Pompeii Text Passage

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1 Pompeii Text Passage Directions: Listed below are strategies you can use to help you better analyze the text. Write your notes in the Notes column. Underline or highlight text associated with your notes. Write down the main idea of a paragraph. Rewrite a section in your own words. Make any inferences. Use context clues to define unknown words or write ideas for what a word might mean. Record ideas or questions you have about the text you want to share with others. Write any reactions to the text. Text Notes A Day in Pompeii What Nature Destroyed, It Also Preserved The Cincinnati Museum Center The city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman city in Italy. Pompeii and the nearby city of Herculaneum were destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79. The eruption buried Pompeii under 13 to 20 feet of ash and pumice. The city was lost for almost 1700 years before it was accidentally discovered in Since then, its excavation has provided extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, the city of Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy. The excavated town offers a snapshot of Roman life in the 1 st century, frozen at the moment it was buried on August 24, A.D. 79. The Forum, the baths, many houses, and some villas on the edge of town remain very well preserved. Mosaics in homes and businesses remain intact. Even carbonized food has been found. The evidence that remains here shows that Pompeii was a lively place. At the time of the eruption, the town probably had around 20,000 inhabitants. In addition, Romans had their holiday villas in the area.

2 Pompeii is the only ancient town of which we know the original topographic structure. Nothing has been added or changed since the time of the eruption. The streets are straight and lay out in a grid. Houses and shops line both sides of the street. The Forum was the economic, religious, and political center of Pompeii. The main temples, municipal buildings, law courts, market and the Mensa Ponderaria were grouped around it. Besides the Forum, many other services were found in the city, including the Macellum (great food market), the Pistrinum (mill), the Thermopolium (bar that served hot and cold beverages), and cauponae (small restaurants). An amphitheater and two theaters have also been found, along with a palestra (gymnasium). A hotel, now called the Grand Hotel Murecine, was discovered a short distance from the town. August 24, A.D. 79, began as any other summer day in Pompeii. The town Forum was bustling with commercial and political activity. The baths temples, theaters and taverns were full of patrons. Just after the lunch hour, the ground shook. A great explosion thundered over the town. Mount Vesuvius had erupted, spewing volcanic materials over the city and surrounding region. A column of ash and gases rose miles into the sky. Small volcanic rocks and ash rained down on the city. The debris was so thick it blocked out the sun. The ash and rock continued falling all through the night. Everything in the town was covered, and roofs collapsed under the weight. People who tried to endure the deluge were trapped inside buildings. People who tried to flee in darkness were stranded. The next day, catastrophic waves of fast moving toxic gases and hot, wet mud flowed into the

3 city. People who had fled early probably escaped, but those who stayed behind did not. Pompeii remained buried and forgotten for 1700 years. In 1709, a workman sinking a well in a nearby town struck the marble seats of Herculaneum s theater. Herculaneum is five miles from Pompeii, near the Bay of Naples. This discovery initiated the excavations of the two lost cities. Renaissance collectors were very interested in finding precious, authentic classical objects like those that had been buried. The first excavators were opportunists, but by the 19 th century, scholars and tourists were more interested in the history of the lost city and its people. The focus was no longer on the value of found objects. Instead, attention focused on the past lives the artifacts revealed. By 1827, a street plan of the uncovered areas of Pompeii was developed and the first tourist guidebook was published. Today, archaeologists have widened their interest. They wonder about Roman society and politics and hope that Pompeii can help them learn more. How many homes and gardens were there? How many people had access to fresh water? What does the presence of sacred objects from other countries say about tolerance and diversity in Roman society? Pompeii has been a popular tourist destination for 250 years. By 2008, it was one of the most popular tourist sites in Italy. More than 2.6 million visitors come to Pompeii every year. It is part of a larger Vesuvius National Park, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

4 Graphic Organizer Directions: Read the four questions below. As you address each question, re-read the paragraphs in A Day in Pompeii that the question is about. Using the text, write your responses in the "My Thoughts" and sections. You will then be given time to talk to a classmate, share ideas and take notes. Based on your conversation, you will complete the "My Thoughts Now" section. 1. What type of information is presented in paragraphs 1-3? What does this information tell us about Pompeii? Cite evidence from the text to support your response. My Thoughts 2. What type of information is presented in paragraphs 7-9? What does this information tell us about Pompeii? Cite evidence from the text to support your response. My Thoughts

5 3. Paragraphs 4-6 present information in a narrative structure. How is this structure different than the rest of the text? What effect does it have on the reader? My Thoughts 4. How does the information presented in paragraph 10 connect to the information presented in the first paragraph? My Response

6 5. How do the visuals that accompany the article support your understanding of each section of the text? My Response ELA Grade 6 Writing Assessment Evidence-Based Questions Directions: Answer the questions below on a separate sheet of lined paper. You may use this sheet to make any notes or draft your response. You may refer to the reading passage and your graphic organizer to help you answer the questions.

7 1. How does the information about the artifacts found in Pompeii help the reader understand what life was like for people who lived there? Cite evidence from the text to support your response? 2. Paragraphs 4 6, contain words like thundered, rained, deluge, and catastrophic to describe the eruption and its devastation, and words like bustling, endure, and flee to describe the actions of the people in the city. What is the effect of this word choice on the reader? How does this word choice impact our understanding of this historical event? 3. Paragraphs 7-9 describe a shift in the interest people have had in the ruins of Pompeii. What is this shift? How does this shift contribute to your understanding of the central idea that the study of the ruins of Pompeii can help us to better understand our human story? Cite evidence from the text to support your response. 4. The subtitle of the article is, What nature destroyed, it also preserved. How does this contribute to your understanding of the central idea that the study of the ruins of Pompeii can help us to better understand our human story? Provide evidence from the text to support your response. ELA Grade 6 Writing Assessment Writing Task Directions: You will have 50 minutes to respond to the prompt below in writing. Use your graphic organizer, evidence-based questions, and/or other notes to inform your writing. You may take notes on this paper but you should write your entire response on lined paper. Writing Prompt As humans, we are interested in the past not only because it can give us information about important historical events, but also because understanding those events helps us better understand the human story. In the excerpt from the article, A Day in Pompeii What Nature Destroyed, It Also Preserved, by the Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC), the destruction and re-discovery of the ancient city of Pompeii are described. In a well-organized essay, analyze how the structure of the text contributes to the development of the central idea that the study of the ruins of Pompeii can help us to better understand our human story. In your essay, be sure to address how

8 paragraphs 4-6 fit into the overall structure of the text and contribute to the development of the central idea. Be sure to cite evidence from the text to support your analysis. Be Sure To: Include relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotes or other information Use appropriate transitions Use precise language and vocabulary to inform or explain your topic Establish and maintain a formal style Provide a concluding section that follows from and supports your explanation

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