Lesson Plans: A Roman Costume Project

Senator Bear

In this project, students research Roman dress and create small-scale versions of clothing for cloth dolls (or teddy bears) or life-size clothing for themselves. Teachers can adapt the project and focus on the costume of other cultures for which reliable evidence exists. The project--originally designed for middle school, but adaptable for elementary grades and with applications to high school--is especially suited to a Latin or History class. Students learn about Roman dress and collect information about specific types of clothing and accessories, then gain hands-on experience making clothing and accessories for a particular "Roman person." Explicit instructions about materials, patterns, and techniques are provided here. Through reference to trade, travel, the military, sports, slavery, and more, the teacher can incorporate multicultural accoutrements and address multiple perspectives.

Everything You Need to Know in Brief

Dolls in Tunics and Teddies in Togas

A detailed description of the project, with essential information for teachers: goals, materials and preparation, class time, evidence for Roman costume, and step-by-step procedures.

A handout for students that outlines the procedures to be followed and provides basic information about Roman garments and accessories

Grading Rubric

Resources on Roman Costume

Photographs of projects

Patterns for tunica, stola, and toga

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