Activity Overview

Using a G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart to organize information about ancient Civilizations is a useful tool to enhance students' analysis of the characteristics and contributions of a society. Going further and including visuals helps students to better retain the details of each category.

When learning about ancient Civilizations, students may need teachers to provide a variety of resources. The use of diverse resources such as primary sources, videos, songs, readings from textbooks, encyclopedias and literature can be helpful for students to gain an accurate and complete picture of the time period. Students can use graphic organizers to write notes about the different categories as they learn.

Students Can Collaborate!

Teachers may wish for students to work together on this lesson which is possible with Storyboard That's Real Time Collaboration feature! With Real Time Collaboration, students can work on the same storyboard at the same time which is perfect for this lesson! As teachers know, collaborating on assignments allows students to think on a deeper level while increasing their communication and problem-solving skills. Collaboration can also help cut down on the time it takes to complete a storyboard. While there is no set limit to the number of users who can work on a storyboard at once, we recommend five users or fewer for optimal performance. All of our assignments default to individual. To make this lesson collaborative, teachers must enable collaboration for the assignment within the "Edit Assignment" tab.


In this activity students will create a G.R.A.P.E.S. chart that illustrates what they have learned about ancient Rome. They will examine geography, religion, achievements, politics, economics, and social structure.

There are different acronyms that can be helpful when analyzing ancient civilizations, and you can customize the template based on which version you'd like to use with students. These include:

  • P.I.R.A.T.E.S.: Political, Intellectual, Religion, Artistic, Technological, Economic, Social Structure
  • P.E.R.S.I.A.N.: Political, Economic, Religion, Social, Intellectual, Arts, Near (Geography)
  • G.R.E.A.T.S.: Government, Religion, Economics, Arts / Culture, Technology, Inventions & Achievements, Social System

G: Geography

  1. Where was Ancient Rome located?
  2. What physical features did it have?
  3. What was the climate like?
  4. What natural resources were present?
  5. How does the location or environment affect the development of ancient Roman civilization? (How does where they live affect how they live?)

R: Religion

  1. What religions did ancient Romans practice?
  2. Who were the religious leaders?
  3. Who were their god(s)/goddess(es)?

A: Achievements

What were some key inventions or contributions of ancient Rome in the areas of:

  1. Art
  2. Architecture
  3. Writing
  4. Science
  5. Math

P: Politics

  1. What type of government did ancient Rome have?
  2. Who were the leaders?
  3. How were decisions made?
  4. What role did people play in the government?
  5. What was the structure of the government?

E: Economics

  1. What were ancient Rome’s natural resources? What did they make and grow?
  2. With whom did ancient Rome trade? What were their imports and exports?
  3. What jobs were available?
  4. What type of currency exists?

S: Society

  1. What were the different levels of the society and what jobs did they do?
  2. What groups had rights and what rights did they have?
  3. What groups didn’t have rights?

Please note: Further activities utilize spider maps to expand on each category. By focusing on just one category, students are encouraged to include more information. Students can come together after they’ve created their storyboards to share what they’ve learned. The full G.R.A.P.E.S. Chart can be used as a pre or post assessment as well.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a chart that describes the different aspects of ancient Rome: Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economy, and Social Structure. To find art and characters related to ancient Rome, type "Rome" into the search box in the Storyboard Creator.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Write a 1-3 sentence description of each cell.
  3. Create an illustration that represents each category using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Save and exit when you're done.

Requirements: Minimum of 4-6 cells showcasing different aspects of ancient Rome. Appropriate scenes to illustrate each category. 1-3 sentence description for each cell demonstrating your understanding.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/3] Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/1] Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/WHST/6-8/2/B] Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

G.R.A.P.E.S. Rubric
Create a storyboard that highlights the following: geography, religion, achievements, politics, economy, and social structures.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Text and images include a clear explanation of the 6 important categories: geography, religion, achievements, politics, economy, and social structure.
Text and images include an explanation of important facts, but the explanation may lack clarity or there may be some inaccuracies.
Text and images do not explain important facts. Information is mostly missing or inaccurate.
Storyboard Images and Effort
Student clearly shows effort to convey the facts through appropriate scenes, characters, items, symbols or infographics. Illustrations clearly show that time, care and effort have been put in.
Student attempts to convey facts through use of graphics, but the depiction may be confusing, disordered, or lack some detail.
Student does not clearly convey facts and the depictions are inaccurate or inappropriate.
Spelling and Grammar
Student uses exemplary spelling and grammar. There are no errors.
Student makes one or two minor errors in spelling and grammar.
Student makes multiple errors in spelling and grammar.

This Activity is Part of Many Teacher Guides

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