This lesson introduces students to the Renaissance by focusing on art history and important innovations in the art world. Students learn to define a variety of art terms associated with the Renaissance and the Middle Ages and engage with the concept of visual symbolism. Students work towards writing a structured, descriptive paragraph outlining their own imagined symbolic Renaissance Portrait. By using writing planners and scaffolds, students write how they use symbolism to represent 5 of their personality traits in their Renaissance-inspired portrait. This lesson was originally designed for use in a Humanities 8 class (with scaffolding for ELL students). This lesson could be adapted for use in a variety of Art, Social Studies, English, and ELL contexts.