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McREL Standards Activity

The Legacy of Rome

Purpose:As a result of this activity, students will understand how institutions and achievements of ancient Rome have evolved.
Related Standard & Benchmarks:
World History
 Standard 9.Understand how major religious and large-scale empires arose in the Mediterranean Basin, China, and India from 500 BCE to 300 CE
   Level III [Grade 7-8]
   Benchmark 1. Understands the significant individuals and achievements of Roman society (e.g., the major legal, artistic, architectural, technological, and literary achievements of the Roman Republic; the influence of Hellenistic cultural traditions; the accomplishments of different, famous Roman citizens [Cincinnatus, the Gracchi, Cicero, Constantine, Nero, Marcus Aurelius])
Language Arts
 Standard 4.Gathers and uses information for research purposes
   Level III [Grade 6-8]
   Benchmark 4. Writes research papers (e.g., asks research questions, defines a topic, organizes information into major components and examines relationships among these components, addresses different perspectives on a topic, achieves balance between research information and original ideas, integrates a variety of information into a whole, draws conclusions)
Student Product:A research paper
Material & Resources:The following web site might be helpful to both teachers and students in identifying aspects of Roman society that have influenced modern life.
Teacher's Note:Students should complete a unit about the political, cultural, social, and economic achievements and developments of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire.
Students choose an element of Roman society they feel has had the most impact on modern society (e.g., architecture, engineering, military, transportation, agriculture, language, law, government, art, technology). Students then trace how that particular element has evolved over time and how it has influenced the development of its present equivalent form. For instance, students might select an aspect of the government structure of the Roman Republic, such as the Senate, and show how the concept and practice of the Senate has changed since the Roman Republic and how it has manifested itself in modern times (e.g., the United States Senate). Students will write a research paper in which they describe the evolution of the Roman institution or achievement they chose. They will also justify their choice of particular Roman achievement by explaining why they think this particular achievement had the most impact on modern society.