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Here students perform a skit and blog as Roman gladiators


Social Studies  




Title – Gladiators: Rome’s Violent Past
By – Cara L Hall
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects –
Grade Level – 7

Objective : The students will present a role-play demonstrating their knowledge of varying figures of Roman entertainment by acting out a skit for the class or making blog entries online; the presentations will include a visual aid in the form of a display board, chart or power point presentation.



7.1 — Students analyze the causes and effects of the vast expansion and ultimate disintegration of the Roman Empire.



The movie “Gladiator”

Posters with pictures of Roman architecture

Posters with pictures of examples of architecture in the students’ city

Model of the Coliseum, or pictures of it

Books about the Roman Empire and the gladiator games

Computers with Internet Access and Power Point Presentation program

Pre-made blog or chat room

Art Materials for assistance with making of visual aid

GLAD Concept map of Rome

Pre-made sheet with expectations and rubrics for tasks


Anticipatory Set:

Ask questions to review what the students have already learned about the Roman Empire. Point to the different sections of the Concept Map to refresh their memory. Show the students the pictures of the well-known architecture in their town that has Roman influence. Compare it to examples of buildings in Roman times.

Show a pre-selected clip of “Gladiator” that shows the gladiator game (an appropriate section) and the coliseum. Before showing it, instruct the students to watch and list different items, customs and architecture unique to the Roman times. After the movie clip, allow students to discuss their lists with each other.



Using the model/picture of the Coliseum, talk to the students about the purpose of the Gladiator games. Focus also on the amount of poverty in the Empire and the aid programs developed by the government to keep the people happy. Discuss the repercussions of “free bread and games.”

List and define four major characters in a gladiator game: a spectator, the emperor, a lanista (owner of gladiators) and a gladiator. Have the students give examples of the actions and emotions that each might feel during the games.



Put the students into groups of four. Hand out the task sheet. Go over it with the students, explaining that, in their group, they need to research Roman entertainment. After doing the research, the group needs to decide who will “role play” each of the four parts. Using these role playing characters, the group should write and perform a skit, make a visual aid (either a display board or a power point presentation) and actively participate in an online blog or chat room. Be clear as to your expectations for both, and to the time limit they will have for completing the project.



The presentations will be graded on a rubric provided by the teacher on the original task sheet. Participation in the online blog/chat will make up the text representation of the information, from which the teacher will understand the depth in which the student understands Roman entertainment from the point of view of his/her character. The visual aid should also be graded on a rubric. Allow time for students to give peer evaluations on paper and positive feedback after skits verbally.

E-Mail Cara L Hall !

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