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Ancient Romans and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide Review by Melissa Bontadelli

Simonetta Carr
814 North Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Independent Publishers Group
Chicago Review Press

Ancient Romans and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide gives students a view into the lives that were lived by ancient Romans, Etruscans, Celts, and Carthaginians. The history lesson is achieved through a combination of reading and hands-on activities designed to show typical activities of people living in ancient times. It is a book that is broken down into four parts, each part covering a people group. Within these parts, there are nine sections. Almost every section of reading has an activity to match it. The book costs $18.99, but there will be an additional cost for the supplies you will use in the activities.

We used this book as a supplement to our history curriculum. We would cover one or two sections a week loosely matched to our curriculum. There are no quizzes or tests with this book. The activities encompass all areas of life in the ancient civilizations including food, games and jewelry making. The book is best suited to later elementary and middle school students. While not specifically mentioning homeschooling, this book is very suitable for homeschool families. My students learn best if they are using their hands while learning material and this book can be done that way. It also can be done where the reading is separated from the activity depending on your students and how they learn.

This product worked well in our school. We are currently studying ancient civilizations and it fits well with our curriculum. The activities were not so difficult that my students were frustrated, but they were complex enough to keep them busy. My students enjoy any curriculum that has them make food and this book has them making food in each of the people groups.

The book reading passages are long and did not work well for my younger student. While he was able to join in the activities, he often lost focus during reading. The maps for each area are small and lack detail. If you want map work to go with the book, you will need to get it elsewhere. Since the histories of these ancient civilizations overlap in time, a good foundational knowledge of the timeline helps when reading the book.

I would recommend using Ancient Romans and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide. The activities and history are done very well. The activities draw from all areas of life and bring the way that people lived alive for the students.

-Product review by Melissa Bontadelli, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2020