Sixth Grade Ancient Rome

This is the first three weeks of studying Ancient Rome in sixth grade.  We actually starting preparing for this block about a week before our Mineralogy block ended by reading aloud the Aenid as chronicled in Penelope Lively’s book,  “In Search of A Homeland: The Story of The Aenid.”  We started by drawing a picture from this book on our first day, along with reading the synopsis of the Aenid by Dorothy Harrer in her book, “Roman Lives.”

We then started reading in Charles Kovacs’ “Ancient Rome”  the story of Romulus and Remus.  We painted the Seven Hills of Rome and talked about Horatius Keeps the Bridge (the historical event and the poem, “Horatius At The Bridge”  by Lord Macaulay and also got the book with the complete poem in it to read), and also painted that scene as well.  I found the Christopherus Roman History guide to be helpful with some of the summaries and map drawings at this point.  Our daughter worked hard on a mosaic stepping stone for our garden during this week as well.

During the beginning of the second week of Rome, we drew a map of the Seven Hills of Rome.  We read the book “City” by David Macauley together and just absorbed how a Roman city would grow and how the Romans built their buildings.   We also talked extensively about the plebians and the patricians and Roman life.  Many Roman customs were detailed well in this rather mainstream book:

We started reading chapters of “Our Little Roman Cousin of Long Ago” to end each main lesson.

At the beginning of the third week, we then moved into Marius and Sulla, and from there into  Spartacus and Julius Caesar.  Now, at the end of our third week of Rome, we are finishing up a summary about Julius Caesar and our daughter is working on a portrait of Julius Caesar.

The amount of writing I required in this block was quite extensive.  My daughter is an excellent writer, and it is easy for her to compose summaries.  Many children would not be ready for this, and I think depending upon where your child is, you could require less writing, more writing on their own with you then correcting, or even dictation for some smaller summaries.

The last thing we really picked up these past three weeks was to re-invigorate our study of Latin.  At the tail end of fifth grade, our daughter had an opportunity to take a Latin class through a co-op.  I couldn’t continue this fall for a variety of reasons, but she will be picking back up with her teacher in January so we started to review in preparation for that.  We are using “Minimus”, which is geared to seven to ten year olds, but quite frankly, I think it is perfect for any age before high school.  It ties the speaking of the Latin language into the Roman occupation in Britain,  and details the life of a family living in Vindolanda, a real archeological site excavated in Britain.  It is certainly not beautiful as by Waldorf standards, but I think what it does do well in is tying the Latin language into a living, vibrant culture.

The resources I found most indispensable for this block, including the books highlighted above with pictures, were

The Christopherus Roman History Unit Guide

Dorothy Harrer’s “ Roman Lives”

Charles Kovacs’ “Ancient Rome” – this is really important, because Kovacs ties in the consciousness of the Romans to how humanity was developing in the world and spends time comparing Ancient Rome to the Ancient Civilization studied in fifth grade.

More to come in Ancient Rome,

10 thoughts on “Sixth Grade Ancient Rome

  1. What great resources, Carrie! I am teaching Latin at a Homeschooling Classical Academy, and I think those resources will help me make it more fun for the younger kids (our curriculum is all about memorization, conjugation, etc.—old school). I am using the Henle Latin series for our high schoolers, which I have to say I love. I wonder how one would approach learning a “dead” language from a Waldorf perspective?

    • Genevieve,
      Yes, I need to write a post on that! Greek and Latin were taught in Steiner’s schools, but there was a lot of care put into the fact that it was a “dead” language…This is why I think Maximus is great in a way, because it immediately is tied to culture based on the archaeological finds of that site in Britain. It is obviously made for British students, so they would get even more out of it because they could go visit this actual site.
      Foreign languages in general in a Steiner school work from immersion and the oral, so those could be key points to keep in mind, and in an enlivening gesture that would tie in with the main lessons for the students of that grade, and yes, with the arts.

      More to come if I can find time to write!
      Carrie 🙂

    • Tania,
      It could, but I also think tying Latin into other avenues that show off the culture is important as well. If we look at the way Spanish or another foreign language is addressed in a Waldorf School, there is usually native dress by the teacher, cooking, dancing and music, puppetry and stories…How can we do that in Latin? What is the essential?

  2. Thanks Carrie! No hurry, though I do always love to hear what you have to say! We will be singing Adeste Fideles in the coming month, speaking of the oral! And at home, Veni, veni Emmanuel!

  3. Pingback: Sixth Grade Ancient Rome | The Parenting Passageway

  4. Pingback: Gallery of Work From Sixth Grade Ancient Rome | The Parenting Passageway

  5. Pingback: Sixth Grade Ancient Rome | The Parenting Passageway

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