Do as the Romans do. So my chalkboard drawing took on a very austere, practical, disciplined, and serious nature. It was from a relief of a Roman general leading centurions in battle, rendered in marble, beautiful in the precision of the sculptor's craftsmanship. It set the tone of my 3-week block of Roman history.
It is not easy to condense 1500 years in 3 weeks!
In our first week, we traveled with Aeneas, the Trojan prince who escaped from the burning Troy, who traveled to Latium, in what is now Italy. He begins the Trojan bloodline that lead to Remus and Romulus and the birth of Rome in 753 BC.
In our second week, we moved through 500 years of the Roman Kingdom, and with the suicide of Lucretia in her refusal to be kidnapped by Tarquinius' son, the Roman Republic was formed in 509 BC. We discovered the social structure of the Republic with the plight of the patricians and plebeians. We learned about the technology of arches learned from Rome's Etruscan neighbors, and its application in the famous aqueducts. During the period of the Republic, I read to the sixth grade about the great Carthaginian general Hannibal's declaration of war against the Romans, and his eventual defeat in Zama.
We have also been learning Latin word roots, and a Latin verse that I put to song that reflects the somber glory of Rome.
About to begin our third week, I will end the Republic and enter the Empire. There are key players whose biographies I will bring: Julius Caesar, Marc Antony and Cleopatra, and Octavian Augustus. At the end of our block, we will put together our aqueduct project (pictures to follow), and I will run a PVC pipe through a channel in each of our segments. Water will flow and we will ceremoniously wash our hands to prepare for a Roman feast!