Discover Roman history through evidence from archaeological sites near Pompeii! 
Through archaeology students explore the material remains of Roman culture to learn about geography, history, and art.  How can investigating a Roman villa help students understand Roman people and culture?  In this curriculum, students examine rooms, coins, and frescoes through an inquiry-based tour of a luxury villa. Explore a day in the life of Roman Emperor Nero! Pompeii and the nearby villas at Oplontis offer a glimpse into the daily life of Romans as well as Rome’s elite. 

  • Learn the Latin terms for the rooms in a Roman villa by playing a murder mystery game.
  • Create a mosaic! Students identify lines of symmetry and solve a real-world problem.
  • Close-read Pliny the Younger’s eye-witness accounts of the Mount Vesuvius eruption.



Project Archaeology: Investigating a Roman Villa supports Common Core State Standards with social studies and science content. Inherently interdisciplinary, archaeological inquiry allows students to seamlessly integrate knowledge across subjects. Students read informational texts for content, perspective, and key ideas and employ graphics to enhance their understanding. Students write arguments to support claims in a persuasive essay on the ethical implications of studying human remains. Finally, students produce a news broadcast to communicate their understanding of Roman history and culture.

“Students LOVED all materials and units.” – Erika Shupe, High School Latin Teacher, Montana

“The students have interest in the Roman time period and the Vesuvius disaster is a huge draw.  I think they felt like experts at the end of the unit. The enduring understandings make it so nice to teach, because they don't have to memorize facts or recite information, but they do gain a "big picture" understanding of the event and the time.” – Librarian and Technology Teacher, Montana

“This unit is an excellent resource for teaching ancient civilizations. The disaster keeps students intrigued throughout a cross-curricular exploration of Pompeii and ancient Roman life.” – Angela Bergantine, Amsterdam School, Montana