Lesson Plan: Towns
Roman Towns & game (30 mins)
Look at photos of real Roman buildings and
discuss: houses, villas, shops, forum,
theatre, amphitheatre, baths, temple, and city walls and gates.
Amphitheatre at Caerleon, S.Wales
Discuss what life might have been like for someone living in a
Roman town. How similar would it be to life in a town today?
Game: look at photos of buildings from the Roman empire and guess
what sort of building they are.
My Italy photos, 2013
Another 'name the building' game
break we will set out the materials for the town making.
Make a Roman Town (90+ mins)
click to see larger version
Children make a model of a Roman town, by
cutting out card 'nets' and folding and sticking them together. Different groups of children
make the sorts of buildings discussed earlier (except for baths which
are very complicated shapes). Two town
planners paint a street grid on a piece of hardboard
(approx 60X90cm), and decide where each building will go, thinking about
The town is a large and complex activity and it is unlikely
the class will finish it by lunchtime.They will continue to work on it in
the afternoon after making their artefact (weapon/armour or mosaic).
Photos of the model town
Note regarding difficulty:
Please note that the town making requires complex skills
such as cutting, folding and
gluing accurately, as well as following written instructions. This means the workshop
will be too hard for some year 4s. If you are in doubt, I recommend the mosaic
and metal art option. For all options, we will need at
least 2 extra adults in to help the children. If this is not possible we
will make a reduced range of items for the town and metal art.
To help prepare children for the town making you can do two
1. Practice some of the art skills in advance, especially scoring with
scissors and ruler, and making 3D shapes from nets.
2. On the day of the workshop, have as many adults as possible in the class
to help (for both the morning and afternoon). You could invite parents in if TAs are in short supply.
Please note that if fewer than 3 adults (in addition to
myself) are present we will omit the more difficult buildings when
making the town (the temple, theatre and amphitheatre). I can leave the
resources for children to make these buildings another day if you wish.
Frog mosaic from Pompeii (one of the large mosaic options)
Owl mosaic, another of the large options
at St. Richard's RC Primary, Manchester
Lesson Plan: Roman and
Celtic Metal Art
Look at Roman
and Celtic Metal Art (30 mins)
Children see replicas of Roman and Celtic artefacts, and discuss
what they are (function/use), who might have used them, what they are made
of, and their artistic style (Roman art is realistic, Celtic art features
curves, circles and less realistic representations of animals and people). I also show photos of real artefacts on the whiteboard.
Celtic torc, mirror, and shield, two Roman embossed silver plates (one
is a copy
of a plate from the Mildenhall treasure - see above, and the other is a copy
of part of the Corbridge lanx
showing goddesses), and real
Children will also see my versions of the items they will make from foil.
Click here to see these copies.
Art activity options
1. Foil Art: Each child makes two items
of foil art - first a silver or copper item and then a gold item. If you prefer, the items can be only Roman, only Celtic, or a
mixture of both. This is the default option: that is, unless you specify
you want to make torcs, we will make foil art.
3. Torcs: If your focus is on the
Celts, you can have each child make their own torc (they make them in
pairs, but each pair makes two torcs).
If you want a day only on Celtic art, we can make a torc for each child
in the morning and a Celtic foil item for each in the afternoon. As an
introduction I will do a short lesson on the Celts and their art styles
and show my Celtic artefact copies.
Make Embossed Metal Art (60 mins)
The children make beautiful items of metal art using gold, silver or
copper foil, specially designed for embossing. Most children work on their own item with
a few working in pairs on more elaborate pieces (such as the famous
Please note that if fewer than 2 adults (in addition
to myself) are present to help the children, we will omit the more
difficult items (the mirror, Battersea shield, and the Oceanus relief).
Click here to see
all the items as well as the originals on which they are based.
Copy of Celtic coin children will make
Using a pen, children trace over lines on a printed template onto the
foil underneath. They then emboss the lines to make them stand out clearly,
using a sharp pencil and a soft mat. Finally they cut out the foil and glue
it to a card backing to protect it.
Dancing girl from the Mildenhall Treasure
The Old Warden Celtic mirror (for a pair to make)
As the foil is very easy to damage, children with difficulties
in tracing over lines will use gold and silver card instead of foil. The
card is still very effective, and they can make several different items as
it is easier, quicker, and less costly.
Look at metal art made by
children in workshops
Torcs (45 mins)
The Great Torc from Snettisham
For the alternative activity, children work in pairs to make a Celtic torc. This is a necklace made from
twisted metal, often worn by elite Celtic warriors. The pairs hold a loop of
garden wire with sticks and twist. They add plasticine for the ends, shape
the wire into a circle, engrave the plasticine with a pencil and paint the
torc gold or silver.
Torc made by Y4 children
at St. Joseph's RC Primary
- can you tell if an artefact is Roman or Celtic?
Another 'Roman or Celtic?' game
info on Roman and Celtic art