Celts and Romans, 75 AD

Before Viewing

  • Recap with the children when Buddug lived and some of the key features of her life. Introduce a blank timeline of the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. This could be presented using an interactive whiteboard if available. Ensure that the children understand that a century is made up of 100 years and remind them that Buddug was ten years old in AD 50. Discuss where this would appear on the timeline. This would be a useful time to develop the children’s mathematical skills in using halves, quarters and three-quarters. Place a picture of Buddug on the timeline at AD 50 and ask the children to give the year in which Buddug was born. Introduce a picture of Brân, the subject of Programme 2. Explain that time has moved on 25 years. Discuss where this would appear on the timeline, how old Buddug would be and that Brân is Buddug’s son. Place Brân’s picture on the timeline.
  • The children should have some knowledge of where the Romans came from, that they had a very powerful army which had conquered and defeated many people and that by the time they came to Britain, they ruled over much of Europe and North Africa.
  • Teachers might wish to discuss religious celebrations, such as harvest festival, as well as commemorative events, such as Remembrance Day to help them understand the significance of the Druids and votive offerings.

During the Programme

After viewing the ‘What’s the Story?’ section, remind the children about the concept of historical interpretations. Help the children to think of some questions raised by the story, which would form the basis of further enquiries, such as:

  • How do we know what a Druid looked like?
  • How do we know that the objects were thrown into the lake to please the gods?

Ask the children to write down some of their own questions and explain that they must now listen and watch very carefully to see if we can find any answers in the rest of the programme.

After Viewing

  • Review the questions which have been identified during the programme. Were the questions answered? If some questions were not answered, how might they find out more? In addition to activities on the ‘When the Romans came to Wales’ website, teachers might find ACCAC’s ‘Optional Assessment Materials in History’, Unit 1 ‘What did Celtic Warriors Look Like?’ useful in reinforcing some of the ideas presented in this programme.
  • Ask the children to think about the question ‘Why did the Silures lose the battle with the Romans?’ On card, prepare statements related to Roman/Celtic warfare (you can vary the number of statements according to the age and abiltity of the children). For example, these might include “Roman soldiers always obeyed orders”; “The Silures did not wear armour to protect themselves”; “Roman soldiers were well protected with armour, helmets and shields”.

Cut up and distribute. Working in groups for no more than 10 minutes, the children sort the cards into different categories – they decide what categories to use. At the end, discuss what categories they decided to use, and how successful were they in helping them answer the question. Present a scenario, such as: “You have been asked to write a chapter in a children’s book entitled ‘Why were the Romans able to defeat the Celts?’ In groups, plan the best way to answer this question, and produce your chapter”.

  • Build on the children’s knowledge developed from the previous activity by showing a map of Britain which illustrates how and when the Romans advanced across the country. Establish the date of AD 75 as being the time when the resistance of the Silures was ending. Identify some of the major settlements of Roman Britain and identify Chester and Caerleon as the two fortresses from which the Romans launched their advance into Wales.
  • Download from our website the image of the gang-chain found at Llyn Cerrig Bach. Discuss with the children what it might have been used for. Make a paper gang chain, to the same size as the real one paying particular attention to the large rings, which are fastened by catches. How many slaves could be manacled and how? The children could demonstrate how the chain was used, and this could lead into a creative writing activity.
  • Ask the children to research information related to the resistance of Caradog (Caratacus) to the Romans, paying particular attention to his links with various parts of Wales and England, as well as to the Silures.