The Renaissance: A 6th Grade Interdisciplinary Unit

OUTCOME: Using knowledge and skills developed in the study of the Renaissance, students will produce a written product and/or an oral, visual, or dramatic presentation.


Guiding Questions What is the meaning of the Renaissance? What were the developments of the Renaissance period? Why did the Renaissance occur? What is the legacy of the Renaissance?
Knowledge What is the etymology of Renaissance? What does rebirth mean?
  • What are the dates of the Renaissance?
  • What was the period before the Renaissance?
  1. List several major instruments that were invented during the Renaissance.
  2. Identify musical forms that were developed during the Renaissance.
  3. What musical textures were developed during the Renaissance?
hat are the enduring traits of the Renaissance?


Explain in your own words the meaning of Renaissance.

Summarize the distinctions of the Renaissance period.

  1. Explain how these instruments evolved.
  2. Summarize the story of Aïda.
  3. Explain polyphony in your own words.

In your own words describe contemporary Renaissance qualities.


Relate Renaissance characteristics to a contemporary circumstance.

Compare and contrast the Medieval & Renaissance periods.

  1. Construct a musical instrument.
  2. What would you do if you were at _____ in the opera Aïda?
  3. Sing and/or line draw a round (polyphony).

Solve a current problem using Renaissance characteristics.


Compare a present occurrence with one of the Renaissance period.

Imagine what historical period will evolve next.

  1. Compare and contrast your instrument with an instrument of the Renaissance.
  2. Compare and contrast the story of Aïda & West Side Story.&
  3. Compare and contrast monophonic, homophonic, and polyphonic textures.

Compare and contrast the process of music printing on the printing press and the computer.


Choose a period in history that Renaissance qualifies best to apply.

Argue which historical period would be the "best of times."

  1. Compose a musical piece using your newly created instruments.
  2. Write a short story as a basis for an opera.
  3. Compose a 4 measure melody that can be sung in a round.

reate musical symbols to depict your "musique concrete."


Choose a period in history that Renaissance qualities best apply.

  1. Evaluate your new compositions.
  2. Assess your short stories.
  3. Decide which newly composed melody sounds "good" as a round.

Evaluate your compositions.  Do your symbols work?  Why, why not?

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