Teacher's Guide for DIG TM PompeiiMarch 2005
Teacher Guide prepared by: Alyssa Loorya, Brooklyn College Archaeological Research Center, Brooklyn College, CUNY.
This teacher's guide presents a variety of activities or questions to accompany the different articles about Pompeii in this issue of DIGTM.
- To learn about Pompeii and its destruction.
- To learn about the past through archaeological interpretation.
- Students will be able to synthesize information, both historical and scientific.
What can we learn about ancient Rome and its people from the ruins of Pompeii? "I Was There" (pp 6-8 and 9-11)
Reading Comprehension:"A Deadly Volcano" (pp. 12-13)
Have studetns read Pliny the Younger's letters to Tacitus.
When they are finished reading have them list three facts about the events in Pompeii in 79 A.D. based on the letters.
Discussion: Why didn't people flee at the first sign of trouble? What were those signs?
Write a letter describing an important event that you witnessed.
Science:"Bodies of Pompeii" (pp. 16-17)
Research volcanoes: What are they? Why do they erupt? Can modern science predict an eruption? What happens during an eruption? How often do volcanoes erupt?
Create a volcano fact sheet.
Read the article "A Deadly Volcano" by Mark Rose.
Based on your research and Mt. Vesuvius' history do you agree or disagree with Mark Rose's conclusions in the article you just read?
More than 3 million people live near Mt. Vesuvius, would you?
Have students read the article and answer the following questions. "On Site" (pp. 18-21)
Art Extension Activity:
- What were the empty spaces that Italian archaeologist Guiseppe Fiorelli found in the ash?
- What were archaeologists able to learn about the people of Pompeii from the plaster casts?
Experiment with plaster and plaster casts. Have students make plaster casts of their hands.
- Read the article together as a class.
Discussion: What did the archaeologists find at Pompeii? What else were they looking for or hoping to find?
- Outline the archaeological process. How is archaeology done?
If a city were buried today, in the early 21st century, just as Pompeii was; what are some of the things that archaeologists would find 2000 years from now?
Reading Comprehension & Art Extension Activity:Games page
Based on Jarrett A. Lobell's descriptions draw a map of Pompeii or draw a landscape image depicting an average day on the streets of Pompeii.
Have students sort the photos on the Games Page (p. 22) as a fun warm up exercise or a closing exercise. "Villa of the Mysteries" (pp. 24-25)
Ancient History:"Games - Zeroing in" (p.30)
Explore the God Dionysus. This can be used as a lead-in to explore the Roman pantheon of gods.
Color copy the images from this article. Have students write the story of the fresco - the Dionysiac fresco. Have students share their stories and then discuss the different possibilities as to what story the fresco intended to tell.
Additional images can be found at: www.jhauser.us/pictures/history/Romans/Pompeii/VillaOfTheMysteries.html.
Read the article as a class. How did the students' interpretations compare to those presented in the article?
Vocabulary:"Buried by Vesuvius" (pp. 26-29)
Use the words from Zeroing in as a vocabulary list. Have students define words as they place them in the puzzle.
Fact Finding & Analysis:Other Questions or Activities to accompany this issue of DIGTM:
Why was Pompeii preserved while Herculaneum was not?
Explore the science of a volcanic eruption and its varying impacts.
Create a comparison chart that includes the following:
- What was preserved at Pompeii versus what was preserved at Herculaneum?
- What was not preserved at Pompeii versus what was not preserved at Herculaneum?
- What do we learn about life in ancient Rome from the skeletons?
- Create a chart outlining the hierarchy of Roman society. For each group or class on the chart write a few sentences about what life was like for someone in that group or class.
- Art Extension:
Create a Pompeii (or Ancient Rome) inspired mosaic similar to the mosaic of Cave Canem.
Based on all that you have read in this issue of DIGTM, write an account of the events in Pompeii in 79 A.D. Be sure to use references (from the magazine) in you account.
www.harcourtschool.com/activity/pompeii/pmpMain.html - This site contains 3-D renderings and a virtual tour of Pompeii.