Seventh Grade marks the first time we explore history in such an extensive way. In fifth grade we covered different civilizations – India, Persia, Egypt and Greece in small six-week lessons. In sixth grade we focused on Ancient Rome and the very beginning of the Middle Ages. Now, during seventh grade we will take on the enormous task of exploring the late Middle Ages, Crusades, Renaissance and Age of Exploration. Our journey this year will span many countries and many years in history. Critical thinking has continued to deepen during the past two years and this year represents a historical marker for the child as well as the history they are studying. Just as a whole new age was born during this period in history – so an entire new age is born for the child that is studying it – and these lesson blocks give them the tools to explore and enjoy that new age – to reach beyond their limits – just like the creative leaders of the Renaissance.
In the first lesson we explored the Late Middle Ages & Crusades. During this time the lands of Europe were transitioning from a locally focused country population to a world where he kings start to organize smaller localities into national powers. In this unit we will explore the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Louis VII, the construction of cathedrals, and the crusades. If you have a chance to visit any large cathedrals during this lesson block I encourage you to add this to your “field trip” schedule.
In the second history block we explored The Age of Chivalry, the life of Joan of Arc, and the rise of politics, the church and modern warfare.
In the third history block we focused on Medieval Italy and studied people who transformed this era of history such as St. Francis, Dante, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo Da Vinci. During this block we branched off to study Leonardo Da Vinci in greater detail and even re-create some of his works. This block focused strongly on the art, creativity and invention of this period in history.
In this fourth history block we will focus on the Age of Exploration and will learn about the adventures of Marco Polo and Martin Luther.