Western Reserve Public Media

Lesson Plan: The Reformation

Students will accomplish the following:

  • Read about the causes of the Reformation

  • Write a comparison of a scenario that has a similar plot to one of the causes of the Reformation

  • For extra credit, write what they believe the meaning of a quotation is.


Standards Addressed
Grade 7
Social Studies — History, Benchmark C

05. Describe the impact of new ideas and institutions on European life including the Reformation.



  • Research material — textbook, library material, Internet, etc.

  • Student handout

  • Writing utensils



  1. Introduce the concept of the Reformation as part of the Renaissance.

  2. Divide the students into groups of two or three. Assign one of the following topics to each group and have them take about 15 minutes to use their textbook or the Internet to find three facts about each topic:

  3. a. Martin Luther
    b. John Calvin
    c. Definition of the Reformation
    d. Roman Catholic Church
    e. Definition of the Renaissance
    f. Joan of Arc
    g. Henry VIII
    h. Invention of the printing press
    i. St. Francis of Assisi

  4. Have students write their findings on chart paper, on the board or on cellophane paper for the overhead projector. Each group should discuss the importance of its topic.

  5. Let one person from each group go over the facts that the group found.

  6. Distribute the handout The Reformation to each student.

  7. Give some brief information about the Reformation and explain to the students the directions for completing the handout.

  8. Students should be able to make connections between the scenario and the causes of the Reformation. They could point out similarities and difference and then give their reaction.

  9. Have a discussion of the responses to each scenario.

  10. Of course the answers will vary from group to group, but there will more than likely be some consensus about meaning of the scenario.

  11. An alternate approach is to cut the scenarios apart and have the groups present their scenario and the conclusion that they made to the rest of the class.

  12. Extra Credit: There is a quote at the bottom of the worksheet. Have the students write what they believe the quotation means. Once again, there will be a variety of interpretations. Help them understand that one person can have a great impact on what others believe and in the way that they act.


Holistic Scale

Writing is clear; conclusions are logical and developed
Writing is clear but brief and lacks clarity; some logic errors
Writing draws at least one conclusion but is somewhat confusing
Writing shows no conclusions or is unrelated to the task



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