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CHERI DRAPEAU: So today's lesson,
we're going to work on our Roman innovations in technology.
DRAPEAU: This unit is actually a smaller unit of ancient Rome.
We've already gone over the geography of Rome.
We've gone over important historical figures of Rome
so that they're prepared and have a background knowledge
of the Roman expansion.
DRAPEAU: Okay, so there's six Roman technologies we looked at.
DRAPEAU: Today's mini unit started on Wednesday
with a PowerPoint introduction to the six technologies
that were aqueduct, alphabet, arch, concrete,
road and monetary system.
So I'm going to have you open up your folders.
You have a list of websites.
DRAPEAU: Today I wanted to go into the importance
and how it affected the Roman empire
and then how it impacts us today.
What you're going to do is,
you're going to look deeper into each technology.
So you're going to have 15 minutes at each station
to research the five questions.
DRAPEAU: It's really hard in seventh grade
because they don't have too many research skills.
So to ask them to just go out there and do a research project,
they're going to need step-by-step instruction.
DRAPEAU: Dominic, you guys are starting with "aqueduct."
Lucy and Natalie, you're going to start with "concrete."
That's your topic, put that into your log.
Once you're on the Internet, start typing in
your website addresses.
DRAPEAU: For each technology,
they have five questions that they have to answer.
- What purpose or function did this technology serve
to ancient Rome?
- Okay, help me out here.
- They helped build things people need.
Because the houses...
- Yeah, helped building roads, stuff like that.
DRAPEAU: It first wants to know,
when were Roman roads first used?
The purpose is to do what?
- Is to bring water to the city.
DRAPEAU: To the cities, perfect.
I put my students in pairs or small groups of three
because I think it eases the burden
of the research and the task at hand on each student.
- We are researching the Roman arcs.
He is looking up the showme.com.
I am looking on the Science Channel.
- Question number three.
- The topic is... engineering.
- Okay, we'll switch back down here.
DRAPEAU: Today some of their sources included websites
where you would find articles on, like, history.com
or Ancient Encyclopedia so that they're learning
how to read an article for the important information.
I personally visit each site and watch each video
to ensure that at least a couple
of the five questions are answered,
but not that all of the questions are answered.
Because I want the child to then go to a second source
to be able to finish their research.
The idea is to get them using more than one resource
to provide their information.
- So like, to hold up, support, span wide areas.
DRAPEAU: When it comes to research,
some of the biggest challenges students have is not knowing
how to pull out appropriate information.
Sometimes they think more is better
instead of just finding what really matters.
DRAPEAU: What purpose did the roads serve?
DRAPEAU: So why did they use roads, why did they make roads?
- To make bridges.
DRAPEAU: Yes, but I would like you guys
to actually look at one of these articles,
because it says specifically.
When was the first Roman coin made?
See, that says Wikipedia, so you don't want that,
but Ancient History Encyclopedia,
that's pretty good.
DRAPEAU: You'll see me, like, going around and telling kids,
"No, that's not a good site, that's Wikipedia.
You can go in and change that and tell me what you want."
Or, "That's a blog, that's not valid.
That's just someone's opinion."
And I have to be very specific.
DRAPEAU: So Ask, Wikianswers, not exactly the best place.
Do you know why?
You don't exactly know who's answering the questions.
Go back and search again.
But see, this is About.com,
so we might not want to look at this.
So the idea is to keep searching for one
that you think is reliable and can answer your question.
Ms. Drapeau says that always stay away
from Ask.com and, like, Wikipedia
because they're just people answering your questions
and you don't know who it is, so she said rather,
stay on the, like, educated history ones and stuff.
DRAPEAU: Okay, I would like you to shut off your computers.
I'm going to give you a sheet of paper.
You're going to tell me three new things you learned today,
two things you already knew, and one question you still have.
DRAPEAU: The ending activity to close up the lesson is a 3-2-1.
It's a common summarizer and it's really easy
because it brings the kids closure to the lesson.
DRAPEAU: So we're going to start with Tania's group.
Share one thing that you learned.
- How concrete would change over the years.
DRAPEAU: How it changed over the years, excellent.
Tania, one thing you already knew about concrete.
The Romans built roads.
DRAPEAU: That the Romans built roads with it, good.
And do you still have a question?
- Was it easy to mix the limestone and gypsum together?
DRAPEAU: Great question.
Anaya, one thing that you learned.
- When the alphabet was made.
DRAPEAU: When it was first made, excellent.
And are you talking about the Roman alphabet?
- The Roman alphabet.
DRAPEAU: Okay, good, Giorgio.
- The public baths, like, don't the people have self-confidence
about, like, talking while they're naked?
DRAPEAU: So, like, don't they feel weird?
DRAPEAU: Dominic, one thing you learned.
- One thing I learned is that, how roads were used for,
like, moving soldiers and supplies
into different cities.
Oza and Chelsea, one new thing you learned today.
- Roads were built in 312 BC.
In 312 BC, so that's a pretty long time ago, huh?
DRAPEAU: From the unit,
I hope my students take away the understanding
that ancient civilizations have an effect on us today.
And one of the hardest questions to answer students
in the beginning of the year is, "Why do we have to learn this?"
And I'm hoping that by the end of the year,
they understand how ancient civilizations
impact their daily lives.