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Exploring the Renaissance:

A Webquest


Gail Skroback Hennessey

The Renaissance was a time from the 14th century through the 16th century, when historians say there was a great re-interest in learning. People began to question and come to their own conclusions about things around them and stopped believing just what was told to them. Ideas of the ancient Greeks and Romans were "rediscovered" during this time. A movement called "Humanism"began during the Renaissance,believing that people should be able to think freely, have curiosity and discuss thoughts with others.Astronomy, biology, math, botany(study of plant life) and the human body were studied. Just like the ancient Greeks and Romans, people during this time began to believe that laws were to be made by people and could be changed by people. People also thought that literature and art could be for enjoyment and not only for religious purposes. Use this webquest to learn more about some of the people that lived during the Renaissance.

1. The word, Renaissance comes from a French word meaning____________.The renaissance began in the of country _____________.Many of the crusaders returned to this country from the Holy Lands to cities such as Venice, Florence, Milan and Genoa. It was this country where Marco Polo returned from China and where he wrote his book about his travels to China. Trading from all the travelers that came to these cities made many people wealthy. Some used their money to support the arts hiring people like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo to create works of art. What invention helped to spread ideas and sparked the renaissance?____________________About how many years did the Renaissance last?___________ Find the answers at this link: Find the answers at this link:

2. The Chinese invented block printing where you inked a wooden block of carved words and made copies. In Europe, the only method for bookmaking was to copy it completely by hand(the term "manuscript"). Johannes Gutenberg(@1394 -1468) improved on the idea of block printing. Instead of wooden blocks, he used metal pieces that could be reused to create new words. He idea was called ___________________.Inking the type, the paper was pressed with a screw-type press similar to what wine makers used to squeeze grapes for their juice. The first book printed on Gutenberg's press was the __________,in 1452. The pages were edged in gold! Approximately 200 were printed with 21 still in existence today!Find the answers at this link:

3.Leonardo da Vinci(1452-1519) was an inventor, painter, sculptor and scientist. Born in the village of Vinci(from where he got his last name), da Vinci is considered one of the world's greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance. What was the term given to da Vinci which means "someone who is good at everything"?________________________What were two of his most famous paintings?______________________and ___________________.Da Vinci kept a notebook on his belt and whenever he saw something of interest or had an idea, he'd jot it down. To read his writings, one needed to place the page in front of a mirror. That's because he wrote his notes backwards! A flying machine, an alarm clock, diving suit, a helicopter and a parachute were some of his ideas. He also had a sketch of what looks like an automobile! Some people claim he also invented this popular way to get around.__________________. To help learn about the workings of the human body, da Vinci did something not allowed at the time, he dissected human bodies. To be caught,the punishment was death.What were three other animals which he had a strong interest in learning about?__________________________ Painter, scientist, inventor, which was da Vinci famous for while he was alive?___________________Find the answers at this link:

Extension Activities:

  1. Try writing backwards as DaVinci did.

  2. Pretend to be one of the people of the Renaissance highlighted in the webquest and write a day in your life. Include 4 facts learned.

  3. Draw the Mona Lisa or Pieta. Write 5 facts ,in complete sentence form, learned about the Renaissance.

    In the complete resource,there are 10 questions filled with lots of information. There are 14 extension activities, comprehension questions, resource links and an answer key.I really think you will find this resource of value!

    Check out the Renaissance Webquest/Extension Activities at my Teacher Store at TPT at this link:Gail's Teacher Store

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    Note: Illustration from: