History is probably my favorite subject to teach. Come to think of it, when I was in school it was also my favorite subject to study. I am always excited to see products come up for review when they involve some form of history. I was doubly excited to see the Famous Men of Rome Set from Memoria Press come up for review. Luckily we were chosen to review Famous Men of Rome and I used it with my 5th grade tutoring students.
Memoria Press is a family run company that started in 1998. The company was founded by Cheryl Lowe who is the author of their Latin Curriculum, Latina Christiana. All of their products are first field tested in a school that they started in Kentucky before sold to the greater public. Memoria Press offers curriculum that is taught through the Classical Methods and is currently working on creating Classical Core Curriculum for all grade levels Preschool - 12th.
Famous Men of Rome Set Consists of a Teacher's Guide, Student Guide, and Text (reader). This set is currently retailing for $39.95 and is recommended for students 4th - 8th grade. We received all three books as softbound physical products. The books are very well made and the text has wonderful color illustrations for each story.
Famous Men of Rome Text- The text is 155 pages long with 29 stories about different famous men in Roman history and one story in the end dealing with the end of the Western Empire. Also included in the back of the books is a glossary of people and places as well as maps of Italy, Rome, and the Roman Empire. Through the 30 included stories the student will read about the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. The illustrations are quite stunning and add a lot to the text. The seven stories we read through the review period , I only had to edit a couple of sentences that I thought my girls weren't ready to hear. Let's be frank - the years of the Roman Empire were often quite brutal. The text was actually my favorite part of the set. The girls loved sitting and listening to a great story. They especially enjoyed the story of Romulus and Remus with the beginning of Rome.
Famous Men of Rome Student Guide - The Student Guide is chock full of activities and information to round out each story read and to delve deeper into the subject matter. Each story/lesson includes:
- Facts to Know: Each lesson has a facts to know section. This could be in the form of people, places, culture, and quotes. The author of the student guide recommends memorizing these facts, especially if your family studies by the classical methods. It is also recommended to possibly use as copy work.
- Vocabulary - The lessons also include a vocabulary section with 7-10 vocabulary words. These are words taken directly from the story and used in the context of the sentence used in the story. This list can be used for spelling and vocabulary lists as well as copy work exercises.
- Comprehension Questions - Each lesson includes 5-9 comprehension questions to help the student comprehend more of the story as well as dig deeper into the material. This is also the section that your student can practice answers in complete sentences and using proper grammar and punctuation.
- Activities - This section incorporates activities to help immerse the student more into the lesson/story. So far we have come across: describing the Roman Gods and matching them to the Greek Gods, map activities, drawing, research, timeline entries, essay style questions, memorization work, and identifying cities and bodies of water on maps.
Every 5 lessons will have your student stopping to do some review work of the previous lessons. Each review section is about 8 pages long including review work of previous vocabulary words, important dates, lists of Kings in order, important people, quotes, and map work.
In the back of the student guide you will find an appendix that contains: timelines, maps, a pronunciation guide, Who Said What Worksheet, Horiatius at the Bridge poem, and a one page article comparing Rome to America.
The Teacher's Guide - Basically the mirror image of the student guide with answers. This guide also has tests for each lesson and a pronunciation guide.
As I mentioned before I used this product with three 5th grade girls. Although the workbook was used only with one student due to copyright rules. Mostly I read the story out loud then concentrated on the vocabulary and activity section. Due to having student that despises writing, we chose to answer the comprehension questions orally. I felt that quite a few of the activities were a little difficult for my 5th grader, but that may be that we haven't educated in a classical manner and studying the ancients in this way was kind of new to us. The stories were enjoyed and the illustrations were spectacular. We worked with this product three days a week, normally Monday - Wednesday, which enabled us to get through about one lesson each week, sometimes two.
The Famous Men of Rome Set would be great to use as a full year of history with a few historical read alouds added to the mix. I have reviewed products from Memoria Press and have never been disappointed. Please be sure to read what other Crew Members said about the products they reviewed from Memoria Press.