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Friday, March 4, 2011

Roman Columns, Coins, Mosaics, Oh my!

3rd grade is studying ancient art history in ancient Roman times! We learned about temple architecture, mosics and ancient ruler coins....all in one day....maybe Rome WAS built in a day (joking about the saying , "Rome wasn't built in a day" har har har). I made some hand outs with labeled architecture including parts of a temple and then detailed and labeled. It also had at the bottom easy picture/step by step directions for what to draw with pencil and then trace over with permanent sharpies.
I cut pieces of poster board, and black construction paper strips and had bought mosic paper squares. Students spaced out the two black strips and glued them down and then began looking at the step by step drawing details at the bottom of the worksheet. Then they traced over the pencil with marker and simply glued in mosaics. Before we dug into our projects I showed visuals and explained the history behind these artifacts and artforms.

yes yes, I know I spelled 'column' wrong! whoops!

ancient Roman coin and ruler Julius Caesar

'Roma' is Italian for the city of  Rome

Then when students were finished with their Roman Ionic mosaic columns, they could design a Roman Coin. I had bought some tooling foil and cut it into many small squares. Using a sharp pencil, wooden stylus, or toothpick, you can easy push into and draw a roman ruler's head and decorate the edges with pattern, line or olive branches. I used a sharp pencil. To have raised designs seen better, I recommend brushing the whole top of the coin with black acrylic or tempera paint, let dry and take a paper towel and lightly brush off the paint to reveal that the black paint has sunken in the relief areas where you've drawn to show detail. Cut out around the coin's round edge (tooling foil is soft gauge metal easily cut) .Then glue coin or coins down on a sheet of white paper for safe keeping and display.


  1. Love the coins! I did a research paper on Greek coins as part of my MA program, so if you ever want a copy to add to your files, just ask.

    I am totally serious about submitting some of these FANTASTIC lessons to an art education magazine!