Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Italy in the Renaissance {1350-1500}

coloring pages, maps and worksheets all from Homeschool Journey's History Portfolios

When I think of the Renaissance, the first thing that comes to my mind is Italy. We have already been studying many of the Italian artists from this period, Bottocelli, DaVinci and Raphael, and we will be looking at some more of them. Italy at this time was a group of city-states individually ruled by either dukes or families who had become rich from trade and commerce in the late Middle Ages. The most powerful family of the time was the Medici family of Florence. As well as being clever statesmen and bankers, they were patrons of the arts -writing, art, philosophy and science. It is for this reason that the growth of art during the Renaissance began in Italy. The Medici's also helped to make the form of Italian spoken in Florence to be the standard for all of Italy, uniting this country. The Sforzas family was another powerful family that ruled Milan. People traveled to Italy to learn these new ideas that were being fostered there and took them back to other parts of Europe.

Galileo, (1564-1642) was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher, who played a major role in the growth of Science during the Renaissance. He made improvements to telescope and made many astronomical observations with it, supporting Copernicanism. We have studied Gallileo, using a Gallileoscope, looking at Gallileo's notebooks, noticing the movements of Jupiter's moons, and coloring pictures of them.

We had a snack of Oreos showing moon phases, that I had seen at Almost Unschoolers

and colored pictures of the moon's phases.

Another great activity is to follow the moon phases on a calendar with circle stickers
like at What Do We Do All Day?
We identified the location of concave and convex lenses on a picture of a telescope.

We learned about how our Galileo's Thermometer works, which is all about density.

Niccolo Machiavelli, (1469-1527) who lived in Florence, wrote a book called The Prince. It is dedicated to Lorenzo Di Piero De Medici.  Machiavelli outlines how a ruler should behave in his or her role over their people. He argues that the ruler needs to act with the end goal in view while using any means necessary to achieve that goal. Some of the issues he brought up that there are, according to him, only two types of government: republics and princedoms, how a prince should behave if he takes over a republic, that a prince can be either miserly or economically liberal, that a prince should keep his promises only when it is convenient,  and that only a very few people should be allowed to speak freely with criticism of the prince or with advice to the prince. These are all subjects for debate, of course. We learned the meaning of the adjective Machiavellian.


  1. Jon is wanting to know if he could use this for his science experiment this week. Q - How many oreos would it take to get the moon phases just right. H - Probably most of the bag - we hope. Experiment - Try every day for a week. Chart results.

    We'll let ya know how we do. ha.

  2. I love the idea of using Oreo Cookies to show the moon phases, yummy too. Thank you for linking up this week.

  3. I absolutely love the idea of the oreos and moon phases! Perfect!! Love Angie's comment at top. We may try that version...


  4. Any lesson the incorporates Oreos is going to be a hit! Thanks for sharing all these great ideas and for providing links where appropriate - it's so very helpful and inspiring!

  5. We are so doing the phases of the moon that way!!


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