An introduction to why history is cool (and kind of important).
Rome has contributed greatly to our modern world. Here we look at their technical contributions like roads and aqueducts.
Rome's most lasting social contribution was the religion of Christianity. This is the story of how it began.
A very brief fly-over of Roman political history through the stories of a few key emperors like Augustus and Constantine.
Lessons and Activities
1. In the Clouds - Students are introduced to the continents by imagining them as clouds in the sky to help create memory hooks.
2. World Map Scavenger Hunt - A further introduction to geography this time including countries and landforms. Students hunt for various oddities using the world map.
3. Be the Historian - In this closing lab for the unit students in groups are given an old artifact and must analyze it in great depth as a historian might.
4. Million Words - Not historical really, just a simple introduction activity for parents to complete. I love this.
5. History Skills - An introduction to the 8 skills used by historians to be effective at their tasks.
6. World Map Sheet - If you ever want to have kids fill in a world map (I did it once, I felt awful) here you go.
7. Butter Battle Book Questions - A set of questions to go along with The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss. I use this book to show that history can be found everywhere.
8. One-Day Geography - Adapted from a PBS lesson on understanding the basics of geography.
9. Who are You? - A basic inventory of student interests and background.
10. Source Reliability - A series of topics with two sources of possible information. Students decide which source would be more reliable given the topic. Excellent for introducing Common Core skills.
11. When of History - Students speculate on the timing of various events and objects from history. Print out of each of the images in the lab and group them by type (all military pictures together for example.) Put students into 6 groups and give each the worksheet. Given them 3-4 minutes per pack to determine in which historical era each object goes. I put a number code on the back of each picture so students can just write that in the box on the worksheet. The codes really don't matter but here's the ones I use. I go through this presentation with the students after going over the answers with them.
12. What Historians Do (Collect) - A series of mini-activities introducing some of the skills students will use when collecting information as historians.
13. What Historians Do (Consider) - A series of mini-activities introducing some of the skills students will use when investigating information as historians.
14: What Historians Do (Communicate) - A series of mini-activities introducing some of the skills students will use when, you guess it, communication information as historians.
1. Digging for the Truth: Pompeii - An inquiry-based introduction to Rome where students examine a series of artifacts buried in the ruins of Pompeii to make predictions about what the Roman Empire was like.
2. Roman Empire Walkthru - Short introductory worksheet using only the graphics in Holt's Medieval to Early Modern Times textbook. (Collect)
3. Rome: Quest for Knowledge - More in-depth worksheet using Holt's text. (Collect)
5. Rome Culture Shock (Part 1: Opera, Part 2: Barbarian Ordeals, Part 3: Barbarian Ordeals Quiz) - The idea behind the Culture Shock labs is to give students a taste of the culture of the civilization. This is done through a series of mini-labs sometimes in groups. This particular one works best as a whole class activity. The first lab gives students a taste of opera (though I am well aware this came around long after the Roman Empire) and Latin. Upon entry I have some stereotypical opera playing and students respond to whether they like it or not. I then play O Fortuna from Carmina Burana (which is a much more interesting opera piece) and have them complete the worksheet. In the second lab students read a short passage about barbarian laws and then take a 10 question "quiz" on the material. To determine the answers to the questions students volunteer to complete "ordeals" in the classroom such as balancing a book on their head or doing pushups. If they succeed, whatever answer that student put is correct (even if everyone else knows it is wrong!) If they fail, whatever they put is wrong. (Collect)
6. Rome Study Guide - In-depth review activity on Rome.
7. Rome Notes Guide - Short fill-in sheet to review the Rome notes.
8. History Mystery: Caesar - Students investigate the assassination of Julius Caesar by weighing 8 different pieces of evidence. Visually stimulating, highly engaging and perfect for Common Core. (Consider)
10. Rome Dossiers - A collaborative investigation into the question of who was responsible for the death of Jesus. Students analyze information sheets for each of the three main players in the Crucifixion and debate who was most responsible. (Consider)
12. Roman Adventure - A Choose-your-own-Adventure style game for the whole class to review the Roman Empire. My students absolutely love this one (even if I'm honestly not sure why.) Works best if you have some sort of point system for classroom management and rewards.
13. Weigh the Evidence: Rome - In this lab built for The Common Core students examine a series of sources to determine if Rome left the world with a positive legacy. This lab focuses on the skill of source reliability by asking students to rate how believable and useful each source is before making their final conclusions. (Consider)
14. Provide or Conquer? Fall of Rome Decision Making Game - This one looks a bit intimidating but download it and run through - it really isn't that hard to run. Use the Score Tracker Excel sheet to make it a breeze. Here is an instruction sheet to give you step by step directions if you want it.
Kids love this one! They take on the role of Roman Emperors making decisions to try to grow their nation but face constant challenges along the way. DOWNLOAD the file, do not run through Google Slides!