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Romulus and Remus Myth

Teacher Guide by Anna Warfield

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Romulus and Remus Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Romulus and Remus Include:

Rome was founded April 21st, 753 BCE. The Romulus and Remus story is an important founding myth for Rome. Romulus and Remus were two brothers, born of divine parentage. Their mother, Rhea Silvia, was a descendant of Aeneas, great hero of the Trojan War and son of Venus. Their father was supposedly Mars, god of war, but some accounts say they were sired by Hercules. Romulus gave his name to the city of Rome, and connects the great city with Mars, Aeneas, and Venus.

Romulus and Remus Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Plot Diagram | Romulus and Remus Myth Summary


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A common use for Storyboard That is to help students create a plot diagram of the events from a story. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and help students develop greater understanding of literary structures. Sometimes students will really have to think carefully about which events are major turning points in the plot.

Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a work with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the story in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.


In this example, the story is shortened to end BEFORE Romulus commits fratricide. Depending on your focus, you may want to consider expanding the story to include the events that led up to the Sabine War.

Example "Romulus and Remus" Plot Diagram

Exposition

Amulius overthrows his brother Numitor and becomes king of Alba Longa. Numitor’s daughter, Rhea Silvia, bears twin sons from Mars, god of war. These male heirs threaten the position of her uncle.


Conflict

Amulius wants the two boys killed. A servant sets the two boys in a basket and lets it float on the Tiber River. Their basket is saved and runs aground.


Rising Action

A she-wolf finds the crying babies and feeds them with her own milk. A woodpecker brings them food to eat. A shepherd soon discovers them and brings the two infants home to his wife. They raise them as simple shepherds, naming them Romulus and Remus.


Climax

Remus is imprisoned after an argument with the king's shepherds. Romulus gathers others to help rescue his brother. Amulius is killed and the brothers discover their true identities.


Falling Action

Their supporters wish to crown them as joint kings, but Romulus and Remus reinstate their grandfather, Numitor, as king of Alba Longa.


Resolution

The two brothers decide to found a new city along the Tiber River, near where the she-wolf found them. This city would later become the great city of Rome.


(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of the Romulus and Remus myth.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  3. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  4. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.
  5. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Romulus and Remus Myth Vocabulary Activities


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When confronted with a new text, it is important for students to become familiar with new words and to understand their context. In this activity, students demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words using a spider map. After choosing a word, students provide a definition and an image or scene that illustrates the word. Students may be provided the vocabulary words, or they can use words that they have discovered through their reading of the text.

augury

  • (n.) the practice of divining the will of the gods by observing birds

suckle

  • (v.) to give milk from a teat or udder

descendant

  • (n.) someone who is the offspring of a certain person, often traced through many generations.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in the Romulus and Remus myth by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.



(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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The Romulus and Remus Myth Made an Impact on Rome

In an era when entertainment was usually through various forms of performance and theater, stories had amazing power. Caesar Augustus made great strides during the Golden Age of Rome to beautify and enrich the city of Rome, as well as to cement Roman power and authority. Stories such as that of Romulus and Remus helped to solidify Rome’s connections with powerful divinities and mythical origins.

In this activity, students will use a T-Chart to compare events in the story to historical events or to effects on public opinion.

Other possible comparisons include

  • As babies, they were helped by the wolf and woodpecker. Two animals sacred to Mars, protected the founder(s) of Rome; therefore Mars protects Rome.
  • Romulus and Remus are direct descendants of Aeneas who broke the heart of Dido, Queen of Carthage. Rome had a long war with Carthage.
  • Romulus killed Remus after he jumped over his brother’s wall. Rome experienced political strife and many betrayals, such as the assassination of Julius Caesar.
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A Quick Synopsis of Romulus and Remus Legend

King Numitor once ruled Alba Longa. His brother, Amulius, deposed him, killed his male heirs, and forced his daughter, Rhea Silvia, to become a Vestal Virgin. While in the service to the temple, Rhea Silvia became pregnant, supposedly by the god of war, Mars. She gave birth to twin boys.

Amulius, now king, feared the boys would one day grow up to challenge him for the throne. Fearing divine retribution for killing the sons of Mars, Amulius had the infants left to die of exposure to the elements. A servant put the boys in a basket on the Tiber River. The basket ran aground and the babies were found by a wolf.

The she-wolf suckled the two babies and protected them from danger. A woodpecker brought them food to eat. A group of shepherds came across the wolf and the babies. One shepherd, named Faustulus, took the babies home and raised them to be shepherds.

When the boys were older, they got into an argument with shepherds of the king and Remus was arrested. Romulus gathered people to free Remus. Their true identities were revealed and King Amulius was killed. The people wished to crown the boys as kings, but they decided to give the throne back to Numitor.

The brothers wanted to found their own city near the place where they were found by the she-wolf. They both had their own ideas of where the city should be built: Romulus wanted the Palantine Hill and Remus wanted the Aventine Hill. The brothers tried to decide via augury; Remus saw six vultures first, and then Romulus saw twelve. Both claimed their chosen spot was favored and they began to argue. Romulus began to build a wall around his chosen location.

Remus made fun of Romulus and the wall he was building. Remus jumped over the wall, mocking its ineffectualness. Angry that his brother would belittle his work to such an extent and aggravated by his mockeries, Romulus killed his brother. Romulus founded his city, Roma, and established a government.


Essential Questions for Romulus and Remus

  1. What were some of the qualities that Romans admired? Do Romulus and Remus exhibit any of these qualities?
  2. Are there foundation myths for America?
  3. How does media affect our knowledge and opinions?


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