Renaissance/Reformation/Exploration (Webquest!)

Overview / Introduction / Questions / Process / Resources / Evaluation / Conclusion  


Your assignment will be to research a Renaissance topic from the list in the Essential Quest(ions) and the Task section, and to develop a project celebrating the most amazing time period in our history.  This site will give information about your topic and also link you to other Internet sites related to that topic.  Your project will be created with the purpose of presenting the final product to the class. During the WebQuest we will be addressing NC Standard Course of Study

  • Objective 3.03: Trace social, political, economic, and cultural changes associate with the Renaissance Reformation, the rise of nation-state, and absolutism.
  • Examining and understanding major ideas, eras, themes, developments, turning points, chronology, and cause-effect relationships in world history
  • Understanding the origin and impact of ideas and technological developments on history


The word “Renaissance” is French for “rebirth”.  It is a good period of revival of the interest in the value and arts of Greece and Rome during the early 14th century to the late 16th century.  this time span and activities during that span led to the golden age of cultural blending and innovation.  Because of the Renaissance Western European life was forever changed. Importance of the religious view that was prevalent during previous periods in history changed to a much more worldly outlook of world views during the Renaissance.  The intellects who came out of the Renaissance had a growing belief in individual human spirit and abilities.  “Humanism” is that focus on the worth of the individual.

Essential Quest(ions) and the Task

Questions: As you work on your chosen project, be sure to think about the following questions and make the answers evident in your work and your presentation:


  • What was the Renaissance all about?
  • How did the development of the printing press affect civilization in general, and the lives of people specifically?
  • How were the lives of people living during the Renaissance  similar to our lives today?  How were their lives different?
  • What impact did Europeans domination have on various regions and the world?
  • How did the change that took place in sciences, the arts, politics, religion, technology, and education accelerate global political and economics expansion?
  • How did politics, economics, and geographic and social implications affect cultural expansion during this period?
  • How are societies altered by the change from rural to urban society?
  • What effect did the new political and economic ideas have?
  • What were stem of the advances in technology, education, literature and the arts?
  • How did religion change during this period?  what effects has this had on world religion as we known it today



  • What was the Reformation all about?
  • Where did the Protestant Reformation originate?
  • What were the goals and beliefs of the Protestant Reformation?
  • What impact did the Protestant Reformation have on political and social aspects of European life?
  • How were the lives of people living during the Reformation similar to our lives today?  How were their lives different?
  • Who were the key reformers during the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter Reformation?
  • What roles did secular rulers like Henry VII and Elizabeth I of England, and Charles V of Spain play in the reformation?
  • How did religious reform lead to conflict?
  • Trace the development of Protestantism and its bread down to numerous denominations starting with Early Christian Church.



  • Explain what lead to European exploration and what were their goals?
  • Who were the main characters that were involved in the Exploration process.
  • How did early European exploration and colonization result in cultural and ecological interactions among previously unconnected peoples?
  • How did exploration reveal the true nature of the Earth’s land and water forms?
  • Identify the effects of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
  • Identify the causes of African slavery.
  • Trace the spread of slavery throughout the Americas
  • Explain the triangular trade
  • Describe the life of enslaved Africans in the Colonies.

TASK:  You will take notes on your research and then choose one of the follow projects to show your finding in detail:  (If you have ideas for other projects, check with me for an “okay”)

You will work alone to complete the project.  After you have finished your individual research, you will decide on one of the following projects to work on:

AS A CLASS!    Create a “museum” exhibition model which shows pictures, representations of art, literature, inventions, or any other artifacts that represent the Renaissance.  There must be a minimum of 25 items in the exhibit, and each must be clearly labeled and identified in detail.  This could be done in the form of a PowerPoint presentation instead of a model.  The presentation, whether model or PowerPoint, must be accompanied by an essay which shows how the items were developed and used, who used them, and a background on the history and origin of each item. Lay out your exhibit so that you are the tour guide taking the class from room to room and exhibit to exhibit.

  1. ♦        Assume the role of a woman living during the Renaissance.  Write a 30-day diary depicting your life during this era.  Cite daily events in your life as well as how changes around you affect your life specifically and in general.  (This project can be one diary collaborated on by both members of the team).  The diary must be in the form of an original book with front and back covers. Dates must appear at the beginning of each diary entry. (There are books in the library about women in the Renaissance)
  2. ♦        Assume the role of a leader in the Catholic Church who is corresponding with another leader in the Church.  Discuss events that are affecting changes in the Church from the standpoint of religion itself and from the political aspects of the Church.  Your partner must respond to your letters.  Make sure that anything you put in the letters is based on facts you can back up. There must be a minimum of 20 letters, 10 from each person.
  3. ♦      Create a 6-page (cover and back cover do not count as pages) booklet in Publisher about the life of one major author, artist or scientist of the era and how that person contributed to changes during the Renaissance.  In your presentation of the PowerPoint, include examples or excerpts from whomever you choose.  Both people in the group must contribute equally in selecting your information pre-writing, editing, and contributing to the final PowerPoint and presentation. Should you choose to make the booklet, it must NOT resemble a research report, but must contain interesting pictures and be written as a biography. (story about a person)
  4. ♦     Create a 12-page PowerPoint presentation about a major person responsible for some part(s) of the Reformation and how that person impacted the religious life throughout Europe. Include information about his/her religion of origin, the resulting religious group, and where his/her work mainly took place.  How was history influenced by the outcome?  Select your information pre-writing, editing your information carefully, selecting appropriate slide backgrounds and sounds, and contributing to the final copy. The presentation should consist of at least 10 slides in the main body plus a title slide (including your name) as well as a final slide showing your resources, both book and internet sites.
  5. Compare and Contrast the beliefs and development of the Catholic Faith and Protestantism
  6. ♦     Creat a Motion Pictures using Movie Maker about an important figure during the Renaissance, Reformation, Exploration.  You must include Pictures, Background Music that is accurate with the time period, and important events
  7. [Exploartion] Claim new lands for your country!   Find your fortune!   Become famous! The world is calling to you for exploration.  Join a chartered ship to discover the wonders of the sea.  It is your calling to become a member of an exploration.  You will participate in research by:      mapping the route your explorer sails; interviewing the local in the new land; creating a newspaper describing events; creating a biography of explorer; analyzing technology avaiable and compare to current; writing letters to sponsor describing trip and accomplishments; creating a time line of your exploer’s life and accomplishments; keeping a log of the ; describing local foods; down loading images from the internet, or determine in yoru opinion if the journey is a success.


    **Note:  While you are in the first phase of planning your project, use Inspiration to map out what information you want to present.  If you choose not to use Inspiration, draw a concept map or outline to show your planning process.


    Day One, Two, and Three: GATHERING INFORMATION Take notes one your research, always looking for answer to the questions you must answer.  Take note of the impact being made by the events in the Renaissance.  Be sure to get copies of art, diagrams, books, summaries of ideas, etc.  that reflect the time period.  You will be using library reference books, biographies and the Internet to get your information.  Be sure to use books as well as the computer.  Reference links are contained in this WebQuest under “Resources”.

    Day Four: PROJECT PLANNING (Use concept mapping to assist you here) Design a project presentation that specifically:

    • explains the major contributions of this subject area and answers the essential questions
    • describe the impact that the subject had one the world
    • Uses at least 5 sources in your resource list:  At least two must be from books.  (Do not list dictionaries and Google as resources.  Reference books and internet sites with specific information on subjects areas are.)
    • Includes a title slide or page with the name of the WebQuest, the topic you are working on, your names, as well as World History and teacher’s name.  (example of topic:  Letters from Leaders in the Catholic Church)

    Days Five and Six: ORGANIZING (Use concept mapping here as well)

    • Put all of your notes into a logical sequence to help develop your project ideas
    • Gathering pictures, graphics, artifacts or whatever items you will include in your project
    • Plan how your project will take shape and be presented


    • write your final paper(s) to be included in the project
    • create you final project using all collected data and items
    • Decide and plan for costumes, proper and presentation techniques you will use on presentation day


    • You will present your final project for the class during regular class time.
    • Final evaluations, class evaluations, and self-evaluations will be done at this time


    You may use the hotlist I have included below to find links to information you need for your project as well as resource books in the library.  Also be sure to use computer software available to you in order to create layouts, PowerPoint, documents, time lines, etc.  Do not forget that Encyclopedias are valuable resources for finding specific information





    (More Links will be posted SOON!)


    After all presentations have been made and discussed, you will write answers to these questions:

    1. What did you learn from other groups that your group did not find?
    2. How was religion changed during the Renaissance?
    3. What are their major events, developments, or advances that happened in Europe during the Renaissance?
    4. How were European politics affected because of developments during the Renaissance?
    5. What great impact did the invention of the printing press have on history in general and education and religion specifically?
    6. Were you stimulated to find out more about any aspect of the Renaissance than this assignment required?
    7. Did questions come up in your research, or in putting your information together, that made it easier or more difficult to put your project into its final form?
    8. What did you find most satisfying in preparing and presenting this project to the class?

      Each person will use the rubric below on other group’s presentations to compare information.  Each student will then fill out a rubric for each presentation.  Finally, the class will discuss what has been learned.  


    Renaissance WebQuest:  

    Presentation Rubric Student

    Name: ____________________


    CATEGORY 4 Exemplary 3 Accomplished 2 Developing 1 Beginning


    Presentation shows considerable originality and inventiveness. The content and ideas are presented in a unique and interesting way.

    Presentation shows some originality and inventiveness. The content and ideas are presented in an interesting way.

    Presentation shows an attempt at originality and inventiveness on 1-2 cards.

    Presentation is a rehash of other people’s ideas and/or graphics and shows very little attempt at original thought.

    Content – Accuracy

    All content throughout the presentation is accurate. There are no factual errors.

    Most of the content is accurate but there is one piece of information that might be inaccurate.

    The content is generally accurate, but one piece of information is clearly flawed or inaccurate.

    Content is typically confusing or contains more than one factual error.

    Sequencing of Information

    Information is organized in a clear, logical way. It is easy to anticipate the type of material that might be on the next card.

    Most information is organized in a clear, logical way. One card or item of information seems out of place.

    Some information is logically sequenced. An occassional card or item of information seems out of place.

    There is no clear plan for the organization of information.

    Use of Graphics, Drawings, Appropriate Special Effects, etc.

    All graphics are attractive (size and colors) and support the theme/content of the presentation.

    A few graphics are not attractive but all support the theme/content of the presentation.

    All graphics are attractive but a few do not seem to support the theme/content of the presentation.

    Several graphics are unattractive AND detract from the content of the presentation.


    Project includes all material needed to gain a comfortable understanding of the topic. It is a highly effective study guide.

    Project includes most material needed to gain a comfortable understanding of the material but is lacking one or two key elements. It is an adequate study guide.

    Project is missing more than two key elements. It would make an incomplete study guide.

    Project is lacking several key elements and has inaccuracies that make it a poor study guide.

      Points:                             ______                          ______                            ______                       ______  

    Final Score: _____


    Congratulations!  You have completed your studies of the Renaissance, and have successfully presented your projects.  Creating and sharing your project has hopefully given you a clearer understanding of life during the important times in our history known as the Renaissance.

    • Looking back on your preparation and final project, what might you have done differently?
    • If given the opportunity to do this project over, would you still chose the same type of project, or do you think you could have done another project more effectively?
    • After seeing other student’s projects,, was there one that stimulated your imagination enough to investigate a different aspect of the Renaissance?
    • Are you now able to more effectively see comparisons and contrast between life in the Renaissance and today’s world?

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