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6th Grade: Ancient Romans
Big Idea
Civilizations develop and grow into large empires characterized by powerful centralized governments, advanced commerce and trade systems, and complex social hierarchies.

Scientific and cultural achievements of civilizations continue to impact the world today.

Citizenship, individual rights, and responsibilities (gender roles) are defined in different constitutions and governing systems.

Networks of trade have connected the various civilizations of the Eastern hemisphere.

Long distance trade routes promoted interregional trade, cultural exchanges and diffusion, and the desire to expand empires and influence.
Essential Questions
  • How did Rome’s location and government help it to become a major power in the ancient world?
  • How did Christianity spread and become Rome’s official religion?
  • How did Rome’s tripartite government and written laws help create a stable society?
  • How did Rome grow politically, economically, and physically after it changed from a republic to an empire?
  • Why do people say “all roads lead to Rome”?
  • What are the lasting outcomes of the Roman innovations?
  • What were the circumstances that caused the empire to divide and eventually fall?

Describe the development of the following types of government and citizenship in ancient Greece and Rome
  • democracy
  • republics/ empires
Describe the impact of the Roman republic on ancient Romans and how it relates to current forms of government.
Identify factors (e.g., river/coastal civilizations, trade that influence the location, distribution, and inter-relationships of economic activities over time in different regions.
Describe scientific and cultural advancements in ancient civilizations (e.g., networks of roads, aqueducts, art and architecture, literature and theatre, mathematics, philosophy).
Discuss the character traits (e.g., respect, responsibility, fairness, involvement) that are important to the preservation and improvement of constitutional democracy in the United States
Identify cultural norms that influence different social, political and economic activities of men and women.
Identify the roles and contributions of individuals in the following ancient civilizations
  • Greece (e.g., Sophocles, Euripides, Pericles, Homer)
  • Alexander the Great
  • Rome (e.g., Julius Caesar, Augustus)
  • China (e.g., Qin Shi Huan Di, Confucius)
  • Egypt (e.g., Hatshepsut, Ramses, Cleopatra)
Describe the importance of citizens being actively involved in the democratic process. (e.g., voting, student government, involvement in political decision making, analyzing issues, petitioning public officials).
Describe the intended and unintended consequences of human modification (e.g., irrigation, aqueducts, canals) on the environment.
Describe the transition from the Roman Empire to the Byzantine Empire
  • 'decline and fall' of the Roman Empire
  • Empire split in eastern and western regions
  • capital moved to Byzantium/ Constantinople
  • Germanic invasions
Describe the structure of the following governments
  • theocracy
  • dictatorship
  • republic
  • monarchy
  • democracy
  • anarchy
Use geographic knowledge and skills (e.g., recognizing patterns, mapping, graphing) when discussing current events.
Describe aspects (e.g., geographic origins, founders and their teachings, traditions, customs, beliefs) of major religions (i.e., Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).
Identify regions studied (i.e., Greece, Rome) using a variety of criteria, (e.g., climate, landforms, culture, vegetation).
Compare how money, as opposed to barter, facilitates trade.
Describe the Catholic church's role in the following activities during the Middle Ages
  • Crusades
  • Inquisition
  • education
  • government
  • spread of Christianity
Explain why places and regions serve as cultural symbols (e.g., Jerusalem as a sacred place for Jews, Christians, and Muslims).
Explain how trade promoted economic growth throughout world regions.
Identify the connection between current and historical events and issues using information from class discussions and various resources (e.g., newspapers, magazines, television, Internet, books, maps).
  • Describe how history transmits culture and heritage and provides models of human character.
  • Compare and contrast the structure of the different Roman governments: Republic, Dictatorship and Empires.
  • Assess the causes for the growth and longevity of the Roman Empire as well as the decline and fall.
  • Differentiate between the key achievements and contributions of Roman civilization and key individuals. (Julius Caesar, Augustus, Hannibal)
  • Compare the Roman government to other governments, including modern day America.
  • Debate if “all roads lead to Rome” was beneficial or detrimental to the Empire.
Content/Core Ideas
  • Political systems had different ways of selecting leaders, making laws, enforcing order, and protecting, and sometimes infringing upon, individual rights.
  • Differences between belief systems and disputes over lands associated with religious groups have created tension and conflict between people.
  • The conquering of foreign lands led to the assimilation of many cultures.
  • The division of the Roman Empire led to a flourishing empire in the East and a diminishing empire in the West.
Academic Vocabulary
  • republic
  • empire
  • Justinian Code
  • monopoly
  • envoy
  • orthodox
  • tribute
  • consul
  • veto
  • dictator
  • senate
  • patrician
  • plebeian
  • tribune
  • province
  • triumvirate
  • census
  • Latin
  • Basilica
  • Forum
  • gladiator
  • aqueduct
  • Christianity
  • salvation
  • disciple
  • Messiah
  • resurrection
  • Apostle
  • persecute
  • martyr
  • gospels
  • Pope
  • patriotism
  • portico
  • vandal
  • manor
  • serf