Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
A Message of Ancient Days

A Day at the Roman Forum: Public Life in Rome

Objective: Students research the Roman Forum, the public center of Roman life, and write an account of a day in the Forum.

What You Need:

Suggested Time:
3-4 hours over 2-3 days

Building Background:
Point out to students that Rome's public center was the Forum, or marketplace. Rome, as the center of a vast and varied empire, had an especially elaborate and magnificent "marketplace" filled with a range of public buildings: temples, shops, and even a prison. Tell students that they will research the buildings and daily activities that took place in the Roman Forum, and write an account of a day there.

What To Do:

1. Distribute a copy of The Roman Forum worksheet to each student. Send students to the school or local library to find information on the Roman Forum and life in ancient Rome. Growing Up in Ancient Rome by Mike Corbishley and Chris Molan is one source. The Unit 6 Bibliography also suggests a range of books on this topic. Remind students to look for specific references to public life and use of the Roman Forum. If you have Internet access, students can explore this sites for information:

Rome Project
(http://www.dalton.org/groups/rome/index.html)

This site provides resource lists on many aspects of Roman life, including literature, military, religion, and politics.

2. When students have finished their research, have them write a description of a day in the Forum. Encourage students to write from the perspective of people who might have gone to the Forum, such as travelers, shoppers, merchants and traders, scholars, and others. Encourage them to use descriptive details to show what the Forum was like.

3. Have students share their accounts by reading them aloud. You might want to keep track of details about the Forum by writing them on the board under each student's name. When students have finished reading their accounts, you can compare and contrast the details in each account.

Wrap-Up:
Have students discuss the activities that took place in the Forum.

Extension:


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