For some reason, I have found that whenever I get my upper level students, they have no historical context for what we are reading. This year, I worked very hard on giving my Latin 2 students that context, so that they would have it for Latin 3. But how to make them retain it?
This is where I came up with the Epic History Timeline. You will need: three rolls of that wide Bulletin Board Paper (Colors make it look awesome!), Colored pencils/Markers (Markers stand out more!), and devices that can access the internet.
I gave my students these instructions:
“Working in groups of 3, your mission, whether or not you choose to accept it, is to outline a period of Roman history on a Timeline. You must find 20 or more events for your time period.
Your group will select this time period by chance. Working in your group of three, you will each need to choose a role:
*Exquisitor—You will be researching the chosen time period on your phone and will be in charge of describing the event to the Scriptor and the Pictor.
*Scriptor—You will, on the description of the Exquisitor, put the event on the timeline, and write a concise description of the event.
*Pictor—You will draw a picture of the event on the timeline.
Once you have put together your piece of the timeline, you will present it to the class, discussing your events and their significance to Roman History. Then, add your timeline piece to the timeline.
Don’t forget to put your names on your section!”
They then drew their time periods out of a hat. I had seven groups, so I split the time periods up like this:
The Monarchy (753 BC to 509 BC)
Early Republic (510 BC to 367 BC)
Mid Republic (366 BC to 132 BC)
Late Republic (133 BC to 31 BC)
Early Empire (30 BC to 68 AD)
Mid Empire (68 AD to 96 AD)
Mid Empire 2 (96 AD to 180 AD)
Each group was instructed to cut 4 feet of bulletin board paper, and get started. The results were spectacular! This project took two to three 1.5 hour classes, from start to finish. (Three classes for most of my classes!) Each group presented their section to the class and talked about why the events in their section were important to Roman history. We then pieced the timelines together and hung them up All over the school. These things are a work of art!
(And, yes, I did give them a quiz about it, with fantastic results.)
I love this project because there is something for everyone. Those who would rather research can do so; those who have the gift of neat handwriting can make use of that talent; and, of course, the ones who like to draw can do that too. The students need to internalize and own the historical events so that they can explain them clearly to their peers. This project worked extremely well for my students and I hope yours enjoy it too!
Many teachers of classics include in their curriculum a unit on Roman dining, whether through reading Petronius’ Cena Trimalchonis at the upper levels, or a