Title: A day in the life of the Romans!

Time: Full day

Rationale: During this day, students will have the chance to connect all of the knowledge that they have learned during this unit together by spending an entire day as Romans. Students will begin the day using sundials to tell time, eat a Roman snack that they have created, elect a leader for the games, and participate in a Roman festival. Parents are invited to come and participate in this day with students, and it will be a culminating experience.

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to participate in a full-day recreation of Roman activities by helping in the creation of food, playing games, electing a leader and holding a chariot race.
  • Students will be able to explain their activities to their parents and discuss how the activities that they are doing relate to American culture.
  • Students will work together as a team to create the food, elect a leader and set up the games.
  • Students will write a final reflection in their investigative notebooks, detailing what they have learned that is important to them and what connections they have made between Roman and American culture throughout the unit of study.

Standards:

  • NCSS #1: Culture
  • NCSS #6: Power, Authority and Governance
  • NCSS process: Reflective thinking
  • Science process: Constructing models

Materials:

  • Ingredients for snack, crackers, cheese, olives
  • Materials for games (tape measure, chalk, masking tape, frisbee)
  • Cardboard boxes (or student idea) for chariot race
  • Election ballots
  • Student-created sundials
  • Materials to create mosaics (glue, paper, scissors)
  • Student and teacher costumes
  • Towels for ground
  • Parent volunteers

Procedure:

Pre-Activity:

*Teacher may want to set up the classroom to resemble a Roman forum. Possible ideas include cutting columns out of paper and lining the room, blowing up photos of Roman structures, and creating stations for student activities throughout the day. If there are desks or tables, they can be pushed aside to create a large space in the middle (desks/tables may be incorporated into stations).

*If you are inviting parents, make sure that there is ample seating room for family and students.

Morning:

*When students arrive, they can put on their Roman costumes that have been created in a past lesson. Welcome them to the Roman forum as a Roman citizen yourself (can use the costume you created for the Caesar activity). Allow students to spend some time with their parents, walking around the room and pointing out important pieces of our unit (for example, students may wish to show off their mosaics, campaign posters, or show their parents their investigative notebooks).

*When all of the students have arrived and are in costume, gather them in the middle of the forum. Ask students if they would like to explain what they have been working on in the classroom to our visitors. Why have we been studying Rome? What is one thing that you want to remember about being a Roman investigator? (This would be ideal for a community circle time).

*Students will cycle through stations throughout the morning with their families.

Morning Stations:

  • Create a Roman mosaic – students can explain to their parents the importance of the Roman mosaic and the two types of mosaics. Students can then create a new mosaic or work together with their parents or a friend to make a mosaic.
  • Create a snack for later – students can explain to their parents the types of food that Romans ate and recreate one of the recipes that we made earlier as a class. (Note: It will work best if you already have the recipe sized to the correct proportions for a larger group).
  • Cast your ballot! – students can explain to their parents how the Roman government is like our government; there were political campaigns and the citizens elected a leader. Today, the students will review the candidate’s platforms and discuss them with their parents. Parents may be encouraged to ask questions about the candidates and their respective ideas. Students and parents will cast a vote for who they want to lead the games in the afternoon.

Lunch Break – teacher will tally the votes from the students and parents

Afternoon Activities – During the afternoon, all students will be participating in the Roman games, led by the elected leader.

  • Announce the elected leader of the games and award him or her a wreath. The leader will decide the rotation of stations and will start and finish the ceremonies.
  • Encourage the student who was elected leader of the games to choose which game to start with and to think of a way to evenly divide the teams (the leader may wish to be a part of the games, as well).
  • Begin the games! Much like you did in the earlier activity, students can set up the stations and then rotate through them with their families. Parents should be encouraged either to participate with their student or head up a station.
  • After the games, hold a break for snack. Each dish that was prepared during the morning session and extra snacks brought in by students and teacher will be shared. Encourage students to spread out their towels and recline as they eat, just as the Romans did.
  • Check the students’ sundials – what time are they telling us? Students can explain to parents the purpose of the sundial and how to tell time using it.
  • Chariot race – using the teams that have been created before by the leader, have each team choose a racer to go first in the chariot race. With their ‘chariots,’ students will race around the track once and then hand off their chariot to the next person on their team. The first team to make it to the finish line wins! Have the leader start the race by waving a flag. (If the student is a part of the time, the teacher or parent can do this instead).

Culminating Reflection:

*After the races and games are finished, gather students back inside for a final community circle discussion about the Romans. Encourage parents to participate as well. What final connections can we make? Did anything we do today remind us of things that we do every day? What is something that you want to remember about Roman culture as we continue on in our studies?

*Students can get out their investigative notebooks for one final journal entry. Ask the students to think about the things that we have just discussed – what is important to them as individuals? Why do you think we spent some time studying the Romans?

*Students may want to talk to their parents about their activities, as well. Parents might have seen something during the day that the students didn’t notice.

*Is there anything that we didn’t recreate today that is important to you? What is it and why? Encourage students to reflect on their experience throughout the past two weeks.

End of the Day:

*Conclude the day by thanking students for taking part in the daily activities of the Roman citizens. They have helped to make the city a vibrant and busy place for the day! You hope to see them around the forum again soon, but for now, valete (goodbye in Latin)!

Assessment:

  • Observe student behavior during the activities of the day – students should be able to explain to their parents or other adults why they are doing the activities (voting, making mosaics, cooking) and how it relates to American culture. Students should also be working cooperatively and showing good sportsmanship during the games.
  • Collect students’ investigative notebooks. Students should have completed their entire notebook, including the final reflection in which they have clearly stated things that they want to remember and have begun making connections to American culture. Students’ work throughout the notebook should be complete and finished.

Lesson Success

_______Excellent _________Good _______Fair ______Flop