How Might Roman Citizens Be Able to Move About the Busy Streets of Rome?

By Jennifer Gioia, February 27, 2017

Grade Level

  • High School


  • Other

Subject Area

  • Language Arts


This lesson is initially designed for a Latin class but will employ elements of Social Studies (Cross Curricula) The lesson plan can also be adapted for other foreign language classes. Challenge cards can be composed in the target language. For the purpose of this proposal and subsequent final lesson plan, the challenge cards are in English. The lesson can be used as a culture or history lesson in conjunction with target language study.  The students learn more than just a language in a Latin class.  They also have to learn about culture and how Roman culture is different and/or the same their own culture.  Students will get an opportunity to problem solve and use critical thinking skills with conform with the National Classical Standards for Greek and Latin.  Students are expected to develop an awareness and appreciation for Roman culture as well as culture of other societies and their own.


Students will be able to understand what the streets of Ancient Rome were like. Students will be able to understand the demographics associated with the a specific time period in Ancient Roman History. The National Classical Language Standards will be applied, emphasis on classical language relationship to other disciplines. Common Core Standards will be applied as well in regards to social studies and relevant English standards as it applies to initial and final products. The design process will aid in the implementation of this lesson because it will allow students to see connections between disciplines not ordinarily recognized by many students. It will make Latin come alive for them in ways that they had not considered through geography and history as well as highlight community concerns both currently in their own society and in Ancient Rome   Final products will consist of the following for an audience of their peers as well as faculty members: individual element information, written passage in both English and Latin, oral presentation by groups, and all classes recreating a section of a city street plan on a wall outside of the classroom as well as having a physical, 3-d product for display.   Advanced and gifted students will be assigned additional duties as the project/activity warrants. Struggling learners will be appropriately placed in groups in order to receive peer tutoring as necessary.      


Students will make use of an essay found in Ecce Romani I about the streets of Rome.  In the textbook is not available, then online resources can be used to describe daily travel on the streets of Rome.  Select Roman authors can be used for testimonials and primary sources.  


For products, students can created models from clay, cardboard, foil, string, drinking straws, paper and tape.


Vocabulary is subject to the target language.  For example, Roman apartment buildings were known as insua, insulae (f) island as they were self-contained with living quarters and shops on the first level.  A Roman citizen in transit on the streets (viae) would have seen many insulae.


Students will need to be grouped after initial briefing on the lesson. I teach three sections of Latin, and each student, although working in groups, will be responsible for researching what life and the streets of Rome were like, historically, and socially. Each group will “plan” a section of the city with a particular group in mind such as an elderly/ disabled population, a working/poor/slave/class, a merchant class, etc..   I Project briefing, element and group selecting (teacher modeling, explaining procedures)   II Group and Individual work researching requirements (teacher observation and role of facilitator, mentor, tutor as needed)   III Students will create products individually— initial plan phase on 8X11 paper, color coded to represent table grouping   IV Students will each write a creative passage in first person as the element selected in two languages (English and Latin)—one passage but at least 25% of the passage must be composed in Latin and the rest in English. (Teacher as facilitator and mentor)   V Students will give group presentations and briefings on group findings and planning results as well as final products. (teacher as facilitator and mentor)   VI Students will create a way to put together their various parts of their city. This will be where the class will come together as a whole.       * There is a possibility of trying to schedule a guest speaker associated with city planning and street designs from the local community to help students understand the nature of planning with the needs of community members. This process could help them to understand more about their own community, especially since there is currently another post Katrina master plan for increased development for St. Bernard Parish.    


Students can present to classmates as well as write reflection on learning.

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