John Hobson
History/Social Sciences, World History
Material Type:
Upper Primary
Inquiry, Mini-grant, Rome, Virginia Inquiry Collaborative
Creative Commons Attribution
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, Text/HTML

Education Standards

Ancient Rome Inquiry

Ancient Rome Inquiry



This inquiry focuses on the social hierarchy of ancient Rome, viewed through the lens of statues that tell us about life during this time. Through analysis of videos, photographs of ancient statues, and images of architectural reliefs, students develop an argument supported by evidence that answers the compelling question, “What stories should statues tell about ancient Rome?”

The inquiry prioritizes depth over breadth: rather than broadly describe contributions across categories, the inquiry instead invites students to take a close look at the influence of ancient Roman art and architecture on statues and monuments today. Through this deep study, students will hone analytical skills required to notice and interpret details in art and architecture while also building their knowledge about the social structure that divided the citizens and enslaved people of the ancient Roman republic and empire.

What Stories Should Statues Tell About Ancient Rome?

In June of 2020, approximately  80 teachers partnered with experts from museums, historic sites, and academic institutions to begin designing inquiries with the expressed purpose of creating a more anti racist, anti biased, and culturally responsive curricula.    These inquiries were designed using the Inquiry Design Model (IDM), a distinctive approach to creating curriculum and instructional materials that honors teachers’ knowledge and expertise, avoids over prescription, and focuses on the main elements of the instructional design process as envisioned in the Inquiry Arc of the C3 Framework. Unique to the IDM is the Blueprint, a one-page representation of the compelling and supporting questions, tasks, and sources that define a curricular inquiry.