Welcome to the Gifted & Talented Program.
For third and fourth grade the program consists of three elements:
- Language Arts/Social Studies
- Computer Science.
Students will complete project base activities in all areas of study, generally using a Problem-Based Learning approach.
Our first activity for third and fouth grade, is in MinecraftEdu. We will be constructing an Ideal Hellenized Domus Italica.
A Buried City - Pompeii
Can you imagine finding an entire city buried beneath the earth? Believe it or not, the Roman city of Pompeii was preserved beneath layers of volcanic ash for hundreds of years after the volcano Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. Hundreds of years later the city was eventually uncovered, revealing a perfectly preserved Roman city. Today, if you were to visit Pompeii, Italy, you could walk down actual Roman streets and explore houses, shops - even fast food shoops, and cafes that existed over a thousand years ago. You can make a virtual vist on Google Earth.
Vitruvius was a Roman architectural theoretician who was writing in the age of Augustus, Augustus being Rome’s first emperor. And Vitruvius left a great deal of writings about all kinds of architecture, including domestic architecture, and he talks in detail about the domus italica or what he considered the ideal Roman house, and he describes all of its parts. Through his writings we can explore what the ideal Roman house was, and what you’re going to find very interesting, I believe, is the fact that the actual houses at Pompeii conform, or the earliest houses, conform very closely to this ideal plan. A domus was a large, one-story (usually) private home where wealthy and upper-class Romans lived. It was located in town, and our examples are located in Pompeii. Where do you spend the most time in your home? Romans who lived in a domus spent a lot of time in the peristyle and atrium. The atrium had an open roof, a pool to collect water, and an altar to honor the household gods. The peristyle was a garden, the domus also had a kitchen, a dining room, a living area, study, and bedrooms. While they are like our homes, and you would sleep there, the houses all contained public spaces and were not really 'private' places!
It is important to know that Roman houses had a very different role in Roman society than houses do for us today. We tend to think of our houses today in large parts as retreats, as places we can get away from it all – get away from work, get away from schoolwork and so on, and escape. Although we do enjoy obviously having friends and family visit us there, we tend to think of it as a place of retreat. This was not true in Roman times, when the house was also a place to do some very serious business. The man of the house, the head of the household, the paterfamilias, often greeted clients in the atrium of the house, and when he was away on business, or away at war, his wife, the materfamilias, would stand in for him and she would conduct business in the atrium. So the atrium considered a very public part of the house, a place where you wanted it to look its best because you were going to be greeting important visitors there, to do business.
- Check out this tutorial on building a Roman house.
- You might also like out Pompeii and The House of Sallust.
- If you are really serious watch this Yale University lecture video to help you learn more about these houses in Pompeii.