Learn all about the history of the Reformation and Martin Luther’s role through this free unit study.
This free Reformation & Martin Luther unit study includes resources for students in elementary – high school. You can study the events from church history together as a family.
Activities include art, music, geography, foreign language, creative writing, and more!
Submitted by Gena M.
- Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World by Paul L. Maier (elementary)
- Martin Luther: Father of the Reformation by Barbara A. Somervill (junior high)
- Martin Luther by Sally Stepanek (high school)
- Spy for the Night Riders by Dave and Neta Jackson (historical fiction for elem./ junior high)
- Kingdom of the Birds by Hilda Demuth-Lutze
- Movie: Luther (2003, PG-13)
- Movie: Martin Luther (1953)
- A Night of Reformation: Celebrating the Reformation With Family and Friends by Pam Forster – Doorposts
- Printable Activities List – Available in the Resource Library
- Make a Luther Rose
- Stained Glass, Illuminated Letters, Coat of Arms, Lavender Sachets, Parchment Scrolls, Costumes of the period. See The Holiday Zone or Doorpost’s A Night of Reformation for ideas.
- Artists: Study some of the famous artists of the period such as Cranach, Durer, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Bruegel the Elder and the Younger, Raphael.
- Sing “A Mighty Fortress is our God” in English (or in German!) Learn some of Luther’s other hymns.
- Listen to other period music: Chant, German Renaissance music.
- Listen to more modern German music, like polkas.
- Learn some German folk songs.
- Study about German composers such as Bach or Brahms.
- Label a map of Germany with the cities which were important in Luther’s life: Eisleben, Wittenberg, Worms, Eisenach, and Wartburg Castle.
- Latin – the language used by the Catholic Church. Luther studied it, wrote the 95 Theses in Latin. Learn some Latin phrases, such as the Five Pillars of Reformation Faith: ‘Sola Scriptura’ – By Scripture Alone, ‘Sola Gratia’ – By Grace Alone, ‘Solo Christo’ – By Christ Alone, ‘Sola Fide’ – By Faith Alone, ‘Soli Deo Gloria’ – Glory To God Alone.
- German – the language Martin Luther translated the Bible into. Learn a few German words, such as God (Gott), Church (Kirche), Love (Liebe)
Martin Luther Timeline:
Make a timeline of Luther’s life. Here are some dates and events to include:
- 1483 (born)
- 1505 (almost struck by lightning leaves law to become a monk)
- 1508 (begins teaching at University of Wittenberg)
- 1510 (visits Rome)
- 1517 (posts 95 Theses)
- 1521 (Diet of Worms)
- 1525 (marries Katherine von Bora)
- 1534 (completes translation of Bible into German)
- 1546 (dies).
- Define the following words: Protestant Reformation, Monk, Nun, Catholic Church, Heresy, Sacraments, Penance, Indulgences, Relics, Purgatory, Diet, Recant, Pilgrimage, Excommunicate.
- Choose one or more of these writing prompts for a creative writing assignment.
Copywork or Memorization:
Choose one or more of these for memorizing or handwriting practice.
- “A Mighty Fortress is Our God“
- Luther’s prayers or speeches
- Five Pillars of Reformation Faith
- verses from Romans which helped Luther understand true Christian faith in Christ alone (Romans 1:17, 3:23, 3:28, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10, 11:6).
The Middle Ages:
- Do some research on the food, clothes, diseases, government, education, religion, music, art entertainment, knights, explorers, etc. See Medieval Life or World History.
Other Protestant Reformers:
- Study some others such as Martin Bucer, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, William Tyndale, John Wycliffe, John Hus, Phillip Melanchthon, John Knox, The Huguenots, The Anabaptists.
- Look at St. Peter’s Basilica, cathedrals, stained glass windows.
Act out some scenes such as:
- John Tetzel selling indulgences
- Martin Luther climbing the steps of Santa Sanctorum and praying on each one
- Asking Martin Luther to recant at the Diet of Worms
- The kidnapping of Martin Luther and being taken to Wartburg Castle
Or write a play about Martin Luther’s life and perform it at a Reformation Party.
- Make food from the Medieval period or German food.
Reformation Celebration Party:
- Hold the party on October 31 to commemorate the day that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg church door. Find some wonderful ideas from Doorpost’s A Night of Reformation.