Discovering Great Thinkers of the Renaissance

(5 customer reviews)


The Renaissance was a time of pondering old ideas and considering new ones. Some ideas were good, and others were not, but in both ways, the Renaissance was a time of much change for the world. With Discovering Great Thinkers of the Renaissance, a publisher-approved Notebook Companion™ to The Renaissance Thinkers (sold separately), your students can learn about the lives of five men who left an impact on this historic period.

147 black and white pages | for grades 5 and up | This is a digital only resource.

The Renaissance Thinkers by Nomad Press is sold separately.

*Digital Product - purchase one per household only.

Discovering Great Thinkers of the Renaissance


During the Renaissance, some built structures in ways so ingenious that people still struggle to understand how they did it. Some imagined what a perfect society would look like, while others recorded the unvarnished reality of the ugly side of Renaissance politics.

Still others made scientific discoveries that have shaped science as we know it. Your students can meet five such individuals with our no-prep, open-and-go Notebook Companion™.

Just grab a copy of The Renaissance Thinkers (sold separately), our Notebook Companion™, and a pen or pencil and get ready for an adventure through the Renaissance. With this unit, your kids can meet:

  • Filippo Brunelleschi, architect
  • Niccolò Machiavelli, statesman and author
  • Thomas More, statesman, lawyer, and author
  • Nicolaus Copernicus, scientist
  • Francis Bacon, inventor of the scientific method

What’s Included

Through engaging text, students will learn about the lives of these five men and their contributions to history. They’ll have the opportunity to sketch, develop their written narration skills by answering our open-ended questions, and choose from a large variety of additional, optional projects to complete such as:

  • creating a timeline of each individual’s life
  • creating a master timeline covering all the people in the unit
  • completing glossary pages for building vocabulary skills
  • copying quotes by or about each individual to create journal pages
  • trying various hands-on projects
  • illustrating scenes comic book-style from the lives of the key figures
  • completing a biography sheet for each individual

Discovering Great Thinkers of the Renaissance Notebooking Pages

In addition to learning about the key figures covered, they can also learn about famous women of the time period including architect Plautilla Bricci, scientist Maria Cunitz, and scientist-illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian.

Additional notebooking pages are included for going even deeper, and an Answers Index is also provided.

The Renaissance Thinkers by Diane C. Taylor, Published by Nomad Press

Our Notebook Companion™ accompanies The Renaissance Thinkers, published by Nomad Press and sold separately. Discovering Great Thinkers of the Renaissance Notebook Companion™ was created with the publisher’s permisson.

The Renaissance Thinkers by Nomad Press

Who were the scientists and philosophers of the Renaissance?

The Renaissance Thinkers introduces students ages 10 through 15 to the lives of five of the most influential scientists and philosophers of the Renaissance era, including Filippo Brunelleschi, Machiavelli, Copernicus, Thomas More, and Francis Bacon.

All of these men were great thinkers who had an impact on the world. They made huge leaps in philosophical thought and introduced concepts to us that have resonated for hundreds of years.

The book includes hands-on projects that use science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) to to demonstrate the scientific method and engineering process. Fun facts, primary source illustrations and links to online resources encourage kids to think critically about the political and social factors at play in their own lives, and deepen their understanding of a crucial historical era.

5 reviews for Discovering Great Thinkers of the Renaissance

  1. Tamara Lowrey

    If you’re a fan of unit studies, these notebooking pages go so well with the book that it provides everything you need to turn each chapter into its own unit study. Each chapter of the book features one of the great thinkers of the Renaissance with an introduction and lively discussion about their contributions. There are links in the book that will allow you to take your explorations further and a project at the end of each chapter to help apply the learning. When you add in this companion you’ll have the notebooking pages that provide the prompts for narrating and drawing what your student has learned. This written (or oral) narration and drawing will really help solidify the concepts read/discussed. The glossary pages strengthen your student’s understanding of the new vocabulary and double as copy work. And a timeline at the end of the chapter allows your students to think about the key contributions that each thinker is known for. There’s a master timeline at the end that helps you and your student see how the contributions from all The Thinkers fit together in relation to each other and better understand the big picture.

  2. Denise Rodriguez

    This study guide goes along perfectly with the book The Renaissance Thinkers: With History Projects for Kids By Diane C. Taylor. It says Grades 5 and up, but my 4th grader is able to join in and is enjoying it as much as my oldest. The Note Book Companion questions follow along nicely with the book, at the end of the Notebook Companion there is an Answer Index that tells you what page and paragraph the answers are on should any help be needed. My children found the timeline and drawings to be their favorite part! In the book there are QR codes that will send you to links for more information. I highly recommend these!

  3. Lynn

    “Discovering Great Thinkers of the Renaissance” is the perfect companion to the book, “The Renaissance Thinkers.” It is packed full of interesting things to discover and learn about “five of the most influential scientists and philosophers of the Renaissance era”, namely, Filippo Brunelleschi (architect, engineer), Machiavelli (statesman, “The Prince of Politics”), Copernicus (scientist), Thomas More (statesman, lawyer, author) and Francis Bacon (inventor of the scientific method).

    The notebook is open and go and the activities are varied and engaging and promote creativity. They include comprehension questions, open questions, summarising, writing a journal, copywork, building a glossary, creating a biography fact sheet, fun drawing/illustrating assignments and making a time line.

    There is a very helpful note to parents at the start of the notebook that highlights sections in “The Renaissance Thinkers” book that you may want to review beforehand to ensure suitability for your child or to address with your child in your own way. I really appreciate having this all set out – it is a very useful note!

    The notebook also comes with an answers index, which provides the location of the answers in the text book.

  4. Melanie Zorr

    This is such a great resource! This goes along with the book The Renaissance Thinkers by Daine C. Taylor. I love how the book has a timeline in each chapter. This notebooking companion has so many different ideas on how to implement the timeline into your master timeline for a bigger picture of the world during the renaissance as well as many different history projects. There are glossary definitions, quote copy work, timeline, make a comic book of some of the people you read about! There are many opportunities to dive deeper into the individual thinker’s history. This companion also has some websites links to support more of an in depth understanding of the Renaissance timeline. I am so excited to start this with my 5th grader!

  5. Katherine Tanyu

    This notebooking companion is very similar to “Discovering Great Explorers of the Renaissance”. Their main texts are part of a series. If you are finding it hard to choose which book to start first, be rest assured that you can choose any as both are fitting for grades 5 and up.

    The text is easy to read, so do not be put off by the word “thinkers”–you would not be discussing abstract philosophies in the notebooking companion. The glossary includes really big words, but I think homeschooling provides a wonderful opportunity for kids to practice and learn new words–so the glossary is actually a plus for me!

    I am a fan of the Wrapping Up portion and the Answers Index as the work has been laid out for me. This notebooking companion is of excellent quality and does not dumb down the topics.

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