NAME: _________________________________ 


Layered Curriculum Unit: The Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment
Kathleen Moylan
Worcester Technical HS, MA

C level DUE DATE: __________________________

Core question discussion date:________________________

Salon date:____________________________

Unit Overview:

This unit will explore the changes that took place in Europe as a result of scientific inquiry and the Age of Reason (Enlightenment), in which science, government, and philosophy sought to better understand the nature of man and the universe 

After completing this unit, you will be able to:


Core Question: How are we still children of the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment?

“C” Level: maximum 70 points Please choose from the assignments below for a maximum of 70 points. No more than 2 assignments may be handed in on the unit due date. Please refer to the general rubric sheet to determine how to fulfill the requirements for each assignment, or see me with questions

In addition, all students are required to participate in the discussion of the core question in order to meet the C level standard.


Mandatory assignment:     

Complete one historical document analysis sheet for one of the readings below   10-15 points each

“Solar Eclipse”  Stukeley 

“Letter to Christina of Tuscany” Galileo

“Discourse on Method”  Descartes

“Attack on the Copernican Theory” Bellarmine

“On the Revolution of Heavenly Spheres” Copernicus

Alexander Pope “Epitaph for Sir Isaac Newton”

Thomas Jefferson  “The Declaration of Independence”

Mary Wollstonecraft “Wollstonecraft and Rousseau”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau “The Social Contract”

Denis Diderot  “Natural Law”

Voltaire  “A Plea for Tolerance and Reason”

Adam Smith  “The Wealth of Nations”

Frederick II  Selections from “Political Testament”

President George W. Bush Second Inaugural Address

Others to be named later! 

Listen and take notes on the following lectures: (must be completed on lecture day for credit) 5 points each

Earthly and Heavenly Bodies; the Scientific Revolution begins ________

Galileo Rocks the Universe _________

Descartes, Bacon, and Newton: The Spider, the Ant and the Bee ________

Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau: The State of Nature and the Nature of Man________

The Declaration of Independence: the Best Document ever written!___________

Voltaire: “The Best of All Possible Worlds” _________ 

With the class, view the videotape: "What About God?" And answer the questions on the study guide

                                                                              10 points 

Read and complete a historical document on the Dover, PA District Court case   10 points 

Read excerpts from the Iraqi Constitution and be able to explain the Enlightenment ideas that are found within the document            10 points

Write a factual newspaper article of a scientific discovery or breakthrough described in this unit. Be sure to present the point of view of the country in which the article is written (5 points extra for writing in a language other than English)            10-15 points


Read the handout “No Scientific Revolution for Women” and answer the questions at the end 10 points 

As a team, (only 1 team per class may do this, and all team members must have 30 points before approaching me) create a 5-8 minute skit in which you reenact parts of Galileo’s trial. The skit must be based on primary sources, and must be historically accurate (with a slight allowance for humor!); the entire trial transcript is on line, so you should have no trouble locating sources.    20 points 

Using your lecture notes from Descartes, Bacon, and Newton, draw three pictures representing the ideas of the three thinkers. Be prepared to explain how each picture represents what each of the scientists believed about how one acquires knowledge **see art criteria for this assignment! No scribbles!   10 points  

Create a “WANTED” poster of a Scientific Revolution or Enlightenment figure.  Be sure to include why he/she is wanted, by whom, and what the reward will be if found. Be creative!    10 points 

Compare and contrast the music of Bach and Mozart (bring in audio samples), and be able to answer the following question: how did their music reflect the different ages in which they lived?   15 points 

Read Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal; be prepared to compare Swift’s work with Candide in the class discussion scheduled for _____________________________     10 points 

Create a storyboard that contains the central ideas of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal.  Be ready to explain the significance of the pamphlet, and what Swift’s proposal demonstrates about Enlightenment society               10 points

Research a building in Washington DC and be ready to explain its neoclassical influences 10 points          

Combined A/B level assignment: The European Salon   DUE DATE: _______________________

Fun, Food, and Philosophy!

** Students who exceed the standard will get an A for the assignment; students who meet standard will get a B

Choose one of the following Enlightenment figures to represent in a class European salon. You must research your person, and be prepared to answer questions such as those listed below. See the talk show/interview rubric for information on how to achieve the standard. Characters will be assigned on a first come- first choice basis, and you must have 50 points in order to choose your person. Be sure to prepare your answers ahead of time, and be sure your answers are historically accurate. You must use primary sources in the salon, and you must quote your person directly. See me with questions, or if you’re having trouble locating sources 

The Cast:

Madame de Pompadour: hostess

Julie de Lespinasse: hostess  Thomas Hobbes  Christopher Wren

John Locke    Catherine the Great  Joseph II

Voltaire    Frederick the Great  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Thomas Jefferson   Benjamin Franklin  Adam Smith

Mary Wollstonecraft   Jean-Jacques Rousseau Alexander Pope

Jonathan Swift    Denis Diderot   Olympe de Gouges

Sir Isaac Newton   Galileo    Abigail Adams

John Adams 

If your presentation does not meet standard, you will be required to write out answers to the questions below for your assigned person, and arrange to go over these questions in an interview with me—before or after school. In addition, you will not be able to achieve a grade higher than a B on the assignment.

If you are not prepared on salon day, you will not have an opportunity to redo the assignment, nor any other B level assignment 

Questions to think about for the salon: (USE PRIMARY SOURCES TO ANSWER THESE WHENEVER POSSIBLE!)

What is the nature of man?

What do you value (what is important to you)?

Is there a God? If so, what is God?

How should governments be formed?

What rights do people have? Do these apply to women? To minorities?

What is your relationship with other people at the salon? (need specifics)

What role should the United States play in rebuilding Iraq? What role should the Iraqi people play? 

One last shot at A level (for those who meet, but do not exceed the standard on the salon) A level participants may go for an A+ by participating in the seminar 

Participate in a Socratic Seminar on the essay “How the Heavens Go,” focused on the relationship between the Catholic Church and science