Procedure for class discussion/written response applying characteristics of Renaissance

Briefly remind students about the class discussion on art imitating life. Explain that if this statement is true, it should be possible to find examples of the Renaissance characteristics you included in the class graphic organizer in artwork from the Renaissance.

(See student page for this activity)

Have students analyze the Renaissance painting School of Athens by Raphael. Students will describe evidence of each Renaissance characteristic as it appears in the painting. If your class needs extra guidance, begin the analysis of this painting on a projector or interactive whiteboard before asking them to complete it.

Characteristics - and possible responses
For this example, which you can share:

Humanism - The painting shows a school in Ancient Greece, not a Church-run university. Students would be studying the humanities here.

Individualism - You can see each individual represented in a unique way; no two figures look alike. There are different teachers/students teaching/learning different things.

Classicism - Here's a hint: Plato and Aristotle are pictured at center along with many other Greek philosophers and Renaissance artists. The painting honors the ancient Greek tradition of philosophy and learning

Secularism - The subject of painting is a school, not religion, the Bible, or God

Does this painting look realistic? Why or why not?

(Note: the figures look like real people, the use of depth, perspective, and shading makes the scene looks realistic)

Procedure for class discussion/written response applying characteristics of Renaissance
Alternate, student-centered option:
(See student page for this activity)

Have students write their commentary on Raphael's painting on the class wiki page assigned to their group. Then have them locate other images (as many as you require), annotating their Renaissance characteristics. If technology is not available for this task, have them create posters or written pages to collect their examples (color copies they make for homework from library books or the web) with accompanying, written explanations. REQUIRE a bibliography! Note: Differentiate this task by assigning specific characteristics to each group and by pairing students carefully to promote success. You could also provide the actual artworks for some groups:

"Find an example that shows Individualism." or "Your group must find an example that shows Secularism." "Your group should find paintings that show more than one characteristic." "Find Classicism in this painting."

Online "Renaissance or not" quiz

Reflection and conclusion