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Roman Government Systems

Title/Topic: Ancient Roman Government

Authors: Katy McGillin and Megan Wallis

Subject/Grade Level: World History/10th Grade

Essential “Guiding Question” For the Lesson:  How did the implementation of different government systems in Ancient Rome influence its growth and influence?  How did each system rise and fall?


SS.912.W.1.3: Interpret and evaluate primary and secondary sources.

SS.912.W.1.6: Evaluate the role of history in shaping identity and character.

SS.912.W.2.1: Locate the extent of the Byzantine territory at the height of the empire.

SS.912.W.2.9: Analyze the impact of the collapse of the Western Roman Empire on Europe.


By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify and compare the three different government systems in Ancient Rome
  • Describe why each system came to an end and how it gave rise to a new one
  • Explain the connection between Rome’s land holdings and its power


Rome’s traditional founding date is April 21, 753 B.C. by its legendary first king Romulus.  The kingdom was ruled by seven kings who acted as village leaders; however, Romans established a law code and expanded Rome’s borders.  The last king, Tarquinius Superbus, was expelled by a mob of Roman aristocrats who established the Republic in 509 B.C.  The Republic was governed by a new constitution, a senate, and two consuls.  Dictators could be selected during times of war but they were only allowed to rule for six months.  The Republic became threatened during the 130s BC when the Gracchi Brothers, Marius, and Sulla started to challenge the system and establish a new order.  The first triumvirate was a unofficial group of 3 men who were the most powerful in Rome: Gaius Julius Caesar, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus.  After the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., his grandnephew Octavian became the first Emperor of Rome.  He officially adopted the title and the name Augustus in 27 B.C.  From that point on, Rome was ruled by Emperors whose reigns are divided into dynasties.  The official date of the fall of the Western Roman Empire is 476 AD. 


  • Pairs – Students will be placed in pairs to do the brainstorming activity at the beginning of the lesson and fill out a worksheet at the end of the lesson
  • Individual – For lecture, students will listen and takes notes individually, facing the instructor.


  • Think-Pair-Share – Students will use this method at the beginning of class to brainstorm different government and political systems
  • Direct Instruction – This method will be used during the lecture presentation on both days to facilitate the teacher conveying material to the students quickly and easily. 



  • Brainstorming/Think-Pair-Share: Students will pair up with a student sitting near them.  Students will be asked to brainstorm as many government systems (ancient or modern) they can think of.  After 2 minutes, students will name different government systems and the teacher will write them on the board. 

Main Activity

  • Interactive Lecture – This lecture will deliver information about the government systems in Ancient Rome.  The lecture will include a digital timeline projected at the front of the room.  The timeline will contain major dates related to the development of Roman government.  The teacher may share the link to the online timeline and students can refer to it later as necessary. 
  • Roman Map/Government Worksheet – While students are listening to the lecture, they should be coloring the three maps and filling in the charts.  The teacher will guide students in filling out the worksheets completely and correctly during the lecture.


  • Vocabulary Array – Students will be given the following terms related to Roman government systems: dictator, senator, triumvirate, emperor, and consul.  They will be asked to place the terms on a vocabulary array.  They will draw a line on their paper.  The left side will be labeled "Most Authoritarian" and the right side will be labeled "Least Authoritarian."  Students will then place each government position on the array according to knowledge they gained from the lecture.  The class and teacher will then make an array on the board and discuss why each government job deserves a certain position.



The completed Roman Maps/Government worksheets will serve as a study guide for the Unit Test.  Students will turn in the worksheets after Day 2.  The teacher will check the worksheets for completeness and will return them for students to use during the Unit Test Review.

Students will complete an exit card as their ticket to leave the classroom at the end of Day 2.  This will serve as a quick and easy formative assessment that will help the teacher determine how well the students comprehended the material and any areas that require extra review before the Unit Test. 

Unknown user,
Nov 30, 2009, 8:27 PM