The Humanist Club

 

We often credit great changes in history to the impact of a single individual. We describe these people as driven or uniquely gifted because of the level or extent to which they have changed the world. 

Yet there are many questions which intrigue the historian about the motive, impact, and expression of these unique individuals.

 

You will be assigned an incredible individual that made extraordinary contributions to the Renaissance, Age of Exploration, and Scientific Revolution. Spend some time learning about the spirit of the Renaissance in your individual’s corner of Western Europe. How was this time period so different from the Middle Ages that your individual surfaced and changed society forever?  What were the social forces at work that allowed this blooming of individualism?

 

Guiding Questions:

  • Which person best represents the ideals (humanism- individualism, secularism, classicism) of the Renaissance? (Resume is for this “position”)
  • What were the social and cultural trends at work that allowed your individual to shape the direction of his/her historical period?   

 

Your Tasks In Stages

 

Stage 1:

Research/

Creating your Résumé

 

 

[ Research what was happening in your individual’s corner of Western Europe and answer the following questions: How was this time period so different from the Middle Ages that your individual surfaced and changed society forever?  What were the social forces at work that allowed this blooming of individualism?

[ Research your assigned individual

[ Print out at least three (3) reputable sources one of which must be a primary source.

[ Create a 1-page résumé. Your resume will be a reflection of your most significant research.

[ Include at least one (1) primary source quote that best exemplifies your individual.

[ Include a MLA Works Cited page.

Stage 2:

Present your information in Jigsaw Groups

[  Divide into groups and educate your classmates on your individual.

[  You will complete a graphic organizer of all the presentations to bring to the election.

Stage 3:

Write a letter of Recommendation for your Individual

 

[  You will write a letter of recommendation to the Humanist Foundation Council in support of your individual as the best representative of Renaissance ideals.

[  Your letter will incorporate your research, include internal citations, and offer analysis (how and why your person best represents).

Stage 4:

Socratic Seminar

 

[  The class will discuss which individual best represents the ideals of the Renaissance.

[  This Socratic discussion will be graded according to the attached rubric

 

 

 

 

Research Notes

 

Your first stop should be ABC-CLIO, which you can access from the Library Media Center homepage. Make sure you search in both the Ancient World History and Modern World History databases.  Many of these individuals were alive when Europe was transitioning from the Middle Ages (c. 500-1500) to the Renaissance (c. 1350-1550) so you will want to expand your search.  Also, ABC-CLIO provides an MLA citation at the bottom of every article. You can simply cut-and-paste onto your Works Cited page and then alphabetize your entries.

 

You also need to include a primary source quote that best exemplifies your individual. This should be placed directly under your individual’s name on his/her résumé.  You should search The Internet History Sourcebook (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/) for this quote.  Again, depending on when your individual was alive, you should search the Medieval or Modern page.  Make sure you include an entry on your Works Cited page for this quote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Résumé Example

 

William Shakespeare

“All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players”

As You Like It (1623)

 

Objective

The works of William Shakespeare were able to revolutionize theater and play

writing as they were part of the larger trend of Humanism and Renaissance ideals of individualism and secularism.

 

Experience & Significance

1570-c.1590               Shakespeare Glove Shop                Stratford, England

                        Assistant                  

?  Assisted running the family business (ABC-Clio)

?  Significance: Observed many kinds of human behavior. This helped me become more well-rounded and have many perspectives to utilize in my writings.

 

1589-1634                                                        Stratford-Upon-Avon, England

Playwright

?  Composed 38 plays, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet and As You Like It

?  Utilized new methods of writing and invented several new words to make stories understandable by the audience. This was revolutionary at time.

?  Significance: Focused on the human experience which helps people at the time be cognizant of the secular world

 

1592-1597                  Lord Chamberlain’s Men               London, England

                        Actor and Playwright

?  Performed in Lord Chamberlain’s company

?  Theater was closed in 1592 due to outbreak of the plague

?  Rejoined Lord Chamberlain in 1594, purchased Globe Theater in 1599

 

1592-1609                                                                                                                                                           London, England

Poet

?  Wrote several works of poetry, including Venus and Adonis and The Phoenix and the Turtle

 

Education

                        c. 1570-c. 1578           King’s New School                           Stratford, England

?  Studied Latin and Greek rhetoric, history, and literature

?  Significance: relates to classicism of the time

 

Awards, Honors & Distinctions

?  Wrote 38 plays (histories, tragedies, and comedies)

?  Authored 2 narrative poems

?  Wrote 154 sonnets

?  Performed for Queen Elizabeth I

 

 

Résumé Works Cited Example

 

Works Cited

 

Shakespeare, William. “As You Like It.” The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.  2000. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  10 Feb. 2012. Web.

 

"William Shakespeare." World History: The Modern Era. 2008. ABC-CLIO. 10 Feb. 2012. Web.

 

Résumé Template

 

Renaissance Name

“Primary Source Quote”

 

Objective

Here you will answer the guiding question in a thesis statement. How does your assigned individual best represent the ideals of the Renaissance?  

 

Experience & Significance

Dates              Place of Employment/ Important landmark                 Location

                        Title               

?  List background information on your Renaissance person

?  Family Life (How did it contribute to this person’s expertise?)

?  Various occupations/ related jobs

?  Important events, works of art, publications, treaties, etc.

?  Explain the significance of the person’s background and experience. Basically, you are writing significant information pertaining to your person’s life that will prove that they are an important person and a GOOD REPRESENTATION OF HUMANIST IDEALS AND THE RENAISSANCE.

 

Education

                        Dates                          School/ University                          Location

?  Might be mentioned already about but you want to reiterate your educational attributes.

?  You may list informal education as well

 

Awards, Honors & Distinctions

?  Quick list of most outstanding honors, accomplishments, and works

?  Include dates

 

Works Cited

?  Use correct MLA format.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Résumé Rubric

20 points maximum

 

 

Category

4

 

You’re Hired!

3

We still have a few more people to see.

 

2

Thanks for your interest.

1

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You.

 

 

 

Content

16-20 points

11-15 points

6-10 points

1-5 points

All required components (Objective, Experience, Education, Awards, Honors & Distinctions) are accurate and comprehensive.  Primary source quote effectively exemplifies this individual.

 

All required components (Objective, Experience, Education, Awards, Honors & Distinctions) are there, but may be incomplete and/or contain a few inaccuracies.

Primary source quote is representative of the individual, but a stronger quote could have been selected.

Some of the required components (Objective, Experience, Education, Awards, Honors & Distinctions) are there and/or résumé contains distracting inaccuracies.

Primary source quote is illogical or irrelevant. 

 

Many of the required components (Objective, Experience, Education, Awards, Honors & Distinctions) are missing and overall résumé lacks depth and breadth.

Primary source quote is not included or does not connect to individual.

 

 

 

 

Style

&

Format

 

 

 

 

 

Writer adheres to 1-page maximum; résumé is organized categorically with clear headings. Résumé is aesthetically appealing and all information is easily accessible. Includes

MLA Works Cited.

 

Writer adheres to 1-page maximum; résumé is organized categorically, but is not as easy to follow as previous category. 

Includes

MLA Works Cited.

 

 

Writer may not adhere to 1-page maximum; résumé is lacking organization and is difficult to read.

Includes

MLA Works Cited, but may be improperly formatted.

 

Writer does not adhered to 1-page maximum and/or did not focus on organization.

No MLA Works Cited.

 

Grammar

&

Spelling

 

There are no spelling and/or grammar mistakes.  Writer thoroughly self-edited.

 

There are few spelling and/or grammar mistakes, but they do not distract from the overall résumé. 

 

There are several distracting spelling and/or grammar mistakes.

 

Little or no attempt to conform to spelling and/or grammar formalities. Obviously not proofread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Best Represents the Renaissance ideals?

 

We have often attributed great changes in history to the impact of a single individual. We describe these people as driven or as uniquely gifted because of the level or extent to which they have changed the world. Yet there are many questions which intrigue the historian about the motive, impact, and expression of these unique individuals.

Your letter of recommendation is presenting a study of such an individual and the times in which they lived. In order to understand the power of one person you must first know how the spirit of the Renaissance enabled your individual to shape the direction of his/her historical period. You must decide based on research the most compelling argument for this individual as the best representative of the Renaissance ideals and determine how and why the cultural trends of this period in history allowed your individual to shape the direction of history.

 

Guiding Questions:

  • Which person best represents the ideals (humanism- individualism, secularism, classicism) of the Renaissance?
  • What were the social and cultural trends at work that allowed your individual to shape the direction of his/her historical period?   

 

You are going to write one body section on the spirit of the Renaissance.  How was this historical period so different from the Middle Ages that these new names and faces were emerging around Europe and changing society forever?  What were the social forces at work that allowed for the development of humanist philosophy and fostering of individualism?

 

You will then write a second body section about your specific person and how he/she impacted Renaissance Europe.  How did this person harness this new spirit of the time to move society in a new direction? Why was this person considered influential?

 

Your Tasks

ü  Use the research you have gathered on an individual from the list of historical figures.

ü  Create a clear arguable thesis statement: The thesis statement unifies and focuses your response to one or several of the guiding questions.  The thesis statement is not a topic sentence, but rather an assertion about the guiding questions. Your thesis should answer one or several of the guiding questions and focuses the remaining paragraphs to provide supporting evidence. Underline your thesis.

ü  Create clear arguments with logical organization. The arguments should be based on evidence from research.  The organization should follow a logical pattern as introduced by the thesis.

ü  Provide ample and specific evidence from at least two (2) secondary and one (1) primary research sources (your resume sources should suffice but check with me first!)

 

Process

ü  In order to fully address and incorporate the guiding questions into your letter, you must first consider the ideological, political, economic, social, and artistic nature of your individual’s historical period.  I am asking you to place your individual into the larger context of his/her time and place.

ü  Next, you must ask yourself how your individual’s “accomplishments” fit in with the identified trends of the period, thus enabling him or her to further shape the direction of their time period.

ü  In writing please remember to cite your sources internally, use at least one source per paragraph and provide a works cited page (you must use all sources listed).  Please see the MLA Format Link to help with this process.

 

Outline

Salutations: To the Humanist Foundation Council members:   OR   Dear Council members,

 

Introduction

  1. I am writing this letter in support of __________________________________ as the best representative of the Renaissance ideals.

Set the stage for readers by taking them into the Renaissance and reminding them of

the developments made during the time.  Describe the shift from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. Biographical and background information about your person should only be found here. Your thesis will come at the end of the introductory paragraph.

 

Thesis Statement:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

First Body Section: Place your individual into the larger context of his/her time and place. This is the paragraph on the spirit of the Renaissance. Consider the social forces at work that allowed this blooming of individualism to occur. Consider the ideological, political, economic, social, and artistic nature of your individual’s historical period. 

(This section may be more than one paragraph!)

 

Topic/transition Sentence: Note – You can recognize the other side but do not need a full oppositional paragraph for a letter. Example: Although it is true that there are many individuals worthy of this title…

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Specific evidence to support it:

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Document: _______

 

 

 

Topic/transition Sentence:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Specific evidence to support it:

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Document: _______

 

 

 

Second Body Section: Next, you must ask yourself how your individual’s “accomplishments” fit in with and push the trends already established in the time period. This body paragraph is about your specific person harnessed this new spirit of the time to move society in a new direction.

(This section may be more than one paragraph!)

 

Transition/topic Sentence:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Specific evidence to support it:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Document___________

 

 

 

Transition/Topic Sentence:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Specific evidence to support it:

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Document: _______

 

 

 

               

Conclusion:   In the conclusion you will summarize your evidence being sure that the reader (Council Members) can only agree with your analysis.  Be sure to make clear the lasting social impact of your chosen person. You will discuss how the challenging attitude of this individual contributed to the further challenges posed by the period and perhaps society in the millennia to follow. You may wish to wrap up your letter about the by making a philosophical statement about this person, or people in general and the power of change.

 

Humanist Club Socratic Seminar

Conceptual Focus:

·         Why does this person best represent the ideals of the Renaissance?  

Other Questions:

·         Do individuals shape society or are they shaped by society?

·         What conditions allow individuals to shape society?

·         What sector is the most influential when it comes to shaping society?

 


 

The goal of our discussion:

Your Task:

  1. Come prepared with SPECIFIC evidence to argue that your individual is the most influential. Bring in handouts, graphic organizers, outlines, notes or note cards to use in the Seminar. Make sure you ANALYZE the evidence. What can you deduce from the evidence you collected?
  2. Come prepared with at least 3 questions you can ask of other classmates to foster a productive class discussion. It is possible and encouraged to extend the questions BEYOND the Renaissance, e.g. to Modern Day. You may even want to discuss whether politicians or innovators are more influential and why?

Rules of the Socratic Seminar:

ü  You run the discussion and everyone must participate.

ü  Come to class prepare: Create a detail outline for your argument with SPECIFIC evidence (dates, concepts, actions).

ü  This seminar will be graded and you will NOT get a good grade if you do not PARTICIPATE

Discussion Rubric

20 points maximum

 

 

Category

5

Socrates would Bow Down to You!

4

Socrates would be Pleased!

3

Socrates Might Have a Criticism or two.

2

Socrates would tell you to keep studying.

1

Better luck next time on your quest for knoweldge.

 

 

 

 

 

Participation

5 points

4 points

3 points

2 points

1 point

Student states opinion and supports with meaningful and substantial evidence; often considers essential question and the power of the individual in society.

Student proposes new ideas that move discussion in a new and interesting direction; considers essential question and the power of the individual in society.

Student makes a presumption based on some evidence but may lack substantive evidence; only generally considers essential question and the power of the individual in society.

Student transfers a concept from another classmate or from résumés and readings with a new but limited perspective; does not refer directly to essential question and the power of the individual in society.

Student repeats a concept from another classmate or from the résumés and readings; comments are irrelevant and/or fail to connect to essential question and the power of the individual

 

 

 

Knowledge of the Humanists

Substantial knowledge and understanding of résumés and readings on many level; selection of outside readings/knowledge shows purpose and insight

Thoroughly understands résumés and readings; depth of understanding is clear but not substantial

Understands and refers to résumés and readings with generalizations

Seems to have read résumés and completed homework readings but comments support a lack of any depth of understanding

Apparent misunderstanding or neglect of résumés and readings; unprepared for discussion

 

 

 

 

Relationship to others

Comments build off or challenge previous comment without repetition of ideas; posture, demeanor, and behavior clearly demonstrates respect and attentiveness to others

Comments are related to previous comment to show only agreement or disagreement; listens to others most of the time, does not stay focused on other’s comments (too busy formulating own) or loses continuity of discussion

Shows some consistency in responding to the comments of others; listens to others some of the time, does not stay focused on other’s comments (too busy formulating own)

Drifts in and out of discussion, listening to some remarks while clearly missing or ignoring others

Disrespectful of others when they are speaking; behavior indicates total non-involvement with group or discussion