Ancient Rome: Contributions and Physical and Human Characteristics

Standard(s) of Learning


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 needs

Essential Understandings, Knowledge, and Skills

Skills (to be incorporated into instruction throughout the academic year)

Locate and use information from print and non-print sources.                                       Roman Coliseum         

Use resource materials.

Gather, classify, and interpret information.

Collect and record information.

Identify and locate features on a map and globe.

Locate and use information from print and non-print sources.


Understand that the ancient Greeks and Romans were two groups of people who made significant contributions to society in terms of architecture, government, and sports.                                

Understand that the ancient Greeks and Romans have influenced the lives of people today.    

Know the following terms:
•    Contribution: the act of giving or doing something                                                            
•    Direct democracy: a government in which people vote to make their own rules and laws  
•    Representative democracy: a government in which people vote for (elect) a smaller group of citizens to make their rules and laws for everyone

Explain the contributions of ancient Rome using the following information from the Curriculum Framework:

The architects of ancient Greece and Rome used columns and arches in the construction of their buildings. Ancient examples still exist today:
•    Rome—The Colosseum and aqueducts (arches)

The Arts
Mosaics, sculpture, and paintings are displayed on buildings.                                                  

The Government of the United States
The government is based on the ideas developed in ancient Greece and Rome.
•    Greece: birthplace of democracy (government by the people); a direct democracy            
•    Rome: republican (representative) form of government; a representative democracy        

Olympic games of today are modeled after the games of ancient Greece.                              

Physical and Human Characteristics
Understand that ancient Greece was located near the Mediterranean Sea.                             

Know the following term:
    Characteristics: different traits

Describe the physical characteristics of the following:
     Ancient Rome: located next to a river; city built on many hills; limited rich soil

Describe the human characteristics of the following: Ancient Rome: farmers, roadbuilders, and traders

Describe how people adapt to their environment in different ways. Explain ways that the people of Ancient Rome adapted to their environments:
•    farmed on hillsides
•    trading took place on the Mediterranean Sea

Sample Resources

Below is an annotated list of Internet resources for this organizing topic. Copyright restrictions may exist for the material on some Web sites. Please note and abide by any such restrictions.

 “Graphic Organizers.” Education Place. Houghton Mifflin. <>. This Web page has a collection of graphic organizers.

“Graphic Organizers.” SCORE. Schools of California Online Resources for Education. <>. This Web page offers a variety of formats for graphic organizers.

Matusevich, Melissa. Social Studies Curriculum Resources Poster Sets.  <>. This Web site is a resource of social studies poster sets for grades K–3.

Mr. Dowling’s Electronic Passport. Mike Dowling. <>. This Web site allows students to visit ancient civilizations in a virtual classroom.

“The Romans.” Schools. BBCi. <>. This site has hundreds of links to ancient civilization information, maps, videos, lesson plans and activities.

Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments for the 2001 History and Social Science Standards of Learning. Grade Three History and Social Science Test Blueprint. Virginia Department of Education, 2003/04.<>. This site provides assessment information for Grade Three Introduction to History and Social Science.

Web-Based Projects. University of Richmond. <>. This Web site is a resource for students and teachers on ancient Greece.

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