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Imagining ancient Rome

Photo by by Gautier Poupeau of a statue of Britannicus, son of the Roman emperor Claudius. Detail from a statue of his mother Messalina, in the Louvre (Paris)

Britannicus, son of the Roman emperor Claudius. Detail from a statue of his mother Messalina, in the Louvre (Paris). Photo Gautier Poupeau CC-BY-2.0

About this unit:

This unit allows students to explore how life in ancient Rome has been represented and imagined, using the novel The Assassins of Rome, the picture book Rome Antics, the factual text DK Eyewitness Guide to Ancient Rome, the hybrid texts A Visitor’s Guide to Ancient Rome and The Roman News, and an anthology of illustrated poetry: Shapeshifters: Tales from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. More

Duration and sequence pathways:

The unit of work is designed around 12 lesson sequences, which are divided into three main sections: using evidence to recreate ancient Rome, exploring factual texts on ancient Rome and exploring fictional texts on ancient Rome. More information

Resources used:

See a list of resources used in each sequence, plus additional teaching resources.

Unit writer:

Sophie Honeybourne

Australian Curriculum: English Year 7

Sequence 1: Using archaeological evidence to imagine the past

Sequence 2: Using evidence from Pompeii to imagine life in ancient Rome

Sequence 3: Eyewitness accounts of life in ancient Rome

Sequence 4: Life in ancient Rome in conventional information texts

Sequence 5: Using faction to represent and imagine ancient Rome

Sequence 6: Using a hybrid text format to imagine ancient Rome

Sequence 7: Using the setting of ancient Rome in fictional writing

Sequence 8: How ancient Romans have been characterised in fiction

Sequence 9: A character from ancient Rome in a modern work of fiction

Sequence 10: A 21st-century adaptation of poetry from ancient Rome

Sequence 11: Modern images for an ancient Roman text

Sequence 12: Representing ancient Rome in the context of 21st-century Rome

Australian Curriculum: English Year 7

How Cross-curriculum priorities relate to this unit

Because of the topic focus of ancient Rome, the unit does not thematically link to any Cross-curriculum priorities.

Australian Curriculum: English Year 7

How General Capabilities relate to this unit

Throughout the unit there is a strong focus on the General Capabilities of Literacy and Critical and Creative Thinking. Students will use their literacy skills to analyse and create a variety of fictional and factual texts. They will be challenged to think critically and creatively as they explore and resolve some of the challenges associated with recreating an ancient past through literature.

In sequences 1, 2 and 3 (and as a background concept in many other sequences), students explore Ethical Understandings  as they discuss the responsibilities historians and authors face when imagining an ancient past based on artefacts and eyewitness accounts.

Throughout the sequences students have the opportunity to demonstrate Personal and Social Capability as they work collaboratively on a variety of tasks.

Students are provided with a number of opportunities to use Information and Communication Technology resources (in sequences 2, 3, 7, 11 and 12).

Curriculum summary for this unit:

Find a summary table for the Australian Curriculum: English and the three strands of Literature, Literacy and Language and sub-strands and to the Australian Curriculum: History with links to elaborations in sequence content.

Rich assessment tasks:

There are two key assessment tasks for this unit. They are Assessment task 1: Student reflective journal (formative)  and Assessment task 2: Developing a factual and a fictional text about ancient Rome (summative).