I use this activity in to complement my students’ understanding of Roman architecture and engineering. We start with instruction about the Romans and their engineering. We use one of two videos to further illustrate the concepts. I have found that first 40 minutes or so of “Rome: Engineering the Impossible” (available on United Streaming/Discovery Education) is an excellent explanation. I think that “Roman Feats of Engineering” available on Amazon’s Instant video would also be helpful. It’s available for rent or free if you have a Prime account. This could also be used without a video.
After we watch the video, I give them the attached sheet, put them in groups and have them apply what they have learned about Roman engineering and construction. They formulate questions and answer those based on what they have learned.
I expect to see explanation of the value of the arches (reduces structural weight, increases strength), the gradual slope (water runs downhill, but not too steep as to erode the building materials), how they built such a structure at the time, etc.
It’s a great break from the standard “video worksheet” and gets them thinking and applying. Including the video it takes 2 days to complete. I could take a 3rd day for oral presentation if I wanted.