Back to the living past

27th June 2003 at 01:00
People in the Past series Ancient Roman: ChildrenWomen JobsHomesWar and Weapons By Brian Williams and Richard Tames Heinemann pound;11.50 each

This information book series approaches Roman history through archaeology and interpreting physical evidence. These colourful hardback books are suitable for upper key stage 2 readers, although any KS2 teacher and able reader would find them very accessible. Each book covers different aspects of Ancient Roman life in double-page spreads, the logical layout of which is easy to follow. A variety of pictures and photographs of Roman artefacts is accompanied throughout by clear, detailed and brightly coloured captions.

Each book has an extensive glossary for the bold key words found in the text, and a timeline specific to that title. One distinctive detail is an ongoing selection of legendary tales which stand out from the general text.

Overall, these attention-grabbing non-fiction books are a great addition to any history library for class or individual enquiry. They could also be an asset in literacy or group-reading. All Heinemann needs to do now is publish A3 colour photographs to further enhance the learning opportunities. Here are some observations from my Year 6.

Daishun: "The pictures are very good because they are not reconstructed in any way. That is good because children can see the things they had when the Romans were around."

Chantelle: "These books are very well spread out and have nice pictures. I like that there are extra bits of information in purple and that the captions are in orange."

Maria: "A very helpful selection of books with captions to describe wonderful and interesting photographs. They also include timelines and glossaries for some words you may not know the meaning of."

Leanne: "I like that the important words stand out in bold so you know what is important. Also the headings are bold so that you can easily see different sections."

Karen Lucas is KS2 class teacher at Deer's Wood Primary, South Gloucestershire

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