How were the Romans able to keep control over such a vast empire? Key Question 3

This lesson offers considerable variety in terms of learning approaches. Pupils work in tug-of-war teams to represent the differently weighted factors that help to explain why the Romans were able to control such a vast empire. They then compare their interpretation with that of a made for schools TV clip and write a critique of the program.

Learning objectives

  • Pupils are able to find supporting evidence to back up assertions made about the power of the army;
  • they can begin to prioritise the reasons for Roman control;
  • they can critique a TV film’s interpretation of the question.

Step 1

Introduce the idea of a physical tug of war. Ask for 8 volunteers. Each of the 8 people in the tug of war, (see PowerPoint slide 2) represents a reason why the Roman army was successful. Pupils see the reasons in broadly two categories. Reasons to do with the Roman soldiers themselves and ‘other factors’ to do with the organisation of the army etc. In groups of 4, pupils are given one reason to research. For this they have to provide at least 3 important bullet points AND must answer the second half of the statement, This helped the Roman Empire

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