This is an evidence based inquiry activity designed for 11th grade Ancient History students. The task can be completed individually or as a think-pair-share activity (with individual report submission) to foster critically thinking and critical evaluation skills.
Part of my Ancient Celt Unit, this lesson is designed to last for a 1 hour teaching period. Students are each given a copy of the handout and are asked to employ their empathy skills by imagining themselves as an ancient Roman prosecutor who has been asked to represent the Roman Governor of Britain Suetonius Paulinus, who has ordered the massacre of the Druids on the Isle of Mona (Angelsey). Students will examine a variety of "witness" statements from ancient sources about the event as well as "facts" about Paulinus' character and possible motives in the attack.
After discussing and evaluating the evidence, students will then prepare a page court report in defense of Paulinus and his actions on behalf of the Emperor Nero using evidence from the documents supplied to support their case.
While I designed this activity for student's to develop their critical writing skills, it could be easily adapted to an oral presentation as a speech in a mock trial or an address to the Roman Senate.