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Session 2: The Reformers: Hero or Zero?

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Session 2: The Reformers: Hero or Zero?

  • Attachment C: “The Reformers: Hero or Zero?” Score Sheet

  • Materials for creating posters

  • Internet access

  • Web sites such as the following:

“Henry VIII.” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07222a.htm

“Henry VIII.” http://www.britannia.com/history/monarchs/mon41.html

“Henry VIII.” http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/Page19.asp

“John Calvin.” http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03195b.htm

“Project Wittenburg (Martin Luther).” http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/wittenberg-home.html

Instructional Activities

1. Have students participate in the activity “The Reformers: Hero or Zero?” as follows:

  • Divide students into groups of four, and have each group decide amongst themselves who will read about Martin Luther, who will read about John Calvin, who will read about Henry VII, and who will read about Elizabeth I. Have students record notes on Attachment C while reading, and then share notes with their group.

  • Instruct each group to create four 8½ x 11 inch posters, one for each of the reformers. Allow students to search Web sites for primary source documents and incorporate those references into the posters. Posters should include the following information:

Side 1 = HERO (reasons the person was loved)

Details from the reading that explain what the person believed and did, and why the person was considered a hero and by whom. (e.g., King Henry VIII defied the Pope!)

At least one illustration depicting the person’s beliefs or actions

Side 2 = ZERO (reasons the person was disliked)

Details from the reading that explain why the Catholic Church would have called this person a zero— what their objection would have been to his/her teachings and actions. (e.g., A church official has responded to the heretic by __________ because ___________.)

At least one illustration (possibly a political cartoon) depicting reasons for and/or results of the dislike

  • Allow time for groups to share their posters. As a class, evaluate posters for content and presentation. Provide a rubric based on the activity description, and assign points for each component or category.

2. Instruct students to write the name of one reformer and one of his/her actions. If the action is a cause of the Reformation, have students name one effect of the action. One strategy is to have students write their responses on scrap paper and hand them in as “tickets out the door.”

3. Instruct the students to illustrate their class notes, using symbols and pictures they draw themselves or images downloaded from the Internet.

Session 3: Mapping the Reformation


  • Attachment A: Notes on the Reformation

  • Outline map of Europe

  • Web sites such as the following:

“Reformation Map.” http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/year8links/elizabeth/reformationmap.pdf

“Religious Division.” http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/map16rel.gif

  • Selected reading on the religious wars
  • Teacher-created guided reading activity on the wars of religion

  • Textbook or other instructional resources
Instructional Activities

1. For review, list the reformers from the previous session on the board. In another location on the board, randomly list their beliefs and/or actions. Instruct students to match each person with his/her actions and/or beliefs. One strategy is to prepare sentence strips with magnets on the back so that students can come up and physically move the information.

2. Have students complete “The Reformers” section of Attachment A. As they are writing the information, walk around to check for the illustrations assigned in the previous session.

3. Provide an outline map of Europe to each student. Guide students through the process of drawing the boundaries of the countries and labeling and coloring the map as it might have appeared at the time of the Reformation.

  • Draw the boundaries for and label France, Switzerland, Holy Roman Empire, Spain, and England.

  • Draw a dot for the cities of London, Paris, Bordeaux, Avignon, Rome, Geneva, Worms, Erfurt, and Wittenberg.

  • Color the water blue.

  • Color the areas that were mostly Catholic in pink.

  • Color the areas that were Lutheran in green.

  • Color the area that was Calvinist in yellow.

  • Draw small triangles where Huguenot minorities lived.

  • Draw small squares where Presbyterian minorities lived.

4. Lead a class discussion about the map, using the questions below:

  • Where were most of the Catholics located? (Southern Europe)

  • Where were most of the Protestants located? (Northern Europe)

  • Where was the residence of the Pope? (Rome)
  • What conclusion can be made about the location of Protestants in relation to the location of the head of the church of Rome? (The farther away from Rome, the more likely it was that the people were Protestant.)

  • What nation or territory was most likely to have a war over religion? Give facts using data from the map.

5. Assign a reading selection on the religious wars. Use the textbook and other related materials such as Web sites to create a guided reading activity on the wars of religion. After students have read the selection, using the guided reading activity, discuss the religious wars in class.

Session 4: Results of the Reformation


  • Story from the Inquisition showing the human side of the Reformation

  • Attachment A: Notes on the Reformation

  • Attachment B: Notes on the Reformation—Answer Key
Instructional Activities

1. Lead a class discussion of the immediate and long-term results of the Reformation, using Attachment B and students’ notes as a guide.

2. Select a story from the Inquisition that shows the human side of the Reformation. Ancillary texts or independent publications will need to be consulted. As a class, read and discuss the story, and examine what insights it offers about life during the Inquisition.

3. Have students complete the “Immediate Results” and “Long-Term Results” sections of Attachment A.

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