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Resources in sequences for this unit of work


Resources used


Activity 1: Prior to the lesson, gather together a number of objects that are used in everyday life and that are also specific to a particular job (for example, for a teacher: mug, chalk, mobile phone, memory stick, pencil, paperclip, lunchbox, CD Rom, hairband and glasses). The objects could also include images or videos. Organise at least four or five collections that are clearly differentiated in order to create clues about who might own them and what they might do (collect objects that might belong to a young schoolgirl, male teenager at high school, an old man with a hobby, a female nurse and a male builder). Photocopy the Clues from artefacts worksheet.

Activity 2: Photocopy the Imagining the person behind the artefacts worksheet.

Activity 3: Photocopy the Plus, minus, interesting worksheet

Student journals


Activity 1: The BBC video Pompeii: The last day is available on various internet sites or can be purchased and downloaded online through iTunes or The Education Shop for less than $5.00.

Activity 2: Students need access to computers or tablets connected to the internet. If this is not possible, the information will need to be printed out before the lesson. Create hyperlinks to the following two websites so students can access them easily: The ‘Daily Life’ area of the Melbourne Museum Pompeii website (suitable sections: businesses, public baths, private residences, food and dining, entertainment, fashion, medicine and religion) and the ‘Work and Play’ gallery from the BBC Ancient History website.

Activity 3: Photocopy the Developing a character from Pompeii worksheet


Introduction: Pliny the Younger’s eyewitness account of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (view online or print out for independent reading).

Activity 1: Print out Pliny the Elder’s account of the ‘Grandeur of Rome’ from the Eyewitness to History website.


James, Simon (2008) DK Eyewitness Guide to Ancient Rome, Dorling Kindersley, London (alternative text choice: any non-fiction book for students aged eight and above about ancient Rome).

Activity 1: Choose one double page spread from the DK Eyewitness Guide to Ancient Rome and photocopy or scan it.

Activity 2: Choose another double page spread from the DK Eyewitness Guide to Ancient Rome and photocopy or scan it twice. On one copy, cover over all the text on the page. On the second copy, cover over only the main title and the accompanying text that provides background to the topic.

Activity 3: Choose another double page spread that contains a large number of photographic images (for example, Soldiers in society, A world of many gods or Healing the sick) and scan or copy it so the students can annotate. 


Sims, Lesley and Stowell, Louie and Fox , Christyan et al. (illustrators) A Visitor’s Guide to Ancient Rome, Usborne Children’s Books, London. If this text is unavailable, substitute with a faction text about ancient Rome that contains examples of evaluative language. Alternatively, view a website if another book is not available.

Introduction: Photocopy or scan in the contents pages of The DK Eyewitness Guide to Ancient Rome and A Visitor’s Guide to Ancient Rome so they are sitting opposite each other on an A3 sheet of paper or on a page that can be displayed on an interactive whiteboard.

Activity 1: Photocopy the worksheet Text structure and features of A Visitor’s Guide to Ancient Rome.

Activity 2: Photocopy or scan a double page spread from the text.

Activity 3: Photocopy or scan two pages from each text, which cover the same topic (for example, religion). 


Langley, Andrew (2009) The Roman News, Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts, pages reproduced in this resource by permission of the publisher for sections The News, Sporting News, Trading News, Political Life, Army Life, City Life, Country Life, Women’s Pages, Fashion Pages, Food Pages and Children’s Pages.

Introduction: Collect a number of recent newspapers, especially weekend editions, which contain a large number of different sections. Photocopy the Analysis of a section from The Roman News worksheet.

Activity 1: Photocopy the Article analysis from The Roman News worksheet.

Activity 2: Photocopy the Intensifier worksheet for the students and also print out the list of intensifier words in a very large font then cut it up to give one word to each student

Strength and force in evaluative language is explained on page 125 of Derewianka, Beverly (2012) A New Grammar Companion for Teachers, Primary English Teaching Association, Sydney. 


Lawrence, Caroline (2003) The Assassins of Rome, Orion Children’s Books, London. The Assassins of Rome is the fourth book of 17 in The Roman Mysteries series. Although these sequences focus on this particular text, any one of the 17 books can be chosen for study. If this series is not available, any other novel for children (or selected passages from novels for adults) could be used. Any alternative text choices should contain descriptive detail about life in ancient Rome and an element of characterisation that is also anchored in the life and times of ancient Romans. Ideally, purchase a class set of the texts that students can read independently, in groups and as a whole class. If not, a teacher copy can be used; however, you will need to read the whole novel aloud to the students. 

The BBC DVD The Roman Mysteries is available (in ABC shops), adapted for children from the novel series. Watch the corresponding episode to the book studied. The Roman Mysteries website can also be accessed.

Activity 2: Display the Noun group table and the Quote from The Assassins of Rome on the interactive whiteboard. For a detailed explanation of prepositional phrases and embedded clauses, see pages 54–60 in A New Grammar Companion for Teachers by Beverly Derewianka.

Activity 3: Rome Reborn is a digital model of ancient Rome constructed by the University of Virginia. Images and videos of the reconstructed city can be found at the Rome Reborn website. Alternatively, use the video hosted on Scootle (access requires login), which shows both the modern remains of the Forum and a reconstruction. Other videos are also available on Scootle, which show reconstructed digital animations of ancient Rome. 


See Sequence 7 for information on The Assassins of Rome and other possible text choices for this sequence.

Activity 1: Photocopy the Character profile worksheet.

Activity 2: If possible, prepare some Roman-style outfits to help students get into character for hot-seating.

Activity 3: Display the Study of characterisation worksheet on an interactive whiteboard. 


See Sequence 7 for information on The Assassins of Rome and other possible text choices for this sequence.

Activity 1: Photocopy the Characterisation devices worksheet.

Activity 3: Photocopy the Character profile worksheet.


Mitchell, Adrian and Lee, Alan (illustrator) (2010) Shapeshifters: Tales from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, London. Students will need access to the text only of the poem ‘The four ages’. (They will be studying the illustrations in the following lesson and should not see them before this.)

Copyright-free translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses by Sir Samuel Garth, John Dryden et al., 1717.


Activity 1: Students will either need access to copies of Shapeshifters: Tales from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, or photocopy or scan pages 12–16. Pages 14–16 with the poems ‘Silver’ and ‘Bronze’ and ‘Iron’ are reproduced in this resource with the kind permission of the publishers.

Activity 2: Photocopy the Analysis of ‘The four ages’ worksheet.

Activity 3: Print off the Prologue from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to read to the students. They can then listen to the prologue as it is used in Baz Luhrman’s film, at Australian Screen online: Romeo & Juliet page (the film clip at the top of the page: ‘Capulets and Montagues’. Read the Curator’s notes for excellent background information on the film.

Go to Australian Screen online for Clip 1 (the Prologue) from Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Two further examples from the film are also available if there is time in the lesson. They both illustrate how image and film can be used to enhance written meaning in a modernised context. However, note that clip 3 contains adult themes and references to suicide, and should be used with caution.


Macaulay, David (2011) Rome Antics, Sandpiper Books, UK. Any text that visualises a city and contains interesting visual literacy perspectives could be used as an alternative to Rome Antics. 

Introduction: Show David Macaulay’s Rome Antics TED talk. If there is time, show students the full video of the talk (21:37 min). If not, pick up the talk from 15:44, using the link to the right of the video.

Activity 2: Select one double page spread that shows an interesting or unusual perspective and angle of a building that has survived from ancient Rome (suggestions include the Arch of Constantine, the Colosseum or the Pantheon). Scan in or photocopy the double page so students can annotate and draw attention to visual features.

Activity 3: Photocopy or scan double page spreads featuring buildings that have survived from ancient Rome. Suitable pages for this activity include: 4 & 5 (Appian Way), 6 & 7 (Aurelian Wall), 8 & 9 (Pyramid of Caius Cestius and Portia Ostiense), 10 & 11 (Arch of Constantine and Colosseum), 12 & 13 (Colosseum), 14 & 15 (The Forum and Palatine Hill), 16 & 17 (Temple of Hercules), 20 & 21 (Palazzo Spada), 50 & 51 (Pantheon), 52 & 53 (Pantheon), 54 & 55 (Pantheon), 56 & 57 (Pantheon), 62 & 63 (House of Lorenzo Manilo).