Twice Freed by Patricia St. John: Unit Study Resources for Ancient Rome for Middle Grade Kids

This post is part of the 31 MORE Days of Literature Unit Studies series. You can find all of the links to the thirty-one studies in this post. If you’d like to use these ideas to create your own unit study, this post has step-by-step instructions as well as a free unit study planner. (Want to know more about what, exactly, a unit study is? This post will help.)

While you’re reading and working on your unit study, you can download this free printables pack of graphic organizers for reading. It has a plot chart, venn diagram, KWL chart, two mini book report organizers, a character analysis chart, a plot outline chart, and a reading response sheet where students can record facts while reading.

Twice Freed literature unit

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Not much is known about the slave Onesimus in the book of Philemon in the Bible. Twice Freed is a biblical fiction account of Onesimus’ life. You could read it aloud to younger kids- upper elementary. As an independent reading book it will make a good read for middle or high schoolers.

Book Information

Title- Twice Freed

Author- Patricia St. John

Recommended ages- Upper elementary and middle school

Synopsis- Onesimus is a slave who dreams of freedom. Slavery is all he’s ever known. But he loves Eirene, a rich merchant’s daughter and longs more than ever for freedom.

Onesimus finally has the opportunity to escape and leaves his master Philemon. His path takes him into life as a gladiator. And when he meets the Apostle Paul and learns the story of Jesus Christ, his life will be changed.

Ancient Rome Resources and Activities

PBS has a library of video clips kids can watch of the Roman Empire. (It says Egypt at the top, but you can see that the titles are all from Roman history.)

Kids can experience becoming the emperor of Rome in this interactive game. They’ll choose a real emperor and have to navigate real situations that arise.

Follow the links on the Social Studies for Kids site to learn about Ancient Rome.

The BBC Bitesize site has learner guides and video clips for many topics about Ancient Rome. There is some great information here!

This interactive site lets kids click on links to learn about various topics about Ancient Rome.

The Nova Roma site teaches basic Roman numerals and allows users to convert Arabic numerals (which we use)  to Roman numerals.

Learn about the ancient Roman city of Pompeii here and find information about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius here.

This interactive site lets kids click on parts of a Roman house to learn more about them.

The Roman Empire was huge and covered most of the known world. This interactive activity from BBC lets kids explore the Roman invasion of Scotland.

This is an excellent site that offers chapters on various topics about Ancient Rome as well as interactive maps, craft ideas, and other activities.

History for Kids has an Ancient Rome page that covers topics such as daily life, Roman architecture, the science of Ancient Rome, the fall of Rome, and much, much more.

Mr. has several pages of information about the Roman Empire and concurrent topics, including some video.

Crash Course has educational videos on a variety of topics. The videos are fast-paced and are geared toward middle school and high school students. There are three Crash Course world history videos that cover Ancient Rome. You can find the first here (and see the others in the sidebar).

Books about Ancient Rome

Booklist- Other Books About Or Set in Ancient Rome

Galen: My Life in Imperial Rome

City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction

Augustus Caesar’s World

Galen and the Gateway to Medicine

The Roman Colosseum: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Stadium and Its Deadly Games

The Story of the Romans

Peril and Peace: Chronicles of the Ancient Church

Ancient Rome: A Mighty Empire

You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Roman Gladiator: Gory Things You’d Rather Not Know

Tools of the Ancient Romans: A Kids’ Guide to the History and Science of Life in Ancient Rome

Other Resources for Ancient Rome

Homeschool Share has a free lapbook/unit study for Ancient Rome.

We’ve enjoyed the Drive-Thru History videos- fast-paced, entertaining videos that cover various time periods in history. You can find the Rome If You Want To DVD here. (I think some of these are available to watch on Netflix.)

Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus has some great free Ancient Rome lapbook pieces as well. (Scroll to the bottom of the page. She has resources to make a giant lapbook for ancient civilizations, and Rome is toward the bottom.)

Don’t miss the other literature units in this series!

Literature unit studies for kids

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