Brief Description of the Site:
Proof that great museums are not only in the major cities. From the Allentown (Pennsylvania) Art Museum comes this clever, quirky, and overall fun site dedicated to the Renaissance and the concept that, in some ways, the vibrancy of that period is still present today. Intended for use by middle school students and teachers, the site is built around five major segments: Art Explorer, Innovations 1400-2020, Patron of the Arts, The Artists Life, and, best of all, Lesson Plans. Then there are the overall themes such as Quest for Knowledge, Art & Architecture, Science & Technology, Trade Exploration, Everyday Life, and Life of a Patron. It also tries to help students make connections between some of todayâ€™s innovations and thpose of previous generations. One warning: to see it best it is necessary to have a Flash-equipped computer. Although a more sedate ordinary HTML version is available, it is just that â€¦ more sedate. The site is both edgy and interesting, but teachers should preview carefully so that they can help their middle schoolers make best use of the site.
How to use the site:
The lesson plans are excellent and definitely worth a visit. The siteâ€™s graphics and concepts are charming and educational, and would make an excellent resource for WebQuests or for other guided activities. Classes studying the Renaissance will definitely want to visit the site, either for primary research or to support knowledge acquired elsewhere. More mature students can make use of the innovations feature in which todayâ€™s developments are traced to developments in previous eras.