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Activity Overview


Researching real people and events helps to immerse people in the lives and circumstances of Ancient times. Giving students this perspective helps them go beyond simply memorizing dates and names to acquire a more substantial and realistic view of the period. In this activity, students will create a narrative of a person or event relating to Ancient Rome. Creating a narrative out of the events will help students understand what happened, who each person was, and how they impacted history.

Teachers can assign students specific people or events or give students a choice. Teachers may wish to provide resources such as books or the online encyclopedia Britannica for students to read about their person or event. Students can present their narratives to their classmates, sharing their knowledge and combining research, writing and, public speaking skills into one powerful assignment.


Examples of Romans to Research

  • Cincinnatus
  • Julius Caesar
  • Augustus
  • Romulus and Remus
  • Nero
  • Marcus Aurelius
  • Commodus
  • Trajan
  • Constantine
  • Cicero
  • Virgil
  • Spartacus

Ancient Roman Myths Adopted from Greece

  • Jupiter and the Bee
  • Apollo and Cassandra
  • Pluto and the River Styx
  • Minerva and Neptune
  • Ceres and Proserpine and the Reason for Seasons
  • The Mighty Hercules
  • Perseus and Medusa
  • Pandora's Box
  • King Midas and the Golden Touch

Suggested Events or Legends of Ancient Rome

  • 753 BCE - The city of Rome is founded. Legend of Romulus and Remus.
  • 509 BCE - Rome becomes a republic. The last king, Tarquin the Proud is overthrown.
  • 218 BCE - Hannibal of Carthage invades Italy.
  • 73 BCE - Spartacus the gladiator leads enslaved people in an uprising.
  • 45 BCE - Julius Caesar becomes the first dictator of Rome.
  • 44 BCE - Julius Caesar is assassinated on the Ides of March.
  • 27 BCE - The Roman Empire begins as Caesar Augustus becomes the first Roman Emperor.
  • 64 CE - Massive fire burns much of Rome. Legend has it that Emperor Nero watched the city burn while playing a lyre.
  • 79 CE - Mount Vesuvius erupts, destroying the nearby Roman city of Pompeii.
  • 80 CE - The Colosseum is built. One of the great examples of Roman engineering, it can seat 50,000 people.
  • 121 CE - The Hadrian Wall is built across northern England to keep out the barbarians invading the Roman Empire’s conquered territory.
  • 306 CE - Constantine becomes Emperor of Rome and converts to Christianity.
  • 380 CE - Theodosius I declares Christianity to be the sole religion of the Roman Empire.
  • 395 CE - Rome splits into two empires: the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman (or Byzantine) Empire.
  • 410 CE - Rome is invaded and falls to the Visigoths.
  • 476 CE - The end of the Western Roman Empire and the fall of Ancient Rome. The last Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus is defeated by the German Goth Odoacer. This signals the start of the Dark Ages in Europe.
  • 1453 AD - The Byzantine Empire comes to an end as it falls to the Ottoman Empire.


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Due Date:

Objective: Research a famous or notable person. Create a narrative storyboard that includes their birth, death and important events from their life. OR Research a famous event or legend from Ancient Rome. Create a narrative storyboard which describes the major events in sequence.

Student Instructions:

  1. Choose a famous person or event.
  2. Using school resources, conduct research on a famous person or event and take notes using a graphic organizer.
  3. In the storyboard, include your person’s name and dates of birth, death and major accomplishments in sequence. OR if doing an event: include the major details of the event in order of occurrence.

Requirements: Person’s image, name, dates of birth/death, accomplishment, OR date of event and major details in order of occurrence.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

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/CCRA/R/7] Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/9] Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/WHST/6-8/2/B] Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

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