Session 01 - Hamilton Trust

LKS2 Topic: The Romans in Britain Block E: Mosaics
Session 1 Exploring Mosaics
History: Understand how knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources; Ask
historically valid questions; Learn about the Romanisation of Britain.
To investigate Roman mosaics, discovering where they have been found and what they depicted.
Understand the role of archaeologists in uncovering remains and how the past can be pieced together.
Art: Understand the historical and cultural development of art forms (mosaics); Explore their ideas.
To explore and discuss mosaics as an art form brought to Britain by the Romans, looking particularly at
borders. To explore and develop different border patterns to use for a large printed mosaic.
Image showing a selection of simple L shaped
border examples (with corners) using coloured (5 rows deep and 2 or 3 colours only); villa/3708.html - These 2 short film clips explain how archaeology
Photographs/ power point of finished printed
uncovers Roman remains including mosaics;
mosaics; Strips of cm squared paper, 5 squares wide, including some L shaped pieces
This site has a gallery of close up images of Roman mosaics;
to design corners; Felt tip pens or coloured - This site allows
crayons; Access to the internet (Easy group).
you to design your own mosaic.
Whole class: Explain to chn that today we will find out about some of the art that the Romans brought to Britain. Watch
the BBC class clips 3685 & 3708. What evidence of the Romans was found at Canterbury and Chedworth? What do we call
people who study history by looking at remains buried in the ground and left by people long ago? Archaeologists. Think
about the sorts of things archaeologists might find to piece together the past, e.g. pots, jewellery and tools as well as the
pillars, walls and floors of buildings. What art was found? Mosaics. What are mosaics? Pictures and patterns made from
tiny pieces of coloured stone called tesserae. Look together at the gallery of photos of Roman mosaics. Discuss the images
depicted in them and draw attention to the geometric designs and borders. Explain that over the next few sessions we will
explore mosaics and make our own designs through printing rather than sticking down tiles. Show some finished printed
designs created in this way, note the borders. Tell chn that today we will explore and design different borders and corners
that can be made from 5 rows of squares and either 2 or 3 colours. Show the image of selected border examples –
chequerboard, zigzags, castle top, etc. Take note that only 2 or 3 colours are used and each pattern repeats itself again
and again.
Medium/ Hard
Chn design a selection of borders and corners using Using the website referenced above that allows you to design your
2 or 3 colours of felt tip pens or coloured crayons
own mosaic, demonstrate how to create a 5 row border by filling in
and squared paper strips and L shapes provided. It
the 6th row in black to make an inner rectangle and an outer border
may help chn to have access to the example sheet
of 5 rows. Show how tiles can be filled in, in different colours.
as some may find generating a repeated pattern
Remind chn to stick to 2 or 3 colours on the border and to ensure
quite challenging. At the end of the session, they
that their design is a repeating pattern. Print finished designs for
can stick finished borders into their sketch books
future reference and discussion.
for future reference or the teacher can make a
Teacher to support as needed.
collection of the successful designs by sticking them
on a large sheet/ poster or display board.
Review the variety of borders and corners produced by both groups. Which do people like? Why? Which
designs, colours work well? Why? Do the patterns repeat?
Children will
 Know the significance of mosaics in Roman art
 Can generate a repeating mosaic style pattern of coloured squares on a grid
© Original resource copyright Hamilton Trust, who give permission for it to be adapted as wished by individual users.
We refer you to our warning, at the foot of the block overview, about links to other websites.