Arches, concrete and slaves were the keys to Roman construction projects.
Many of the emperors embarked on massive construction projects. Trajan built a new forum which was similar to the grocery store/shopping mall complexes we are familiar with. Hadrian built the Pantheon which was a temple to the gods, and Caracalla built an enormous bath. The projects served to keep the emperors in good standing with the people and so were excellent political tools.
City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction is a David Macaulay book that goes perfectly with this lesson. To build the fictional Roman City Verbonia, the planners first thought about future population size. Next they designed a water system and marked off the land for specific purposes. The story details how aqua ducts, temples, housing, forums, baths and other city elements were designed and built. I highly recommend this book for second grade and up. I found it very interesting.
I put together this presentation on Engineering, Emperors and Landmarks Slides. Please feel free to download it for personal use.
One tool the Romans used to help them construct roads was called a groma. Roman roads were almost always straight and intersected at 90 degree angles. A groma was the main tool used to construct straight roads. It stood at eye level and by looking down one leg of the groma like the site of a gun, the Romans could create a straight line for the road to follow.
Roman Arch Forms
To construct arches the Romans used wooden forms. The form was placed under the arch and concrete was poured around the form to create an arch. Once the concrete hardened, the wooden form was removed and used for the construction of another arch.
All the children were shown pictures of various wooden arch form and given craft sticks and glue to create arch forms. Each child produced a unique form.
This post is linked to:
Five for Friday
All Things Beautiful
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