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Gloating Gladiators and Sad Slaves

Gloating Gladiators and Sad Slaves



Learning Outcomes


  • Explore aspects of the Roman Empire (people / roles)
  • Understand the impact of the Roman Empire on Britain

Physical Education

  • Develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance
  • Perform dances using a range of movement patterns


  • Pictures of gladiators / slaves in the Roman Empire


  1. Discuss the roles and activities of slaves and gladiators in the Roman Empire, use the pictures as a focus point. What do the children think their lives were like? What activities did they take part in during the day?
  2. Explain that they are going to create their own movements / dance to illustrate the day in the life of either a slave or a gladiator.
  3. Ask for suggestions of activities that either may have had to do and then encourage the class to develop a movement to show that activity. Work through several different suggestions, looking for clear movements and imagination.
  4. Ask the children to choose to be either a gladiator or a slave and to think about their mornings. How would they have woken up, what would they have needed to do first thing? Would it have made a difference where the slaves were based?
  5. Repeat with activities that would have happened during the course of the day, including gladiatorial training / battles. Encourage the children to include both big and small movements and to move with control.

Extensions Ideas

  • Combine with music sessions and encourage children to create a musical piece to accompany their movements.
  • Add further Roman roles, such as soldiers, senators, traders
  • Create costumes and create a performance

Top Tips

  • For younger KS2 children, assign a role or work with all of the class in the role of gladiator and then slave to ensure a good mix of ideas.
  • Stories from the perspective of a slave or gladiator also provide a good starting point for ideas.