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On The Way To The Forumů

A Web Quest on Ancient Rome

Created by: Mary B. Reid


The Task

The Activities

Internet Resources


Learning Advice




Teacher Notes

Ancient Roman MosaicIntroduction

When we think of the Romans we usually picture warriors conquering the known world.  That is a true picture up to a point.

The Roman Empire lasted for over twelve hundred years and is generally considered by historians to be the greatest empire in the history of the world.

But that is not the only picture of Rome.  In the early days of the Republic, the Romans were disciplined, hardworking, practical, and patriotic.  A Roman was loyal to the gods, the family, and the state.

A warlike spirit was always with the Romans.  From its earliest years, Rome was down but never out.  It seemed the early Romans were always fighting for survival.  The Roman custom of incorporating newly conquered peoples into the Roman citizenry gave Rome a basis for future strength- the ability to put more soldiers in the field than any opponent.  Also, many of her conquered people became famous and important members of the empire.

As the Empire grew and became more powerful, the new wealth and power began crippling the Romans. They stopped serving in the army and began living soft and many times vain, useless lives.  The people of the city wanted to be entertained and to perform as little work as possible.  The great virtues that had helped create the Empire were gone.  Other hungrier people watched this great empire become bloated.  When the time seemed right, they attacked and Rome fell.

Ancient Roman MosaicThe Task

You are part of a team of archaeologists sent to uncover Rome's buried past.  At one site you discover a mosaic broken into eight pieces.  In order to be able to reconstruct the picture accurately, you must learn something about the Ancient Romans and their way of life.  Each time your team completes an activity, you come closer to putting the pieces in order.  When you complete eight activities you will have all of the clues you need to reconstruct the mosaic and be able to share with the world an important aspect of the Roman Empire.

Use the Internet resources provided to complete the activities that follow.  Good luck, the modern world is counting on you.

Ancient Roman MosaicThe Activities

1.  Before Christianity became the official religion of the Roman people in AD 312, they worshipped and made offerings to many gods.  Create a chart by listing 10 of the gods and describing them.  Draw a picture of what you think each one would have looked like.

2.  You are an artist in Ancient Rome.  You are hired to make a mosaic for the emperor.  Use 9x18 paper and colored construction paper or colored beans and glue for your design.

3.  Make a "Roman Measuring Tape."  Write all numbers an inch apart in Roman Numerals from 1-100 (I-C).

4.  Create a poster advertising the Gladiator Games or the Chariot Races.  Be prepared to describe them in detail.  Present to the class.

5.  You are a Roman woman writing in her diary.  Describe in detail what your day is like.  Word process your final draft.

6.  You are a Roman boy or girl writing in your diary.  Describe in detail what your day is like.  (Include school, pets, games, foods, etc.)

7.  You are a plumber working in a Roman City.  Describe the water supply systems including the aqueducts, bathhouses, and sewers.

8.  The Roman people have a legend about the founding of their city, "Romulus and Remus."  Read this story and then write a poem, song, or rap to tell this story.  Present to the class or tape record  your dramatization.

9.  Create an advertisement with illustrations which describes the Roman's clothing.  Include the Toga, Stola, and Tunic.  Also describe the hair and jewelry of both men and women in different social classes.

10.  Imagine you are a restaurant owner in Rome.  Create a menu including appetizers, entrees, and beverages.  Include prices and descriptions of the food.  Research to find the actual food of the Roman people.  Create using Microsoft Publisher or other desktop publishing program.

11.  You are a costume designer...  Design a costume for a Roman woman for a special occasion.  Include dress, hair, jewelry, and shoes.  Also describe where she is going.  Present to the class.

12.  You are a disc jockey for the Roman Radio Station.  Create an advertisement for the Gladiator Games and the Chariot Races at the Colosseum.  Describe them in detail.  Present to the class or tape record your presentation.

13.  You are a Roman newscaster and your specialty is commentating on wars.  Create and perform live or video tape the newscasts on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Punic Wars.

14.  One of the famous Centurions has asked you to design new armor for him including a helmet, metal jacket, shield, and weapons.  Draw and describe them.

15.  You are a teacher in Ancient Rome.  Your job is to teach us a few (at least 20) of your more common words in Latin.  Make a poster showing the translations and some pictures.  Present to the class.

16.  You are a reporter for a foreign newspaper reporting on the death of the famous Roman ruler, Julius Caesar.  Write an article describing his life and death.  Must be word processed using a desktop publishing program using at least two columns like a newspaper.

Ancient Roman MosaicInternet Resources

Ancient Roman MosaicOther Resources

A Message of Ancient Days.  Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991.
Technology Connections for Ancient Rome.  Teacher Created Materials, Inc., 1998.
Ancient Rome Independent Learning Unit.  Good Apple, 1991.

Ancient Roman MosaicLearning Advice

You will be on the computer on a rotating basis, so use your time wisely!  Only look for what you really need and work on one project at a time.  Don't forget you can also find information in your textbooks and the books listed above.

Ancient Roman MosaicEvaluation

You will be evaluated on each activity that you complete.  Final draft quality is expected on every written assignment and word processed document.  A 6 point rubric will be used to score written work.  Multimedia presentations will be evaluated according to the multimedia presentation rubric.  All activities will be evaluated for completeness, neatness, and literary content and accuracy.

Ancient Roman MosaicConclusion

Now that you have completed the activities on Ancient Rome, create a chart listing the ways in which ancient Rome was like cities today.  For example, Rome depended on food grown elsewhere; so do cities today.  Include all aspects of daily life, architecture, law, etc.

Ancient Roman MosaicExtension

One reason for learning about history is to avoid the pitfalls of the past and to improve our own society.  Review the causes of the fall of Rome and choose one that you think might contain a message for American's today.  Write an essay explaining what you think Americans might learn from the fall of ancient Rome.

Teacher Notes

Grade Level/Unit:
Grades 6-7:  World History and Geography- Ancient Civilizations.  East Meets West:  Rome, and Connecting with Past Learning:  The Fall of Rome.

In this unit students will learn about everyday life in Roman society, including slavery, social conflict, and the rule of Roman law.  Students will emphasize the lasting contributions of Roman civilization in the areas of law, language, technology, and the transmission of the Christian religion to the West.

At the end of this unit students will:

Length of Unit:
Approximately 3 to 4 weeks

Those listed in the Resources section plus:  computer with Internet connection, browser software, paper, art supplies, word processing program, paint or drawing program, desktop publishing software such as Microsoft Publisher or Creative Writer.

Interdisciplinary Connections:
History-Social Studies, reading, writing, art, music, computer literacy skills

Prerequisite Learning:

Adaptations for Special Needs:
To adapt this unit to a variety of student needs, the teacher can use one or more of the following suggestions:

Background Information and Additional Teacher Resources:

The mosaic that each group discovers is their score sheet.  Each group is given a blank 12x18  piece of construction paper, tag board, or cardboard divided into eight sections.  As they successfully complete an activity they may draw a picture in one of the squares.  What is drawn should be related to the project completed to illustrate what they learned about Ancient Rome.  Grades can be based on percentage completed, participation, etc.

All of the activities are designed to be either completed by hand, or with the use of a computer.  Students can create multimedia presentations for most of the activities using  programs such as PowerPoint, HyperStudio, ClarisWorks Presentations, etc.  The individual teacher can decide how big a role technology will play in the unit.  Teachers and students who are very comfortable with computers may wish to have all of the projects completed as multimedia presentations.

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