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Revolutionary Thinkers from the Scientific Revolution to the Enlightenment


Rene Descartes

Lesson Plan

I. Grade Level:

9th Grade

II. Duration of Lesson:

200 minutes (4 periods)

III. Content Standards:

Grade 9- History: Enlightenment 1 (2002)
Revised Standards (2011): Modern World History: Age of Enlightenment 5 & 6

IV. Primary Sources:

Galileo's Abjuration (or Recantation) (see page 3 of linked document) 
Newton, Sir Isaac. Compilation of famous quotes.
Copernicus:  Copernicus, Nicholas. From the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies, 1543.
Rousseau, Jean Jacques. The Social Contract, 1762.
Montesquieu: Montesquieu, Baron de.  On the Spirit of Laws, 1748
Kepler, Johannes. Astronomia Nova, 1609.
Wollstonecraft: Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication on the Rights of Woman, 1792.

V. Summary: 

Students will work in small groups to analyze revolutionary thinkers: Galileo, Newton, Copernicus, Locke, Voltaire, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Descartes, Brahe, Kepler. Students will take what they learn in analyzing primary sources and apply it in creating a "Facebook" page for these thinkers. They will choose their thinkers based on which primary source they are most drawn to. 

VI. Instructional Steps: 

Day 1/2: 
Students will analyze one primary source linked to the above thinkers in a small group. They will be asked to look at the primary source and fill out a  . They will be given 5-7 minutes at each station to analyze and then move on to the next.
Day 2/3:
Students will be given a chance to research these thinkers more thoroughly. They will use the computer lab to research these thinkers and will be asked to choose one over which they will create a “Facebook” page.
Day 3/4:
Students will complete their “Facebook” pages for the thinker they researched. They will be asked to pay careful consideration to
a- What would the favorite quotes of this thinker be?
b- What other philosophers/thinkers would this person be “Friends” with? 
c- Think of (at least) 5 status updates that would relate to this thinker. 
d-  Basic biography information

VII. Means for Analysis


VIII. Products

1. Document analysis worksheet
2. Facebook page

IX. Post-Assessment

 1. Document Analysis Worksheet
 2. Facebook page (Rubric

X. Materials needed by teachers

1. One primary source per thinker
2. Copies of document analysis worksheets
3. Copies of Farcebook Template (discoverylearning.com)
4. Access to internet/computer lab

XI. Materials needed by students

1. Document analysis worksheet
2. Farcebook template poster
3. Internet/Computer access

XII. Additional Material

Prior to completing this activity, students will read short biographies about these men of the Scientific Revolution/Enlightenment. There will also be a day of notes/lecture to introduce these men and concepts prior to completing the activity. 
Created by Jennifer Richardson, Kettering Fairmont High School, Ohio