The Middle Ages and the Renaissance Self Paced (Grades 7-12)

The Middle Ages and the Renaissance Self Paced (Grades 7-12)

Instructor: Dahlen

Length: 9 Weeks Self Paced

The Middle Ages and the Renaissance


Brandy Dahlen, MPhil University of Cambridge 2001

I have a master's degree in history from the University of Cambridge in the UK, and I love teaching history, literature, research, and writing!  I have been teaching history, writing, research, and literature courses, as well as ACT prep, for elementary, middle, high school, and university students for 17 years, with the last 7 years online.

Course Overview:

This course is a 9 week exploration of the Middle Ages in Europe, followed by the Renaissance.  In this course, we will look at social, political, and economic life in the European Middle Ages through the Renaissance.  In class, we will actively discuss and evaluate primary sources related to the time period. I love to teach students to "do" history, so we will discuss how to evaluate primary documents and then practice these skills in the context of the class discussion.  

The Renaissance is a dynamic and exciting time in Europe!  This class will provide a thorough introduction to the causes and impacts of the Renaissance on the history of Europe.  Each week we will rotate topics, exploring primary documents and visual sources to discuss the vibrant cultural changes of the Medieval and Renaissance eras.  My teaching style is discussion based to help the students learn how to explore and engage with real history.  This class will provide a solid background of this pivotal time in history to prepare students to explore the early modern and modern world.


1.        Reading responses-Each week you will be responsible for reading all assigned material.  You will be expected to write a reading response for each of your readings.  These reading responses should be 1-2 pages on the background material for each time period in history and the important elements of the work.  You should be building a timeline of major pieces of literature across geographical boundaries.


2.        Presentations-You will be assigned brief presentations for each semester.  These presentations will involve researching the biographical information for significant authors and key information for major pieces we will study in class. 


3.       Papers-you will be expected to write short and longer papers, historical analyses of the pieces you are reading for class.  


4.       In class videos, we will spend much time discussing our reading, putting themes in their historical context and asking questions about the author’s and our own worldviews. 


5.       If at any point in this course you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.  I am ready and available if you need my assistance at any point.

Course topics:

Week 1--The beginnings of the Middle Ages

Week 2--Society and Economics of the Middle Ages/feudalism and manorialism

Week 3--Politics and worldview of the Middle Ages

Week 4--The decline of the Middle Ages

Week 5-The causes and background to the Renaissance 

Week 6-Humanism and the philosophical/worldview changes 

Week 7- The economic shifts of the Renaissance 

Week 8- Artistic changes of the Renaissance

Week 9- The scientific impact on the Renaissance

reward points