Enlightenment PDF


Enlightenment is a unit in Layers of Learning history about the ideas of the 1700s that gave rise to republican forms of government around the world. It is for all ages from 6 to 18 to learn together family-style.


Enlightenment is the ninth unit in the Colonial History course. You will learn about the philosophers and their ideas that led to republican forms of government around the world and then you will learn about the nobles and aristocrats and their responses.

This book is for adult mentors to use as a resource when planning lessons, not a textbook for students.

This unit has sections on:

  • Philosophers
  • Kings & Nobles

Layers of Learning is activity-based and this unit guide includes many hands-on ways to learn about the Enlightenment. Here are a few things you will find to do inside this unit:

  • Make finger puppets of some of the famous enlightenment philosophers as you learn about their ideas
  • Have a mock coffeehouse debate like the people during the Enlightenment
  • Make a notebooking foldable about John Locke’s state of nature
  • Draw a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft in your Book of Years
  • Make a tissue paper portrait craft of the Sun King, Louis XIV
  • Cut and paste descriptions of the two sides in the English Civil War
  • Write your own newspaper article about the Great Fire of London and the Great Plague
  • Craft a crown for Maria Theresa of Austria
  • Map and plan your own Grand Tour of the European continent
  • And much more!

Layers of Learning History units include Library Lists of books on the topic, a family read-aloud suggestion, hands-on activities, printables and paper crafts, sidebars for extra learning, and tools to help you assess your student’s progress and mastery. Learn more about how Layers of Learning works.

See Inside

This is a view of a two page spread from Enlightenment:

Enlightenment spread


This unit, like all of Layers of Learning is pick-and-choose so the mentor can decide which Explorations to choose from among many options.


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.

Enlightenment is also part of the overall Colonial History course, the third Year of the four year Layers of Learning History cycle. If you use the program in order, it will take you through the history of the world from ancient times through the 21st century. 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.

Enlightenment printable pack

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

Extra Resources

This unit comes with extra weblinks and a YouTube video playlist on the Colonial History Resources page.


PDF Download





Cycle Year

Year Three

Product Type

Single Units




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