Early Renaissance: The Medici Family and Renaissance Art Notebook Pages

Early Renaissance Worksheet Packet

The past few weeks we started learning about the early Renaissance period. Last semester we studied the Middle Ages. We finished in the 1300s with the Black Plague and Hundred Years War.  In January, we started Suzanne Strauss Art’s book, The Story of the Renaissance, (affiliate link) which we are using as our spine for the Renaissance and Reformation.

Story-of-the-RenaissanceIt started with a section on the medieval scholars — Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio (which we didn’t get to last semester before the holidays arrived).  The kids filled out this notebook page which is free if you can use it:

Medieval Scholars: Dante Petrarch Boccaccio Worksheet


We then read Dante’s Divine Comedy: As Told for Young People (affiliate link) aloud together. The kids really were fascinated by this book (and would beg for me to read more!)… Some parts were better suited for middle school students because as you probably know, Dante was describing the punishments given to various people as Dante and his guide, Virgil, descend through the various layers of Hell. Since his work had such a profound impact on later Renaissance artists and scholars, I was really glad we read it. It sparked some really good conversations for our family.  This version was great for the ages of my kids (12, 10) as a read aloud.

 Dante-Divine-ComedyFrom there we went on to read about the Italian city-states.  The book we are using does not have color photos, so I put together a packet to highlight some of the amazing works of architecture and art from this period we were learning about.  We looked at pictures from the major Italian city-states of Milan, Florence, Venice and the Papal States:

Italian-city-states-Renaissance-periodThen came the really fun, fascinating material… the Medici family! We learned about Giovanni, his son Cosimo, and grandson Lorenzo de’ Medici. Their powerful bank brought the family great wealth and their family became important patrons of the arts.  We learned about many of the key artists of the Early Italian Renaissance: Donatello,  Ghiberti,  Brunelleschi, Masaccio and Botticelli. We have also started to talk about Michelangelo and Leonardo daVinci, though I’ll share more about these two artists in the next post.

Medici-and-Renaissance-Art-WorksheetsThe history book we’re using, The Story of the Renaissance (affiliate link), did a really great job explaining the close relationship between the Medici and the artists they commissioned.  After reading those sections in the book and talking about the art (and filling out the notebook pages you see above), we spent several days watching the documentary, Empires – The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, (affiliate link). Wow! That was a really great series (there were 4 episodes).  These did a fabulous job explaining how the Medici family influenced the events of early Renaissance period.  Events were re-enacted. If you have a younger/sensitive child you will probably want to preview this series. My 10 and 12 year old were fine, but my 8 year old turned her head at some of the scenes.  This is also available from Amazon streaming here: The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (affiliate link), so you can watch it free if you have Amazon Prime.


If you are interested, you can download our Renaissance Notebook Pages here. These are currently free!

Early Italian Renaissance: Medici Family and Renaissance Art

Remember, the medieval scholars worksheet above is a separate file.


Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

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