Unit on ancient Rome, Grades 3-6

(2 week lesson plan - if only curriculum; 4-6 week plan - if used in conjunction with other curriculum.)

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 |

lesson plan by Genese Witwer

Contact: John Gruber-Miller

Day 1

A. History - Slide show

1. Show slides from Turkey of Roman Ruins

2. Discuss what they saw

3. Teach about the orders: Doric, Tuscan, Composite, Ionic, and Corinthian Styles

Book: Romans - Michael Grant p. 21

4. While watching slide show, children will eat grapes, Food of Rome.

  B. Reading

1. I will read The Romans - “Who Were the Romans?” p. 2-3

2. Discuss reading - First ruler

a. Who runs our country?

b. How is Rome like America?

c. Locate on the map

d. Title of leader - Is he like our leader?

e. Ask how our country is governed?


C. Spelling

1. Give them a word list

2. Look up each word in the dictionary and write a definition

  • Christianity, freedom, emperor, Roman, ancient, conquered, slaves, character, election, map, Sandals, Romulus, citizens, countries
  D. Art Make Sandals - Book The Romans - p. 4
  E. Story time

I read: The First Book of Ancient Rome by Charles Alexander Robinson, Jr. p. 9-17


  F. P.E. Take a walk around town and see if we can find some Roman architecture, like Doric, Ionic, etc. columns.
  G. Character Trait


1. Each day we will talk about a trait we see in the Romans and talk about it.

  H. Writing 1. Have each child write a small paragraph about what they learned today, or one new thing they learned
  I. Assignment 1. Each child will be responsible to read by the end of the unit the book, The First Book of Ancient Rome by Charles Alexander Robinson or a book equivalent
  J. Worksheet

1. Who was the first King of Rome? Romulus

2. Who are the three groups in the Roman Empire? Roman Citizens, Non-Citizens, Slaves

3. What country is Rome in? Italy

4. What kind of foot wear did they wear? Sandals

5. What does civilization mean? A society or group of people having qualities of refinement, education, laws.

6. What Country to the west of Rome did they conquer? Britain

7. What religion did the Romans eventually adopt? Christianity

Day 2

A. Reading

Baths and town “The Romans” p.8&9, 20&21 “Life in a Roman Town” “A visit to the Baths”


1. What do we do that is similar, how are they different?

2. Discuss the words: frigidarium, tepidarium, & cardarium.

  B. Spelling

Go over words from Day 1 and talk about definitions

  • Pick 8 words - Write them in a sentence
  C. Character Trait Diligence
  D. P.E.


1. Go to YMCA or local swimming pool

  • Play basketball
  • Sit outside on lawn and read a book each child will bring.
  E. Reading

1. From book “The First Book of Ancient Rome” (or book equivalent) p.9-10

Have a couple of students read out loud a paragraph, and explain what it means, in their own words.

  F. History Read (teacher) p. 11-17 The First Book of Ancient Rome
  G. Review  
  H. Worksheet

1. Where did the Romans go for leisure, to meet friends, to play games, & relax? Baths

2. What was rubbed into their skin? Olive oil

3. How was the bath water heated? Fires under the floor

4. How large could some baths be? 30 acres

5. What lined the outside of the baths? Shops

6. What things were inside? Baths, gardens, libraries, gymnasiums, and museums

7. What kind of refreshments did they have? Cake, wine, sausages, pies

Day 3

A. Reading

Read (children read) The Story of Rome p.43 “ A Typical Day” -one paragraph

1. Have a couple of children read one paragraph about food.

Read As the Romans Did - p.113

“A Day in the Life of a Schoolboy”

  • Teacher reads 1st paragraph
  • Few students read next 2 paragraphs
  • Talk about their school day
  B. Home Ec

Make Bread -Using recipe for 2 loaves

  • First teacher brings a mortar and a pestle and talk about how they ground wheat into flour.
  • I’ll bring in whet grinder we use today or just use flour.
  • Everyone will participate
  C. Math and Writing
  • Write recipe out
  • Double recipe - How much to make 4 loaves
  • Half recipe - How much for half - one loaf
  D. Character Trait Kindness
  E. P.E

Walk around the school and homes nearby and observe how our homes are.

  • Discuss similarities and differences in Roman houses - just outside appearance
  • Then read: The Buildings of Ancient Rome p. 36-38
  • Find Pompeii on the map.
  F. History Read: The First Book of Ancient Rome p. 23-30
  G. Worksheet

1. How did Romans light their houses? Oil Lamps

2. What was the garment called that men wore? Toga

3. What did some Romans eat for breakfast? Bread, water, cheese

4. Where did the upper class spend their mornings? Senate, courts, or in writing & preparing speeches, letters, or advising clients.

5.Where might a Roman stroll? Forum

6. What might they do in the afternoon? Watch shows, go to baths

Day 4

A. Reading

Teacher reads- The Romans p. 3

Talk about mosaics and how the Romans used them.


“Mosaic Picture” - The Romans - book p. 10&11

Materials: Cardboard, glue, construction paper in several colors, scissors, pencil


  • Draw outline of a picture on the cardboard.
  • Draw a simple pattern around the edge.
  • Cut construction paper into small squares.
  • Glue the squares inside your pencil outline to make a colorful mosaic.
  C. Math
  • Count the mosaic pieces
  • Teach-perimeter, area
  • How to use a ruler
  D. Character Trait


1. Talk about giving something of their’s to someone

  E. History The First Book of Ancient Rome - p. 31-36
  F. Reading Children - Read next two paragraphs The Story of Rome p. 43 A typical day
  G. Writing 1. Have each student write a story about a typical day he or she might spend.
  H. Review & Assignment 1. Have each student draw the rooms in their house and ring back the next day
  I. Worksheet

1. What kind of homes did the wealthy live in? Spacious homes

2. What are the passageways called? Fauces

3. What was their living room called? Atrium

4. What was the opening in the roof called? Compuvium

5. Under the open roof what was a pool called? Impluvium

6. What was the triclinium? Dining room

7. What was next to the atrium and opened into the peristyle? Tablinum

8. What were the bedrooms called? Cubicula

Day 5

A. Sharing Time 1. Have each student orally tell about the house they live in
  B. Writing

1. Assignment - Journal

Keep a journal of everything they do Saturday and Sunday

2. Show them how to keep a journal

  C. Reading and Math

Read The Romans - “Roman Numerals” p.22

  • Write Roman Numerals up to 100
  • Write the year they were born, the year it is now, the years siblings were born
  • Do some larger Roman Numerals
  D. History teacher read- The First Book of Ancient Rome - p. 38-45
  E. Character Trait Loyalty
  F. Bible Read - Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho
  G. Music Teach Song - Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho
  H. Reading Teacher read - The Romans - “The Roman Army” p.12-13
  I. Art

Read: The Romans - p. 14 Make Roman Soldier

materials: Cardboard, aluminum foil, pencil, red crepe paper, brown paper, paint, scissors, glue

  J. Drama With their uniforms act out a story they will make up with the whole class. We will write the story down.
  K. Worksheet

1. What did the mighty Roman Empire depend on for strength? Army

2. The army did three things, what were they?

a. Protected the empire against it’s enemies

b. Conquered new lands

c. Kept the peace

3. What did the armies build? roads

4. How often did the soldiers train? Every day

5. What was their uniform called? Armor

6. Was life easy for the army? No

7. Did they get any pay? Yes

8. What did they get when they retired? Money or a small plot of land

Day 6

A. Pick up journals after volunteers read theirs  
  B. History The First Book of Ancient Rome p. 46-54
  C. Free Time
  • Let children read a book - “Life Long Ago” The Romans - (Or a book equivalent)
  • Write a poem
  • Make a shield and sword (Book - The Romans p.18)
  • Make a necklace (Book- The Romans - p. 6)

D. English

Read some poetry (teacher)

  • Poem by Horace - Book - As the Romans Did p. 165 - no. 178
  • Poem called Moretum - Book - As the Romans Did p.162 - no. 174
  • Poem by Tibullus - As the Romans Did p. 166 - no.179
  E. Spelling and Vocabulary

1. Look up each word in the dictionary, write definition

literature, Pantheon, aqueduct, apse, Virgil, Tiber, basilica, temples

  F. Home Ec

1. We will make moretum, mentioned in one of the poems.

Materials: vegetables, vinegar, cheese (optional) , herbs, oil

Vegetables ground together and mixed with other ingredients

  G. Science
  • Talk about some of the vegetables we have and how they grow.
  • We will plant some vegetable seeds and have them grow
  H. Character Trait- Honesty
  I . Assignment

(Have assignment run off)

1. Have children ask parents to give them a family time line with dates and occupations going back as far as they can.

  J. Worksheet

1. What did Augustus build? Temples

2. What was the new religion? Christianity

3. Who was the greatest Roman poet? Virgil

4. What was the name of the long poem he wrote? Aeneid

5. Who was another famous poet? Horace

6. Who gave financially to writers and artists? Maecenas

7. What was the busy center of the city? Forum

Day 7

A. Spelling

1. Play Hangman game with spelling words

Children guess letters to find what the spelling word is

5 guesses before being hung

  B. Art and History-

Teacher read- The Story of Rome p.61-63

  • Make a time line using information they bring from home
  • Talk about what B.C. and A.D. means
  C. Writing- What do you want to be when you grow up? Write a story about what they want to be when they grow up and why.
  D. Character Trait- Purity
  E. P.E. and Reading-

Read- As the Romans Did p.310 “Athletic Activities”

  • First talk about the running tracks and types of games the Romans played. Read As the Romans Did p.334- no. 332
  • Find other books on games
  • Go out and play some outdoor games
  • Have relays
  F. Leisure Time Reading time- read whatever they want to
  G. Music and Bible
  • Try to get a lyre - or picture in an encyclopedia.
  • Read some Psalms David wrote
  • Find some music a lyre makes
  • Have children think about a musical instrument they might like to learn how to play
  H. Worksheet

1. What emperor was a “monster”? Nero

2. What is a lyre? A musical instrument

3. What country or province did Trojan conquer? Dacia (today Romania)

4. Who was emperor after Trajen? Hadrian

5. What did Hadrian build? A great wall

6. Who was one of the most sensitive emperors? Marcus Aurelius

7. When did Marcus live? 161-180 AD

8. What book did he write? Meditations

9. What language did he write in? Greek

10. In what year did the Romans get peace? 235 AD

Day 8

A. Bible and History
  • Talk about King Solomon and the book he wrote - Proverbs
  • Read a few Proverbs
  • Read The First Book of Ancient Rome p.61-64
  B. Art
  • Book- Make a Roman Aqueduct - by Steve and Jean Henrich p.32
  • Talk about sculptures - Book - Roman Portraits by Richard Daniel DeFoe

    a. Look at pictures in book.

  • Let the children work with clay and see what they can make.
  • Show a sculpture
  C. Visit Art Museum and Writing
  • Somewhere they have sculptures
  • Write a letter to one of the statues at the museum
  D. Language
  • Talk about other countries and the languages they speak there
  • Look up some Greek words
  E. Character Trait - Constancy
  F. History

Read - The Story of Rome p.40-42 “The Romans at Home,” The Buildings of Ancient Rome p 22-23 “Water Works”

  • Talk about aqueducts
  • How do we get water?
  G. Assignment Look up how we get water and report back to the class
  H. Worksheet

1. What emperor finally established peace and order? Diocletian

2. Where did first Romans live? Mud huts and farms

3. At the beginning of the first century, how many people lived in Rome? 1 million

4. Who were the only people who could get sleep? Rich

5. How did the Romans get water? Aqueducts

Day 9

A. Bible and History
  • Read some Proverbs from Solomon
  • Find one verse they like
  B. English Have children share what they found out -where water comes from
  C. Character Trait -  
  D. Art and Guest Speaker
  • Bring in guest speaker to talk about Rome and bring in pictures if they have been there
  • Have someone show the children the art of making baskets and make a basket (optional)
  E. Literature
  • Learn about fables
  • Read - (teacher) Book- As the Romans Did “The Country Mouse and the City Mouse” p.167 - no.180
  • Read other fables
  F. History -

Read As the Romans Did p. 331 -330 “Spectacles”

  • Talk about Holidays
  • How were their holidays different than ours?
  G. Assignment Write a paper on what your favorite holiday is and why

Day 10

A. Bible and History

1. Read Proverbs
  B. Music Sing songs learned
  C. English Read papers on favorite holidays
  D. Review
  • Discuss anything they want
  • Review for test
  • Finish up any assignments
  • Free time
  E. Give final test