Home School Life Journal

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

Middle School Renaissance and Early American History (grades 4-8)

source

The Renaissance

Lesson 1: Introduction to the Renaissance

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 202-203. Make notes of key words as you read.  Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook, describing who, what, when, why, how and where the Renaissance happened. How was this time a transition from medieval times to modern times. Was it a time of looking back, looking forward or both? Who were some of the important people to come out of the Renasissance? Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.
  • Begin reading Shakespeare, starting with A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Comedy of Errors, Timon of Athens and Pericles, Price of Troy. Retell the stories in your own words in your notebook.

Lesson 2: The Aztecs

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. (The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, or A Child’s History of the World by V.M. Hillyer are other options.) Make notes of key words as you read. 
  • Read the section on the Aztecs in Incans, Aztecs and Mayans by John Holtzman. Make notes of key words as you read. 
  • Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Renaissance History Portfolio, from Homeschool Journey or complete notebook pages using the templates from A Pilgrim's Heart, or complete the Aztec file folder book from That Artist Woman. 
  • Copywork: Once Europeans became aware of the American continents and Caribbean islands, they explored this New World. Spaniard Hernan Cortes captured the capital city of the Aztecs, which later became Mexico City. Spanish colonists followed the conquistadors. Many of the new settlers were obsessed with finding gold and other treasure. The legend of El Dorado described a kingdom full of gold. Although people searched for this land, they never found it. Include a picture of an Aztec warrior (instructions can be found at Deep Space Sparkle.) 

  • Complete a map of the area such as the one from Interactive 3D Maps: American History.
  • Read The King's Fifth, by Scott O' Dell. Make notes as you read as to the who, what, when, where and how things happen in the book. When you complete the book, write a one to 10 sentence summary of the novel. (Example: You could write one sentence such as: The King's Fifth is about Esteban de Sandoval a young Spanish mapmaker, who is part of an expedition to find gold in the New World and becames obsessed over the gold. Or, you could add more to this sentence, such as: When one of his companions, Father Fransisco, dies in the dessert, Esteban realizes that the love of gold was an evil influence and drops the bags of gold in a hot spring so not one could ever get to it. He was arrested and tried for withholding the king's fifth tax of the treasure. Everyone involved with the trial hopes to discover the gold's hiding place but Esteban is happy that no one will ever get to it.)  Make your assignments match the level of skill of your student. For older students, you can add additional one or two sentence answer essay questions such as: Compare and contrast Esteban and Mendoza at the beginning of the expedition.  Did Mendoza deserve what happened to him? Why or why not? How did Esteban change after Mendoza's death? Why was Esteban satisfied by the verdict of the trial?
  • Cartography: Make a map of your neighborhood using paper, a yardstick or tape measure and colored pencils.
  • Optional: Make a cup of Aztec Cocoa, recipe at Budget Bytes.cocoa, sugar, spices

Lesson 3: The Inca Empire

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 198-199. Make notes of key words as you read yna Capac, Huascar and Atahualpa. such as Sapa Inca, Pachacuti, Topa, Hua Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Label the Andes and the area controlled by the Incan Empire.
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline, such as when the Incan Empire was at its greatest and when the Spanish Conquistadors conquered the Incan Empire.

Lesson 3: The Reconquest of Spain

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 200-201. Make notes of key words as you read such as Ferdinand, Columbus, Isabella, Henry VII, Joannna the Mad, Catherine of Aragon, Charles V. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Draw the boundaries of the different countries that Spain was divided into before 1479. Label Portugal, France, Africa, the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea. Which areas were unified in 1479? What area was Muslim until 1492? 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline, such as the Reconquest of Muslim Spain by Christians, marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella and Spain united into one country. What other dates are important?

Lesson 4: Italy in the Renaissance

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 204-205. Make notes of key words as you read such as the Medici, Borgias and Sforzas families. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline. 
  • Read Shakespeare's plays that take place in Italy: Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter's Tale.

Lesson 5: European Explorers

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 206-207. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Include as many explorers as you can. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Trace the routes of each explorer in different colors, beginning at their starting points and ending where they completed their journeys.
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline, including each explorer you studied. 
  • Choose one explorer to research and make a more detailed report on. A suggestion is Sir Frances Drake, who is not covered in much detail in the Kingfisher spine.

Lesson 6: The Songhay Empire

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 208. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). As well as the Songhay Empire, include the Islamic Empire on your map.
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline

Lesson 7: Safavid Persia

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 209. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). After you have labeled the area of the Safavid Empire, look at a modern map and determine what countries now occupy this area.
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline

Lesson 8: Tudor England

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 210-211. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Include as many explorers as you can. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Make a page that shows Henry VIII's family tree.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Trace the routes of each explorer in different colors, beginning at their starting points and ending where they completed their journeys.
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline, including each explorer you studied. 
  • Read Shakespeare's King Lear and Cymberline, both of which take place in England. Retell in your own words and include this in your notebook.

Lesson 9: The Portuguese Empire

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 212-213. Make notes of key words as you read, including Henry the Navigator. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Show the route of the slave trade, and label the Spice Islands.
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline

Lesson 10: The Reformation

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 214-215. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Where did the main players in the Reformation come from?
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline

Lesson 11: The Ottoman Empire

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 216-217. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline

Lesson 12: India: Moguls

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 218-219. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Label Goa, Ganges, Bengal, Delhi, Kabul, Agra.
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline

Lesson 13: The Conquistadors and The Spanish Empire

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 220-221. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. Compare and contrast the Conquistadors and The Council of the Indies.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline

Lesson 14: The Hapsburgs

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 222. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline

Lesson 15: The Spanish Armada

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 223. Make notes of key words as you read, include who was fighting, why, where and the outcome. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Label Lisbon and Calais. Draw an arrows to illustrate what happened with the Spanish Armada.
  • Mark 1588 The Spanish Armada on your timeline

Lesson 16: French Wars of Religion

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 224-225. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. Desribe the Huguenot wars and the War of the Three Henrys.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline
  • Read Shakespeare's As You Like It and All's Well That Ends Well. Both take place in France. Retell the stories in your own words and include this in your notebook.

Lesson 17: Russia in the Renaissance

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 226-227. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. Ivan the Terrible was one of the most ruthless tyrants in history but is still seen as a hero by many in Russia. Why do you think this is so? Compare and contrast Ivan the Great and Ivan the Terrible.
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Mark the expansion of Russia up until 1613. Compare this to a modern day map of Russia. How has Russian grown? In what country is Kiev located today?
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline

Lesson 18: Dutch Independence

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 228-229. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Do Amsterdam and Antwerp still exist? What countries are they located in? Locate Belgium and Luxembourg.
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline

Lesson 19: North America in the Renaissance

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 230-231. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). Label the basic areas of Indian tribes and label with at least three tribe names found in each area.
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 20: Japan and China in the Renaissance

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 232-233. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook, including the Battle of Nagashino. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline. What Chinese Dynasty does this period cover?


Trade and Empire

Lesson 21: Japan in Isolation

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 22: The Stuarts

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 246-247. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 23: Early American Settlers

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 24: The Swedish Empire

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 25: The Thirty Years' War

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 26: France and Richelieu

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.
  • Read or watch The Three Musketeers.

Lesson 27: Decline of Spain

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 28: East India Companies

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 29: The Dutch Empire

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 30: English Civil War

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 31: China: The Qing Dynasty

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 32: The Sun King

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Read or watch The Man in the Iron Mask. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 33: Decline of Mogul India

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 34: The Ottoman Empire

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 35: The Age of Reason

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 36: Slavery and Pirates

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 37: African States

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 38: Ireland

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 39: Russian Expansion

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 40: The Great Northern War

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 41: The Spanish Succession

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.

Lesson 42: Colonial America

  • Read a history spine, such as Kingfisher History Encyclopedia p. 244-245. Make notes of key words as you read. Write a few sentences about what you have learned in your history notebook. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey. 
  • Color and label an appropriate map such as the one from History Odyssey, Pandia Press, Level 1 (1-4th grade), Level 2 (5th-8th grade). 
  • Mark significant dates on your timeline.
sources and resources:
  • Classical House of Learning Literature

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