Gossip at the Forum, Lesson Plan Ancient Rome
Lesson Plan for Ancient Rome, Julius Caesar
Gossip at the Forum
1-2 class periods
(1) Togas made from pillowcases that you can destroy. Cut a large hole for the head in the top and cut them up each side.
(2) Daggers made by the teacher in advance or by students out of cardboard
(3) Caesar’s costume: Purple toga, crown
Cardboard cards that can be hung around each player’s neck. Use ribbon. Each card has a role written on it. Brutus. Cassius. Caesar. Soothsayer. Listener, Narrator. Citizen 1. Citizen 2. And so on.
Announce to the students: I am sorry to report that things have gotten worse in Rome since our last meeting. Crime is everywhere. (Recap the problems) Roman is fighting Roman. It’s Civil War. One man, Julius Caesar, a great general, a powerful leader, has decided that he can fix Rome’s problems. Let’s hear what he and the people have to say.
ACTIVITY: PERFORM Gossip at the Forum, Classroom Play
Operation: This play will be performed twice. This play was written for a class size of 28-30 students. Adjust the play script so that there are enough roles for ½ of your class.
If you have an odd number classroom, assign the job of narrator to a student for the first performance; the teacher takes the role of narrator during the second performance. Since the narrator has the last line spoken, it leaves the teacher with the last word.
Select actors. Half the class. Put signs on each “volunteer” you select to play a part. Hang one card around each of your actor’s necks with their role name on it.
Each actor, find yourself a coach, someone who is not in the play.
Coaches, do your best. You have 10 minutes before the curtain goes up. And coaches, you’re next. Same role as you are coaching.
Distribute togas and swords while students are practicing. Tell actors and coaches that their position on stage is standing next to their desk. Remember, when the play is over, give your toga to your coach and return to your seat.
Give students no more than 8-10 minutes to rehearse. Set an alarm clock. When it rings, actors take their places and the curtain goes up (so to speak.) No rehearsal second time around. Quickly switch places, and do the play again.
Before the first performance, say: Audience, listen carefully. While listening to this play, can you figure out what Julius Caesar wanted?
Before the second performance, say: Audience, listen carefully. While listening to this play, can you figure out what the citizens of Rome wanted?
After each performance, all actors take a bow. Audience claps.
CLASS DISCUSSION: After both performances have concluded
What did the citizens of Rome want?
What did Julius Caesar want?
CLOSE CLASS: After Julius Caesar was assassinated, Augustus became the First Roman Emperor. The Roman Empire was born. Although Rome went on to greatness under the Empire, the Roman Republic was no more. Emperors were in charge of the Roman government.
Instructions to make Caesar’s crown / headband (by teacher prior to class)
A piece of felt (white) about 1 1/4” wide.
Close the circle by stapling a short piece of elastic (about 3” long) between the two ends.
Staple bright gold paper leaves to the headband of felt.
Important: Make sure you staple outward. You want the inside of the band to be smooth.