plague. Aim for 3-4 different reactions.

Part 4 – Symptoms and Treatment

Go to this page to read about symptoms (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and this page to read about treatments  (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.of the plague, then answer these questions:

1) Summarize the symptoms of the plague by identifying the four types of plague and their associated symptoms.

2) Summarize the treatments available during the Middle Ages- how successful do you think these treatments were?

Part 5 – Reducing the Threat

Three ways to reduce the threat of plague are: sanitation, insecticide, and antibiotics. Unfortunately, people in the Middle Ages did not have these luxuries. People didn’t know what caused the plague or how to properly treat it and Doctors had to try very hard not to become infected themselves.  How did Doctors protect themselves?  Did it work?

Part 6

STOP and UPLOAD the WORD DOCUMENT TO YOUR BLOG.  Answer the following question as closure or exit slip to this activity on your BLOG!

Why study the Plague?


Watch this TedEd video, then write a response on your Blog.  Why is it important for us to study the causes and impacts of diseases that happened in the past?


Other videos if you are interesting in the Science behind it.


Quarter 2 Mid Quarter Report Cards

Quarter 2 Mid Quarter Report Cards

Mid Quarter assignments are as follows and will be part of the report (all assignments were completed by Dec 4th )

a)  Fall of Rome Reading for Comprehension and Synthesizing Information

b)  Gallery Walk and Presentation of Time Capsule

c) Time Capsule Assignment (Significance)

d) Quest for Ancient Civilizations

e)  Ancient Civilization Unit Project/Test (included a presentation to a small group of peers) Historical Significance, Evidence, Cause and Consequence, Communication and Research were all explored

f) Blog completion of activities and start up



We started our Inquiry Projects.  Here is our Timeline and you are encouraged to work on it at home!  We have our Gallery Walk/Presentations on November 9th.

October 16th – Finalized our Topics and Big Question (posted in Teams)

October 19th– First Week of Research .  You should now have 4 additional questions that you are using to help answer the Big Question.  Question 1 and 2 you are finding research on this week.  Use MS Word to organize your notes and don’t forget to have citefast ready!



This week we’ve started our research for our inquiry projects! My key question is How did Paper Spread from China all around the world?  So far, I’ve researched for my first two sub questions: “How and why was paper invented?” and “How did the creation of paper affect other inventions?”. This week I’ve learned about how paper was made and it’s materials. It was a a cheaper alternative to silk, and was made during the Han Dynasty. I also found out some things about the invention of printing, books, kites and paper money.

I had trouble with identifying key information so that I didn’t use up too much room on my research paper, however this was a minor struggle.

I was surprised to find out that paper was made with things such as rags and fishnets, but it makes sense because those were some cheap materials that were available. The part about metal coins on strings being exchanged for a written deposit on paper also intrigued me because I thought that the coins were directly replaced by paper money, but they were actually these deposit papers first before becoming a national currency.

Next week, we will continue to  investigate the other questions.  I have uploaded a picture of my research notes/or my word document with research notes to Teams for this week.  I have added a few pictures in my Blog as well from my findings.



Please see Teams for updates and information. So far we have completed the following:

  1. Museum of Me
  2. Coat of Arms
  3. Blog
  4. Viking Ad
  5. Ancient Civilization Mini Project

All of the above will be part of the Mid Quarter 1 assessment.