High Renaissance PDF


High Renaissance is an art unit about the high level of virtuosity achieved by the Europeans during the Renaissance in the areas of paintings, sculpture, architecture, and theater. It is for ages 6 to 18 and designed to be used family-style, all ages at once.


High Renaissance is the ninth unit in the Middle Ages Arts course. This unit is about the advanced art techniques and famous artists in painting sculpture, architecture, and literature that were developed during the European Renaissance.

This unit contains sections on:

  • Renaissance Art
  • Renaissance Architecture
  • Shakespeare

Layers of Learning is an activity-based program. The mentor chooses from among the activities in the unit to create mental hooks for learning. Some of the activities in this unit include:

  • Complete a painting of the Mona Lisa and learn about perspective and sfumato
  • Make your own subtractive sculpture from a bar of soap
  • Learn about the skills of shading and depth as you examine two paintings and then try it on your own
  • Make a booklet of Renaissance architecture techniques
  • Paint on your back like Michelangelo doing the Sistine Chapel
  • Create your own dome with straws and examine the Florence Cathedral dome
  • Make a poster about the life of Shakespeare
  • Write some of your own iambic pentameter
  • Make a booklet of famous lines from Shakespeare
  • Learn about, read, and watch Hamlet
  • And much more!

Each Layers of Learning Arts unit includes library lists of books, a family read-aloud suggestion, hands-on activities, printables and paper crafts, sidebars for extra learning, and tools to help you assess student’s progress and mastery. You can learn more about how Layers of Learning works in the Curriculum Guide or learn to teach art with the Arts Guidebook for mentors.

See Inside

Here is the inside view of a double page spread from High Renaissance:


The curriculum is pick-and-choose, so you select which Explorations you would like to do out of the many choices.


This unit was written to be used for a month but contains plenty of content for many more weeks of learning if you choose. This is a pick-and-choose curriculum, meant to be cycled back to in the future when your child is older. As such, it intentionally includes far more material than you can possibly cover in a month.

High Renaissance is also part of the overall Middle Ages Arts course, the second Year of the four year Layers of Learning Arts cycle. If you use the program in order, it will take you though the art in chronological order, tracking with the Layers of Learning History units. However, each unit stands alone and can be used independently of any other unit.

Printable Pack

This unit comes with a downloadable Printable Pack that includes all the student worksheets. The printables can be copied as many times as needed for your family or class.

You can download the Printable Pack from your receipt or from your account at Layers of Learning.


Here you see the cover and two of the printables from the High Renaissance unit. This printable pack includes 29 pages. The Printable Pack is included in the purchase of the unit.

Extra Resources

This unit comes with extra weblinks and a YouTube video playlist on the Middle Ages Arts Resources page.


PDF Download





Cycle Year

Year Two

Product Type

Single Units




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