Are you planning a unit of learning on Pompeii?
For inspiration and ideas on what you can include in a unit of learning about Pompeii, read an outline of the education programme we used during the A Day In Pompeii exhibition.
Education programme information (71kb, Pdf)
Social studies strand(s) - Level 4
The Pompeii Education Programme aligns with level 4 of the New Zealand curriculum, particularly social studies. Students will gain the knowledge, skills, and experience to:
- understand that the eruption of Mount Vesuvius had causes and effects
- understand how formal and informal groups make decisions that impact on communities
- understand how people participate individually and collectively in response to community challenges.
Cross-curricular links - Level 4
Nature of Science – Students will appreciate that science is a way of explaining the world and that science knowledge changes over time.
Planet Earth and Beyond – Students will develop an understanding that water, air, rocks and soil, and life forms make up our planet.
Visual Arts – Students will investigate the purpose of objects and images from past and present cultures and identify the contexts in which they were or are made, viewed, and valued.
Listening, Reading, and Viewing – Students will integrate sources of information, processes, and strategies confidently to identify, form, and express ideas.
Speaking, Writing, and Presenting – Students will select, develop, and communicate ideas on a range of topics.
- This education programme gives students an opportunity to investigate what life was like in Pompeii until the Mount Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD.
The programme introduces students to Pompeii with a timeline of Roman history, leading up to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Students examine the broader social context, looking at economics and trade, entertainment, and sanitation and health.
- Comparisons are made with the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera throughout the programme. Students are also encouraged to make connections between the Māori god Rūaumoko and the Roman god Vulcan.
- Students investigate daily life in Pompeii, including Pompeian houses and possessions, and make comparisons with life as they know it. They are able to handle textiles – to experience the weight of a gladiator's battle shield and to feel the grooves created by graffiti carved into a panel. They are encouraged to critically examine a range of lifestyles, including those of men, women, the wealthy, and the poor.
- Students have the opportunity to experience a 3D animation illustrating what a resident of Pompeii would have experienced on 29 August 79 AD, the day of the eruption. The effects of this eruption are discussed. Students also have the opportunity, if teachers will permit, to view body casts of people caught in the pyroclastic (rock and ash) flow that buried Pompeii for thousands of years.
By the end of the programme, students will be able to:
- compare community life in Pompeii 79 AD with life today, using examples from the realms of trade, social events, and everyday household objects
- identify the causes of the Mt Vesuvius volcanic eruption in 79 AD
- describe the effects of the eruption on the city and citizens of Pompeii
- compare the eruption of Mount Vesuvius with the 1886 Tarawera eruption.