Gladiator Shields: When in Rome....

This year, our studies of wonders in Italy did not just stop at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. What visit to Italy is complete without stopping to admire the mighty Colosseum (a.k.a the Flavian Amphitheater) in Rome? In my opinion, it's a must see, therefore, we took some time to learn about this ancient historical wonder.

The students were fascinated to learn about this violent/entertaining place. Through the help of EdHelper articles and some books about Rome and the gladiators I acquired through my travels, we studied the Colosseum's construction, purpose, inhabitants, and more. One particular book that I found to be extremely helpful was a book that was actually shared with me by one of my students. Kudos to her for enthusiastically sharing this educational resource! It was just what we needed. The book has all sorts of wonderful facts about the Colosseum and the gladiators including who could be a gladiator, their daily life, practice regiment, armor and shields, ability to win their freedom, etc. To supplement our learning, I made copies from the book and created a packet for our class to read.

(Picture of Book Coming Soon)

Other helpful books to use if you plan to study Rome and the Colosseum with your class are:

To conclude our study we followed the well known phrase, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do..." and created our very own gladiator shields. 

To make the shields, we researched a variety of shield shapes and narrowed them down to our four favorite shapes. Then, we held a vote in the class in which students decided which of the four shield shapes they would like for their particular gladiator shield. After voting, I helped the students trace their desired shape on a piece of computer paper and let them begin designing their shield. 

Prior to designing we looked at a number of shields and discussed the elements of shield designs including colors, lines, shapes, symbols, animals, etc. However, I allowed the students free reign to design their shields however they wanted. 

Check out these pictures of the students' designs: 

The students were very creative and elaborate in their designs. Some students even incorporated a personal touch by including the name or logo of favorite sports teams or games (see the finished shields below to find the Miami Heat, Mine Craft, and Pokemon Ball inspired shields).

After the students designed their shields, I went to the local dollar store and bought a number of poster boards that we could use to make the final shields. I helped the students trace the outline of their designs onto the poster boards and we cut them out. Then, I provided them with a number of materials including construction paper, pastel crayons (great for coloring on construction paper), and aluminum foil to allow them to make their designs come alive! 

Here's a peek at the students busy at work creating their shields: 
(as you can see in the pictures, the students had the draft of their designs on their desks to reference while making their final shields) 

Once the shields were completed, the students created handles on the back of the shields using leftover poster board  to slip their arms through or hold onto (just as a real shield would have).

The design and creation process took several days to complete, but the finished products came out amazing. 
Check out the impressive final products:

Gladiator Shields

I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures in Ancient Rome!
 Come back soon to read more about our adventures across the globe.

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