The Fall of Rome Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach students how, when, and why Rome fell with this video-based lesson plan. Students examine internal and external causes, discuss key events, then apply learning to an activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain internal and external factors that contributed to the fall of Rome
  • determine cause and effect in relation to the fall of Rome


  • 1 hour


  • Index cards
  • Notebook paper
  • Writing utensils
  • Chart of poster paper

Key Vocabulary

  • Internal corruption
  • Division
  • Outside invasion
  • Eternal City
  • Diocletian
  • Constantine
  • Byzantine Empire
  • Germanic tribes
  • Alaric
  • Odoacer
  • Romulus Augustulus

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.3

Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

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