The Romans – Planning Overview

Written by Dan

Last updated

Are you a teacher looking to bring the fascinating and rich history of the Roman Empire into your classroom? Planning for a complete unit of work about this great civilization can be daunting- and figuring out where to begin is often the biggest hurdle. In this blog post, we’ll explore an overview of how to plan for an engaging unit of work around teaching the Romans, offering ideas on topics covered and educational activities that can help your students truly appreciate all that Rome has to offer.

Introducing the Romans

The Romans were a powerful and influential civilization that dominated much of Europe for centuries. Here are some key facts about their history:

Key Facts about Roman History

  • The Roman Empire began in 27 BC when Octavian, also known as Caesar Augustus, became the first Roman Emperor.
  • According to legend, Rome was founded in 753 BC by Romulus and Remus.
  • The Roman Republic was established in 509 BC when the Roman people overthrew their Etruscan conquerors and set up their government.
  • The Punic Wars were a series of three wars fought by Rome and Carthage from 264 BC to 146 BC and resulted in the destruction of Carthage and Rome’s dominance of the western Mediterranean.
  • Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, which marked the Roman Republic’s end and the Roman Empire’s beginning.

Key Aspects of Roman Culture

  • Language: Latin was the official language of the Roman Empire, and many modern European languages have Latin roots.
  • Architecture: Romans were known for their impressive architecture, including the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and many aqueducts and roads.
  • Religion: Romans were polytheistic and had many gods and goddesses, including Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Neptune.
  • Art: Roman art is known for its realism and attention to detail, including portraits, mosaics, and sculptures.
  • Engineering: Romans were skilled engineers and builders known for their aqueducts, roads, and bridges.

Planning Your Unit of Work

When planning your unit of work, you need to keep a few key things in mind. First and foremost, it’s essential to define clear objectives for what your students want to achieve. This should be the foundation for everything else you do, as it will inform the resources, activities, and learning outcomes you select.

Here are 15 learning objectives that could be used to direct a unit of planning about the Romans for school:

  1. Students can locate the Roman Empire on a map and describe its geographic features.
  2. Students will be able to identify and explain the significance of key historical events, such as the founding of Rome or the assassination of Julius Caesar.
  3. Students will be able to compare and contrast the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, including their forms of government and the factors that led to the transition.
  4. Students will be able to analyze and interpret primary and secondary sources related to the Romans, such as ancient texts, artwork, and artefacts.
  5. Students can describe daily life in ancient Rome, including social classes, gender roles, and entertainment.
  6. Students will be able to explain the impact of Roman architecture on modern architecture, including the design of public buildings and homes.
  7. Students will be able to identify and analyze significant works of Roman literature, such as Virgil’s Aeneid or Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
  8. Students will be able to describe the role of the Roman military in maintaining the empire and defending against invaders.
  9. Students will be able to explain the significance of Roman engineering achievements, such as aqueducts, roads, and bridges.
  10. Students will be able to describe the influence of the Roman language (Latin) on modern languages and vocabulary.
  11. Students can compare and contrast ancient Roman religions with modern religions, such as Christianity or Buddhism.
  12. Students will be able to explain how the fall of the Roman Empire contributed to the development of medieval Europe.
  13. Students will be able to analyze and interpret ancient Rome’s cultural and artistic legacy, including its influence on music, literature, and art.
  14. Students can identify and explain the significance of Roman political figures, such as Augustus, Nero, or Constantine.
  15. Students will be able to compare and contrast the contributions of Rome and Greece to Western civilization.

These objectives can be used as a guide for lesson planning and assessment of student learning in a unit about the Romans.

Speaking of resources, it’s crucial to choose those which are relevant and engaging for your students and facilitate the achievement of your objectives. Finally, remember to measure success by identifying clear learning outcomes and assessing whether your students have achieved them. Considering all of these factors, you’ll be well on your way to creating an effective and engaging unit of work for your students.

Lesson Plan 1: Roman Numeral Challenge


Students will be able to convert numbers to Roman numerals.

Materials Needed

Roman numeral worksheets, answer keys, paper, and pencils.


  1. Start by reviewing the concept of Roman numerals with the class.
  2. Hand out the Roman numeral worksheets to each student and provide an answer key.
  3. Give students a set amount of time to complete the worksheet.
  4. Once students have completed the worksheet, the teacher will collect and grade them.
  5. Award a prize to the student who completes the worksheet the fastest and another to the student who gets the most correct.

Lesson Plan 2: Creating Roman Armor


Students will be able to create Roman-style armour using cardboard.

Materials Needed

Cardboard, scissors, markers, glue, duct tape.


  1. Start by showing students examples of Roman armour, such as shields, swords, and helmets.
  2. Provide each student with cardboard and scissors, and instruct them to create their design of Roman armour.
  3. Once they have finished their plans, students can use markers and glue to decorate their armour.
  4. To conclude, they can use duct tape to secure their armour and strap it onto their bodies.

Lesson Plan 3: Virtual Field Trip to Rome


Students will be able to identify and locate famous landmarks in Ancient Rome.

Materials Needed

Computer, projector, and online resource that shows Roman landmarks.


  1. Start by showing students pictures and videos of famous Roman landmarks such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum.
  2. Introduce students to an online resource that shows 360-degree images of Ancient Rome, such as Google Earth.
  3. Allow students to take turns exploring the virtual world and identifying famous landmarks.
  4. Please encourage students to ask questions about the landmarks they discover and provide context about the history of the historic.

These lesson plans demonstrate how the teaching ideas discussed earlier can be implemented in the classroom. These specific activities engage students, making learning both fun and educational.

Teaching Ideas to Help Engage Learners

Engaging learners has become a crucial aspect of effective teaching. To achieve this goal, teachers must be willing to adapt and incorporate various teaching ideas into their classrooms.

Three teaching methodologies that have proven incredibly impactful are oral presentations, group projects and experiential learning. Oral presentations encourage students to refine their public speaking skills while also enabling them to articulate their ideas better. Group projects promote teamwork and collaboration and foster a deeper appreciation for diversity. Finally, experiential learning allows students to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios, making learning more relevant and engaging.

Here are some other teaching ideas to help engage learners in the topic of The Romans:

  1. Create a Roman-themed classroom: Encourage students to get excited about learning about the Romans by transforming your classroom into a Roman-style setting. This could include hanging up posters of famous Roman landmarks or historical figures, decorating the bulletin board with Roman-inspired art, and setting up a “Roman market” display.
  2. Roman numeral worksheets: Help students practice converting numbers to Roman numerals with worksheets or activities. For example, give students a set of numbers and see who can convert them to Roman numerals the fastest. You can find Roman numeral worksheets and activities online or create your own.
  3. Create a Roman fashion show: Encourage students to learn about life in ancient Rome by holding a “fashion show” featuring outfits from the period. Assign groups of students from different social classes (patrician, plebeian, etc.) and have them create costumes that reflect the clothing worn by those groups during the Roman Empire.
  4. Roman cooking lesson: Allow students to experience the flavours of ancient Rome by exploring old Roman cooking. Students can make dishes like pizza bianca or anise cookies and learn about the role of food in ancient Roman culture. Online resources and books about Roman cooking can be used as a guide.
  5. Virtual field trips: Take students on a virtual field trip to explore famous Roman landmarks such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum. Online videos and websites such as Google Earth can help students to explore destinations without leaving the classroom.
  6. Make Roman Armor: Students can create Roman armour using cardboard or other materials. They can create Roman shields, swords, and helmets with simple templates and scissors. This activity requires cardboard, scissors, markers, and other art materials.
  7. Roman Mythology Scavenger Hunt: Create a scavenger hunt based on Roman mythology where students have to answer questions about the gods and goddesses of that time. The questions can be found in mythology books, art pieces or Roman artefacts.
  8. Roman Timeline Activity: Students can make a timeline of key events in Roman history. This can be done collaboratively or as an individual activity. Teachers can provide a list of events, or students can research and decide on the possibilities to include. They can create the timeline on paper or use online tools such as Tiki-Toki.

These activities can make learning about the Romans fun and engaging for students. They can be used as standalone activities or incorporated into a larger unit of study.

Differentiated Teaching Strategies

With the advent of technology, teaching strategies have transformed immeasurably. Differentiated teaching strategies have emerged as an effective way to cater to each student’s unique learning style and bring out the best in all learners.

Utilizing technology and different levels of instruction allow teachers to customize lesson plans and tailor-make activities to suit an individual’s specific needs. Incorporating multimedia tools and interactive whiteboards has provided new opportunities to encourage diverse learning experiences in the classroom.

Many schools are now adopting this technique, understanding the importance of creating an environment that empowers students to learn at their own pace and in a way that suits them the best. By incorporating differentiated teaching strategies, teachers can improve student engagement, increase academic achievement and empower their students to become lifelong learners.

Assessment Strategies for Measuring Student Progress

Assessment strategies are an essential aspect of measuring the progress of students. It’s imperative to apply various approaches that would comprehensively evaluate their knowledge and skills.

Summative assessment measures what students know at the end of a learning period, while formative assessment identifies and closes the knowledge gap. Self-evaluation lets students assess their progress, giving them a sense of agency and ownership of their knowledge.

Peer evaluation allows students to learn from each other, promoting teamwork and collaboration. A well-thought-out combination of these strategies ensures objective measurement and enhances students’ learning experience.

Concluding Reflection on the Unit of Work

As the unit of work comes to a close, it’s essential to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of the plan. Throughout the team, I’ve realized that one of the significant strengths of the project was its organization. The activities, assignments, and assessments were laid out, and each task built upon the previous one, allowing for a steady learning progression.

However, one area for improvement I noticed was the need for more flexibility in the plan. Some students struggled with specific tasks and could have benefited from additional support or alternate assignments. Overall, this unit has been a valuable learning experience and has highlighted the importance of balancing structure with flexibility in lesson planning.

As this article has shown, teaching the Romans can be an engaging and rewarding experience. Planning a unit of work dedicated to the Romans requires careful consideration of key objectives, resources and learning outcomes to ensure students can learn effectively. Additionally, by utilizing technology and different levels of instruction via differentiated teaching strategies, learners benefit from more engaging activities and less-traditional assessments such as peer evaluations.

Ultimately, teachers need to consider feedback from their students when reflecting on the successes and weaknesses of a unit of work about the Romans. Through such an examination, educators can make adjustments to improve the educational process for future work units.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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