The Renaissance was a big subject in the 8th Grade’s study of history this semester. One of the most well-known artists during this time was Michelangelo.
Perhaps his most famous painting was of the Sistine Chapel. This impressive work of art spans the ceiling of the giant dome inside this structure.
If Michelangelo could do it, then so could the 8th Grade class at VVA. And so we “painted” the ceiling of our classroom.
The kids decided to depict a world in which each of them (and me) created his or her very own nation. We each carefully crafted large continents, adding special features that made the different lands individual. Across the world, you can see mountains, volcanoes, rivers, islands, farms, cities, castles, and even armies going to war. Not only was this a lesson in Renaissance painting, but also in geography!
This Michelangelo ceiling painting activity was a delight to watch as it developed over the course of about two weeks. I was able to see each student’s ideas and creativity come to life on the paper. I was also able to see how they worked together in some ways and in others were competitive in what they could accomplish in their nation.
Stories unfolded onto the paper as trade ships traveled to other nations, some trade cities were raided, and armies crossed the seas to wage wars on others.
Overall, the students seemed to be highly engaged in their work, and they will not forget the story of Michelangelo any time soon.