Building Blocks and Roman Roads--tools for teaching History

Below are wooden blocks a friend made to use for teaching Ancient History (though they would come in handy everywhere!).  You can use them to make a Roman arch and feel what a keystone works like.  String arches together to make an aquaduct--see how supports are only needed at the extreme ends.  Or build a barrel vault and see how the outer walls would need thickness or buttressing.

Using some instructions from a website that seems to be down (offering free online Waldorf lesson plans), I made this cross-section of a Roman road in some plastic desk organizer. The layers are:
  • Packed earth
  • Rubble (I used gravel)
  • Heavy stones (I used larger stones)
  • Gravel ( I used sea salt)
  • Pavers (I broke pottery into flat shards)
  • Sand
  • Make sure to leave a drainage ditch on each side.
  • Seal all with pourable polyurethane coating and let it air out where it won't bother people for about 3-4 days.



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