Exploring the Renaissance

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Grade 8 students recently completed their projects on the Renaissance, which they presented to each other this week as a way to share in each other’s learning. Each student researched one figure from the Renaissance, created a piece of artwork and did some creative writing about their subject. As the students heard each other’s presentations, they were asked to find how their chosen subject connected to the other historic figures presented.

The Renaissance was a time of both great scientific and artistic advancement, and a true test of cultural resistance to turmoil. Mostly centered around Italy during the 14th to 17th centuries, it was a source of many of the world’s basic principles of science, art and culture.

The Grade 8 classes are in the midst of their last term at the Middle School. The shadow of the works of many Italian figures still looms over us while we are preparing for the final exams. Our Renaissance project spanned three subjects: for Social Studies we researched a historical figure; for Art, we researched and recreated a piece originating from the Renaissance; and finally, we read some historical short fiction to inspire our own creative writing for English. In the end, all three projects culminated in a presentation day, where excerpts from the story, the research figure and the painting were all displayed.

For me, the topic spawned a recreated/modified painting, a short story about the principles and effectiveness of Machiavellianism and the universal nature of karma, and a research assignment that became a comparison of the qualities of Nicoló Machiavelli and Robert Ford.

Despite it being an occasional headache for Grade 8 students, we really enjoyed our projects:

“Once you put it all together and present, it feels amazing. I love creative writing because it allows me to branch my own things, instead of following specific guidelines.” – Maddy

“After I finished, I felt really good — when all the pieces just came together. The writing was hard at first, but once I got an idea and stuck at it, the ideas just flowed like a river.” – Chloe

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