Today is the Ides of March, it is an important day in world history. It is the day that Julius Ceasar was killed in the Roman Senate. This act put the final nail in the coffin for the Roman Republic and lead directly to the creation of the Roman Empire
So how can you use that to distract your kids if you are practicing social distancing? In lots of ways.
There are a lot of places on the web to find information on the Ides of March.
- Assasination of Julius Ceasar – A short overview in kid friendly language.
- History Pod – 15th March 44BCE: Assassination of Julius Caesar – A short I (like 2.5 minutes) podcast on the assasiantion.
- The Rise and Fall of Julius Ceasar – 45 minute podcast from the BBC
- Emperors of Rome Podcast – Death of Ceasar – this episode from an overall great series on Roman history. They also have a companion series on specific places in ancient Rome called When in Rome.
And once they understand the events, make sure to show them the classic Wayne and Shuster sketch.
For Younger Kids
Have them watch these videos on tying a toga. Then hand them a sheet and let them try. There is a boys’ version and a girls’ version. Then you could discuss why there are differences between the togas.
Julius Ceasar was responsible for the creation of the month of July. Read this page to your kids and then take a look at the calendar. What do they see? Have them redesign the calendar, creating a month for themselves. How long would it be? Where would it go?
How to Make Roman Mosaics for Kids – the Romans made beautiful mosaics. This is an easy thing to recreate at home. These instructions use construction paper, but you can use anything really, magazines, fabric scraps or yarn.
Teaching Kids About Roman Numerals – This is a simple activity involving a piece of paper and a pencil. Or a white board and marker.
For Older Kids
Investigating the Caesar Assassination – This is a great investigation activity that you can run in your home where they approach the death as if they were investigating the crime. Would be great for your true crime fans.
Rhetoric – The Romans were famous for their use of rhetoric in decision making. Speeches were studied, memorized, parsed and performed. There are many great speakers and speeches that come from this period. Julius Ceasar was said to have been a great speaker. The speech that Shakespear wrote for Mark Anthony in his play Julius Ceasar is considered to be one of the greatest in history. This is a good overview of the topic. Have your kids use these techniques to convince you to do something, like let them have two desserts.
The Roman Number system is unique and so was their math. Show your kids this video. And then have them practice this style of multiplication.
Rome was known for its complex architecture. This page has multiple projects related to Roman architecture. Your kids can use stuff you have around the house to make these builds. (Tip if it says poster board, use a cereal box.)