Fall of Rome

New Review

What led to the fall of Rome? Scholars have debated the question since the end of the great empire. Young historians consider the same question through an economic lens using an engaging lesson that involves a hands-on evaluation of the costs and benefits of infrastructure. While participants use paperclips to determine the value of roads and a strong military, their true economic worth comes to life in a unique exercise.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Create a Socratic discussion to evaluate what caused the fall of Rome after using the included activity
  • After completing the chart activity,  ask your class to hypothesize what decisions Rome could have made to prevent its collapse 
Classroom Considerations

  • Lesson is the 10th of a 23-part Middle School World History series from the Council for Economic Education
  • Teachers may need to bring in more content, so pupils have the background they need to complete the activity
Pros

  • Activity encourages critical thinking to apply concepts to an historical event
  • Lesson plan offers a focused way of studying a complicated historical issue
Cons

  • PowerPoint and included materials do not necessarily support the activity given
Common Core