Unit Introduction

Sarah Rae
CRIN e05
December 17, 2013
A Social System: Ancient Roman Civilization
Curricular Design based on the Parallel Curriculum Model
I chose the topic “Ancient Rome” for this unit due to personal and pragmatic reasons.
Since I am student-teaching in a third grade class in Williamsburg, Virginia, I began my
hunt for a topic in the Virginia Department of Education’s Grade 3 Social Studies Standards
of Learning for History and Social Science. I located “Ancient Rome” as a topic and noted
the related content knowledge expected of Virginia 3rd graders. Next, I compared these to
National Council for the Social Studies Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, and found
related skills under the strands of “Culture, Time, Continuity, and Change”, “Individual
Development and Identity”, “Individuals, Groups, and Institutions”, “Power, Authority and
Governance”, and “Civic Ideals and Practices”. These broader connections across Social
Studies content and other disciplines fit harmoniously with the Parallel Curriculum Model,
as I have detailed in the “Standards” section of following unit overview. I then confirmed
using my practicum school’s Scope and Sequence that “Ancient Rome” is a topic taught in
the Spring semester of 2014, meaning I may teach this unit in whole or parts in the near
future. I solidified my decision on this topic because I studied abroad Spring of 2012 in
Rome and was fortunate enough to take on-site Art History and Sociology courses which
fostered my appreciation for the people at the heart of my unit.
Unit Overview and Schedule
Outline based on: Schy, E. (2012). Parallel Curriculum Model in teaching with Laurel Grove School: Item #10.
Retrieved from http://giftededresource.wikispaces.com/Lesson+Plans
Unit Name:
Subject Area(s):
Grade Level:
A Social System: Ancient Roman Civilization
 How did Ancient Roman civilization function through social
 In what ways might the decisions, interactions, and legacies of
Ancient Roman civilization influence who I am today?
 How might all social systems be related?
 How might social factors influence one’s opportunities in life?
 Is there one correct ‘history?’ Why or why not?
 How can we use historical narratives to help understand differing
and congruent perspectives in a historical continuum?
Social Studies
Connected to: Language Arts, Art, Mathematics
3rd Grade
This unit is designed for a 3rd grade class at Matthew Whaley Elementary
School in Williamsburg, VA. The class is comprised of 11 females, and 9
males. The class contains 5 identified gifted and talented students and 2
Unit Summary:
English Language Learners. The racial demographics of the students
include approximately 60% Caucasian, 25% Black,10% Hispanic, and 5%
Asian. Although Matthew Whaley is not a Title I school, there are great
wealth disparities among students.
This unit is planned to take place over 10 days from January 20th until
January 31st, 2014. Each Social Studies period is approximately 1 hour,
but additional reading, writing, research, projects, and applications may
take place during the timeframes of other disciplines (i.e. research
during Language Arts/Media Center time, lesson on monetary exchanges
for Roman Forum day during Math time, etc.).
This unit focuses on the historical context, social life, civic structure,
economic system, and lasting influence of Ancient Roman society, from
its beginning in 753 BC until modern day, as the legacy impacts our lives.
Through the culminating projects of a student-selected historical
narrative and Roman Forum Day, students will embody the life a person
alive during the Roman Republic. Students will investigate how various
individuals including artists/poets/actors/architects, plebeians,
patricians, Consuls/senate members, and gladiators/athletes played a
role in the social structure. Students will evaluate the quality of life of
their Roman citizen and the equity of this system. Students will research
and present findings on the contributions of Ancient Romans to analyze
how these systems and inventions impact our lives today, including
direct and representative democracy.
The Core Curriculum – Students will learn about the location, key
historical events, roles of society members, and contributions (i.e.
democracy, sporting events, architecture, art, etc.) of Ancient Roman
The Curriculum of Connections – The historical narrative allows for
integration of the writing process, research, and critical reading skills of
Language Arts. The study of Roman architecture, prose/poetry, art, etc.
relates to Art and Art History. The study of economics and exchange of
goods/services for monetary units during the Roman Forum Day allows
for Mathematics integration.
The Curriculum of Practice – Students will act as historians as they
conduct authentic research using primary and secondary sources
available in the classroom and through the Matthew Whaley media
center. They will compose historically influenced compositions as
artists, musicians, directors, playwrights, and authors. As historical
dramatists, they will embody their role in Ancient Roman society during
the Roman Forum Day. They will debate and analyze civic decisions as
philosophers during the Socratic Seminar and study of direct and
representational democracy.
The Curriculum of Identity – Through the freedom of choice in the
assignment, the students will be able to express themselves in any
format that conveys a historical perspective from the time period. The
student will have opportunities to work socially and individually during
this unit. By examining the contributions of Ancient Romans, including
democracy which greatly influences students’ lives in America, the
student will develop a greater understanding of how history is cyclical,
related and complex. Through this exploration, students will see how the
decisions of people today, influence the people of tomorrow and their
place within history.
VA SOL History and Social Studies:
3.1) The student will explain how the contributions of ancient Greece
and Rome have influenced the present world in terms of architecture,
government (direct and representative democracy) and sports
3.4) The student will develop map skills by locating Greece, Rome, and
West Africa, describing the physical and human characteristics of Greece,
Rome, and West Africa; explaining how the people of Greece, Rome, and
West Africa adapted to and/or changed their environment to meet their
3.7) The student will explain how producers in ancient Greece, Rome,
and the West African empire of Mali used natural resources, human
resources, and capital resources in the production of goods and services
NCSS Curriculum Standards:
I. Culture: the learner can: a) explore and describe similarities and
differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar
human needs and concerns, c) describe the way in which language,
stories, folktales, music and artistic creations serve as expressions of
culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture
II. Time, Continuity, and Change: the learner can d) identify and use
various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters,
diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others, f) use knowledge of facts
and concepts drawn from history, along with elements of historical
inquiry to inform decision making about action-taking on public issues
IV. Individual Development and Identity: the learner can: f) explore
factors that contribute to one’s personal identity such as interests,
capabilities and perceptions, g) analyze a particular event to identify
reasons individuals might respond in different ways;
V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions: the leaner can d) identify and
describe examples of tensions between and among individuals, groups,
or institutions and how belonging to more than one group can cause
internal conflicts
VI: Power, Authority, and Governance: the learner can a) examine the
rights and responsibilities of the individual in relation to his or her social
group, such as family, peer group, and school class
X: Civic Ideals and Practices: the learner can e) explain actions citizens
can take to influence public policy decisions, and so forth.
VA SOL English
3.6) The student will continue to read and demonstrate comprehension
of nonfiction texts
3.9) The student will write for a variety of purposes: a) identify the
intended audience, b) use a variety of prewriting strategies, f) include
details to elaborate the main idea, g) revise writing for clarity of content
3.10) The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization,
punctuation, and spelling
3.12) The student will use available technology for reading and writing
 Sequence events in Ancient Roman history
 Interpret ideas, events, and decisions from different historical
 Analyze how global societies of the past can influence local
communities of the present; compare and contrast historical
societies to modern-day society
 Analyze how social factors, including socio-economic status,
gender, race, education, culture, etc. impacts an individual’s life
outcomes and opportunities
 Gather reliable and appropriate research data using primary and
secondary sources
 Use research to compose an original historical narrative
demonstrating application of acquired knowledge, creativity, and
 Debate and make value-based decisions on a scenario
 Social factors influence one’s life opportunities.
 The decisions, interactions, and contributions of historical
societies influence me in our increasingly globalizing world.
 There is not one “correct” history, but rather a combination of
“told” and “untold” stories; historical narratives can help us
understand differing perspectives through time.
Social Interactions and Lasting Legacies
Formative Assessments
Summative Assessments
As a whole class, students will complete an
introductory “Heard, Questions, Plan,
Questions” chart that will continue to
contribute to throughout the unit.
Student engagement and effort will be
formatively assessed throughout the unit
based on participation in daily lesson
activities. Teacher will formatively assess
during whole class, small group, and pair
discussions. Teacher will formatively assess
students skills throughout the inquiry
research process.
Students will compose and present an
original historical narrative, which will be
graded using a rubric that students will be
provided on the date it is first assigned. The
students will be graded for their efforts
during Roman Forum Day using a rubric
which they will also be provided on the date
it is first assigned. The students will take a
final written assessment on the last day of
the Unit to ensure that they know the
required content knowledge about Ancient
Calendar: (A brief overview with Historical Narrative checkpoints included; * = full lesson
included on Unit Wiki site)
Week 1 –
Jan. 20-24,
Week 2 –
Jan. 27-31,
*Inquirybased, Local
and Global
chart; research
on Ancient
comparison of
life in Ancient
Rome and life
in modern-day
student must
choose a
Roman role by
the end of class
Economy and
Simulation of
trade based
upon regional
exploration of
Ancient Roman
imports and
exports; Sort of
human, and
resources of
Ancient Rome;
final work
period with
“Roman role”
group for
Roman Forum
Exploring the
location of
Ancient Rome
using Google
“Rome: The
Musical” and
discussion on
the power of
Exploring the
origin of
“Bread and
Circuses”, BBC
excerpt to open
the Socratic
seminar topic,
seminar about
equity in
Ancient Rome;
Student must
confirm project
choice for
Narrative by
end of class
of Historical
Day 1 (about
¾ of students)
*Civics: mock
election, movie
on American
democracy and
democracy in
the Roman
comparison of
system to that
of Ancient
Rome; writing
prompt on
how life may
be different if
we did not
Assign “Roman
Forum Day”
of Historical
Day 2
(remaining ¼
of students);
review for
discussion of
Roman legacy
that impact life
Work Period:
Review of what we’ve
learned so far (Crash
Course History
video); joint Social
Studies and Art
preparation for
Roman Forum Day;
developing a miniskit to perform
during the “Forum”;
Historical Narrative
drafts due; individual
conferences with
Families and
other classes
invited to
watch the
with authentic
Roman food
(this night will be the
opening of “Voices of
the Past: Ancient
Rome” exhibition
either at the
Regional Library or
Matthew Whaley;
Related flashcards
Roman law

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