Title: Ancient Rome

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Intermediate Guided Reading Lesson Plan


Ancient Rome by Erin Ash Sullivan. Benchmark. ISBN 978-1-4108-5115-4

*Be aware that there are pictures of Roman art on page 11, 18, 19 and 21 that contain nudity. (You do have to really look to see it.) This can be easily blocked out with a small sticker or permanent marker.


Text Structure:

Narrative Informational



Literacy Standard: VII: Comprehension

Content Core Standard: Sixth Grade Standard 1

Purpose for Reading:

Discover the wonders of ancient Rome.

ELL Strategies

Students reading at this level are likely to be quite fluent speakers of English although they may need more support with idioms, expressions, vocabulary, and multiple meaning words. This will affect their ability to draw conclusions and infer from the text. Encourage these students to use sticky notes or a notebook to jot questions they have while reading to be discussed/clarified at the guided reading table during the following session.

Other ELL strategies can be found at


and tailored to the individual needs of your students.

Essential Questions:

  • How are the systems of power, authority, and governance used to establish order in ancient civilizations still present in today’s modern governments?

  • What role has religion played in human development from ancient times to modern?

  • How did physical geography influence the location and success or decline of early civilizations?

Before Reading


Tier 2 Vocabulary Words: High frequency words that are found across a variety of domains. Provide student-friendly explanations that tell what a word means in everyday connected language. For more information, please see Bringing Words to Life by Beck & McKeyown.














Activate/Build Prior Knowledge:

  • Using the map on page 5, show the location of Rome. Discuss what geographic features may have led to Rome become a major center of civilization.

  • Show table of contents. Explain how B.C. dates work. You can connect this to integers.

Comprehension Strategy:

Determining Importance

During Reading

Attend to Comprehension Within, Beyond, & About the text.

After Reading

Attend to Comprehension Within, Beyond, & About the text.
Discussion Questions:

  • Talk about the difference between republican and Republican (p. 8).

  • What do you think about the picture of the building on page 9? Are you surprised at how the building looks? Doesn’t it seem like something you could see in present day?

  • Imagine you have never seen an elephant before. How would you describe it? Have you ever thought of an elephant as being a war animal? (p.11)

  • Looking at page 13, do you wonder about the parts of the map that Rome doesn’t control?

  • What do you think the difference is between someone being the ruler of Rome and making themselves king? (page 14)

  • What does it mean that Augustus ended the republic? (page 16)

  • Work through the “Solve It” problem on page 16.

  • Work through the “Solve It” problem on page 19.

  • Why do you think a woman would want to be a gladiator? (page 20)

  • Did Augustus live during the entire Pax Romana period? (page 22)

  • Compare/contrast the map on page 25 with the one on page 13.

Content Core Integration:(Science, Soc. St., Math, etc.)


Using the information in the box on page 28, write a cause-effect paper on the fall of the Roman Empire.

See the lesson at http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=965 for more details and a lesson on writing cause-effect diamante poems.


For more activities see http://www.uen.org/core/socialstudies/sixth/.

*Not all activities will be done in each lesson. Some lessons may take multiple days to complete. However, all students should be reading each time you meet.

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