We had a fantastic day today dedicated to all things Roman! There were so many activities to do and experience, and so many things we learned that it was difficult to come back to modern day Britain!
Building a Roman Town
We had great fun becoming Roman architects - We had a piece of land which we used to create our very own Roman city! First, we placed the main roads north to south and east to west, then we placed walls around the city to protect it. Then, we added all of the important buildings such as villas, roman baths, a market place, army barracks and of course houses!
We learned about how the Romans invented concrete which they used to build their buildings and archways - this is how some have been able to stay standing for thousands of years! It was made a little differently then though, they mixed lime stone, volcanic sand and sea water. We also found out that the weight of the Lintel is evenly distributed over the posts so that they can hold a lot of weight. Our teacher was able to stand on a board which was held up only with paper cups and they didn't squash!
We learned that only boys were allowed to go to school in Roman times. Girls, those that were too poor, and slave children were extremely lucky if they were able to learn how to read and write. If they did learn, it would be from somebody in their household.
We were very lucky to be able to have a go at writing on a tabulay and stylus - which Roman children used in schools. Paper was much too expensive, so they scratched their writing into beeswax in a wooden frame which could then be smoothed out and used again and again!
We had lots of fun dressing us as Romans. We learned how to put on a Toga, which men and boys wore on special occasions. We also tried on Stolars which were women's and girls' occassion wear, as well as Tunics which were every day clothes.
Roman games are great fun! We played 'Rota', which is a bit like modern 4-in-a-row but on a wheel, we played knucklebones which is similar to madern day 'jacks', although in Roman times they would have used sheep's bones! Finally, we played 'Nux'. In Roman times, they would have used nuts which they took it in turns to roll through small wooden archways, each with a different score. The player with the most points at the end was the winner!
We had the opportunity to play with and look at some different items which would have been found in Roman times such as games and jewellery pots. We were also very lucky to get to see and touch some items which were actually from the time of the Romans 2000 years ago! We saw a brooch, some pieces of vases and pots and some jewellery beads.
We learned about how Romans used to measure things - using parts of their body! The smallest measurement was a 'digitus' which was the width of a finger. The second was a 'palmus' which was the length of a palm, and the third was a 'foot' - which was the length of a foot! There are 4 digitus to a palmus and 4 palmus to a foot!
We learned all about the Roman soldiers and the evolution of their armour and weapons. We saw the shields and swords which we have been learning about, and some of us got to hold them and wear the Roman helmets! We couldn't wear the chain mail though - It was extremely heavy!
Compared to Modern Britain
We played a matching activity in which we had to match up the Roman item or person to our modern day equivalent - such as carriages and cars, oil lamps and torches, Gladiators and footballers and many more! It was very interesting to see how different things are for us now, compared to Roman times.
VR Trip to Rome
Everybody loved this part of the day! We got to take a virtual trip to Ancient Rome itself! We immersed ourselves into the great Roman Baths in Bath. We saw the Colosseum in Rome as it is now and also as it would have looked with gladiators fighting to the death and thousands of people cheering in the crowds! We saw the house of Faun in Pompeii. Trajan's forum and we also took a trip down Hadrian's Wall!