Make a Roman
Paint a Fresco
Roman houses were four
sided, rectangular in shape and had no cellar underneath. Only the rich,
called the Patricians, could afford to live in houses in the city. The
Roman Atrium was like a living room and entry hall today. It was a
place where Roman's entertained their guests. The Atrium had a hole in
the middle of it's roof to let light in and where rain poured in . They
collected the water in a pool like basin called the impluvium. They used
this water for drinking and washing. The Romans spent more time outside
their homes in Atriums and gardens compared to us who spend more time
inside our homes. Most of the roman homes were constructed of brick and
mortar. Many were decorated with brightly painted walls and mosaic
Objective: Students will
design an atrium
Discuss how Roman
In the center of the
white paper, have students draw a small impluvium (pool).
Have students draw
what might be inside a Atrium. Remind students that all of the items
would be subject to the weather including rain. Objects might
include, a fountain, arched doorways to other rooms, pots, plants,
statues, bench, wall and floor mosaics and of course people. Use
which ever medium you wish to color.
Once their drawing is
done, have the students cut out 2 long rectangle for columns They
should cut these out following the ridges of the corrugated
cardboard. Cut 2 small bases for the columns out of the cardboard.
These should go against the ridges of the cardboard.
Glue the drawing in
the center of the larger colored paper.
Glue one base and
column on each side of the drawing where the white paper ends.
Students can now cut
their roof shapes in half and glue them on top of the white paper to
show the hole in the roof. It should be somewhat centered over the
impluvium. They can even add rain!
participates in class
discussion using appropriate vocabulary
identifies how the
Ancient Romans used their Atriums
uses materials in an
Many Roman homes were
elaborately decorated with all sorts of artwork. Walls depicted
mythological scenes, hunting scenes, still life, and many other things.
These wall paintings were called frescos, meaning "fresh." They were
painted while the plaster on the wall was still wet. The ceilings were
often painted too, sometimes even with reliefs.
Objective: Students will
create a Roman Fresco.
Vocabulary: Ancient Rome,
Show slides or
pictures of Roman Frescos and discuss the procedure used to make
the. (The authentic procedure called for lime and sand)
Mix the plaster in a
container that can be thrown in the trash later, like a milk carton.
Do not rinse any plaster down the drain. All plaster residue must go
in the trash.
Pour plaster into a
mold, such as a cardboard box, a pie tin, or a heavy paper plate.
Smooth the plaster
with a stick.
Insert a hanging
device like a paper clip at this time.
Let the plaster set
up briefly so that it is damp but not wet.
Gently remove the
mold from around the plaster.
Paint with watercolor
paints or thinned tempera paints on the wet plaster. You can let the
children paint whatever they like or instruct them to paint
something that they remember about Ancient Rome.
Let the plaster dry
Emperors New Clothes
The toga was the formal
garment of ancient Romans and a symbol of citizenship. The right to wear
one was often treasured, especially by freedmen who had made their way
from slaves to citizens.
Draw a full length
figure of an emperor in pencil.
Spread glue over the
middle section of the the body.
crumpled large pieces of white tissue into the glued area.
Gather with string or
yarn around the waist.
Cut red or blue
tissue to make the toga.
Decorate the top
layer with red yellow and black felt tip pens for jewels and
Glue the gathered
Decorate the head
using crumpled tissue paper for hair and felt tip pens for face. Add
jewels sequins and other trimmings.
Evaluation: draws a human
figure, uses materials properly, uses folds and gathers on tissue to
create a toga, good craftsmanship and participates in class discussion.
click for larger picture
Objective: The student
will look at various types of Roman Architecture.
The student will compare
and contrast various forms of architecture.
The student will identify
pattern and repetition in Roman Architecture.
Materials: white paper
for background, blue and green thin paint washes, wax crayons, 4"
manilla paper the same width as the white paper or the aqueducts.
Show pictures like
the one above to discuss the architecture and purpose of the Roman
Have children draw an
underwater scene, pressing heavily with the crayons. Some ideas for
objects to add to their drawing are statues, amphorae ( roman
pottery), roman coins etc.
Use wavy lines of
green and blue thin paint to wash over the picture. Cover entire
picture and let dry.
Draw 3 or more arches
at the bottom of the manilla paper and cut the arches out.
Glue the Aqueduct at
the top of the painting.