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Ancient Rome for preschool co-op?

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One of my friends just asked me to substitute for her for a preschool (ages 2 1/2 or so to about 5) co-op class next week. The kids will be with me for 2 hours. The theme she'd picked was Rome, focusing on Ancient history. I taught preschool music for years, and I teach Latin, so she figured I'd be a natural-but I admit that this isn't a theme I'd normally think about teaching to preschoolers! Does anyone have any great activities they did with their littles while their family studied ancients that would work? Any good picture books that I can try to find at the local library?


Here are some ideas I have:


Some songs from Song School Latin and the ELE songbook, like the "Salve-Vale Hokey Pokey" and some of the animal songs.


Some Italian music through history for play-alongs and movement, Italian music terminology- Piano and Forte, Lento and Presto.


Look at some Mosaics and make mosaics out of paper. (I'm thinking I should pre-print outlines for the kids to use for this).


Use DD's Roman Colosseum Playmobil set and animal figures, talk about the collosseum and gladiators, let the kids play with the figures and animals.


Make a mural as a group out of a big sheet of paper/cardboard?


Make roman statues out of clay/Playdough? (I'm a little concerned about this because one child is GF-I'm not sure if homemade playdough is safe, and clay is pretty hard for little hands)


A few running-around games (is there anything particularly authentic I should pull in?) for physical activity, or maybe something like "Gladiator, Gladiator, Lion" (duck, duck, goose)


I'd like to have a snack option,but I'm not sure what would be safe for the group, especially knowing that we have one child who is GF/CF.

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A fun book of activities is Classical Kids by Carlson. Here's an amazon preview.


I would stick with process art instead of sculptures.

I think taping some coins down to the table and covering with sheets of paper and making coin rubbings would be fun. You could show some pics of Roman coins and talk about how we also put important people on our coins.


The DK books on Ancient Rome are very nice--big illustrations.


Reclining while having a snack is a great idea. Grapes, dates, olives, crackers and such would be a nice snack.


The CK book has a ton of great ideas--we made a Roman meal our first day of SOTW 2, but that was second grade.


I might be a little cautious about the whole gladiators thing. It was pretty violent, and a sensitive kid may not like to hear about animals and people being slaughtered. Just sayin'....


Do you have the SOTW AG? THere might be some good picture books and activities you could adapt.

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I'll check the SOTW AG. Coins are a good idea. I actually have some imitation roman coins I use with my Latin classes.


The Playmobil set comes with the chariots and the like, so I can focus on the races instead of the physical fights-maybe bring in some boxes and let the kids pretend they're chariots? I was also thinking I could just use the animal songs from SSL and bring in felis, leo, canis, avis, etc from playmobil and the old little people sets that DD occasionally pulls out and plays with.


I think crackers and cheese are both out because of food sensitivities. I'll need to check with that mom and see what she thinks/recommends.

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