Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
A Message of Ancient Days
Lesson at a Glance
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Chapter 15, Lesson 2: Rome and the Christians (pp. 463-469)
The Big Idea
Framework Concept: Change Romans went from ignoring the early Christians to becoming Christians themselves.
- Use a cause-and-effect chart to show how different Roman policies influenced the growth of the religion. Describe Rome's first responses to Christianity, from ignoring it to sentencing Christians to death. Outline Constantine's support for Christianity and discuss the ways in which this enabled the religion to grow. Point out the ways in which his concerns about pleasing the Christian God mirrored earlier concerns about pleasing the Roman gods. Talk about the effect of Christianity's growth on those who were not Christians.
- With students, compare a modern map of the Mediterranean (pages 508, 511 in the textbook) and the map on page 465 to determine in what present-day countries Christians had placed major settlements in A.D. 200. Have volunteers tell you the names of the countries.
Use the Lesson Outline to preview the content of the lesson. You may wish to print it for your students as a guide during reading.
Check for Understanding
- Have each student write down one Roman response to Christians which strengthened Christianity, and one outcome from that growth in strength. Remind students that Roman responses were both positive and negative, and even negative responses can strengthen. Have students share and discuss.
- Ask students to look at the symbols pictured in this lesson and then design a wall decoration for the catacombs.
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