Original lesson by
Peg Hill, Coordinator H/SS
San Bernardino Co. Supt. of Schools

History Social Science Content Standards
Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures during the development of Rome.
Identify the location and describe the rise of the Roman Republic, including the importance of such mythical and historical figures as Aeneas, Romulus and Remus, Cincinnatus, Julius Caesar, and Cicero.
Discuss the influence of Julius Caesar and Augustus in Rome's transition from republic to empire.

Students will work in partners to read critically and discuss the concepts of the text.
Students will identify and analyze the characteristics of leaders and the behavioral results of those characteristics.
Students will evaluate a problem from multiple perspectives and draw a conclusion about their own belief based on evidence.
Students will create a magazine style news story or obituary and present it orally to the class.
Students will write an evaluative essay using the CAP Writing model.

Background information:
Students have studied the Roman republic and understand that Rome conquered vast amounts of land around the Mediterranean Sea and in Western Europe. Students have some knowledge of the culture of Rome, its engineering accomplishments, law, social class divisions, etc.

Introductory activity:
Teacher puts an example of a conflict that has arisen in the community, school or classroom during the past year on the blackboard. Students write a short paragraph explaining why the conflict happened and their opinion of how it was resolved. Pass in the papers.

Teacher reads a selection of student paragraphs recording or acknowledging the different points of view of the students on the conflict. Examine and discuss the underlying reasons for these different points of view. Have students develop a definition of "point of view" and "perspective" for the class.

Step 1
Brainstorm characteristics of a great leader in small groups. Share ideas and come up with a common list on the blackboard.

Step 2
Divide the class into six groups. Each group plays the role of one of the following:

Group #1 = Roman soldiers
Group #3 = Roman Senators
Group #2 = Roman working class
Group #4 = People of Gaul
Group #5 = Slaves
Group #6 = People of the provinces

All groups read Handout #1 "The Achievements of Julius Caesar" aloud. At each Stop here and discuss, the groups should stop and discuss the questions in the text and have a rotating recorder to write down their answers.

Step 3
Looking at the background history of Rome and the life of Caesar from the point of view of each identified group in Rome, each of the student groups should write a one to two paragraph obituary-style news article about Caesar's life and death and what it means to society in Rome. If available, butcher paper for the stories makes the best classroom display. Each presentation should also include an artist's interpretation of Caesar's life or a political cartoon.

Step 4
Student groups present their obituaries to the class and post their cartoons or drawings.

Step 5
The teacher leads the class in a discussion of why the perspectives of Caesar's rule are different.

Alternate activities:
Each group of students draws a poster campaigning for or against Julius Caesar as leader (dictator) of Rome based on the point of view of the people they represent. The poster must indicate the actions of Caesar they think were good or bad.

Prepare a "Life Magazine of Rome: Memorial Edition" on Julius Caesar from each perspective. Draw pictures of or cut out pictures from modern magazines which symbolize Caesar's accomplishments or things he did that damaged Rome. Each group presents its article and magazine pictures to the class.

Looking back at the list of characteristics of being a great leader identified by the class at the beginning, students write an evaluative essay (see CAP Writing Handbook) on the topic "Was Julius Caesar a good leader for Rome?"

Extension activities:
Act out the murder scene from Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar."
Evaluate another leader in American history or current world history based on the same criteria as the one used for Julius Caesar. For example, what are the different points of view about the leadership of Soviet Premier Gorbachev?

This is one of hundreds of statues and busts of Julius Caesar found throughout Europe. This statue is in the area of the Roman Forum. Why was he so famous? Was he really a great leader?

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