The Curriculum of the Steiner School - Class 6

Notes and Lesson Plans

Greek & Roman History
updated July 5, 2022

Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!

This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.

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Greek & Roman History
for Class 6

This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your sixth grade year. Enjoy!


Ancient Greece is begun in grade 5 and then concluded in grade 6, through a transition from Mythology into History, covering the decline of Greece and then the rise (and the fall) of Rome, then marching onward to the Dark Ages / Middle Ages.

BUT, if there are to be three Cultural blocks in Sixth Grade, I don't agree that one should be History of Ancient Greece, one should be History of Ancient Rome, and one should be the Middle Ages.

I like the idea of a block on the Israelites, Philistines & Phoenicians (using Ancient Israelites and Their Neighbors by Marian Broida).

Or a block on the First Nations peoples of North America (which Columbus will "discover" next year in the Seventh Grade Curriculum).

Or a block on Ancient Asian cultures like China & Japan.

Or a block on Ancient South American cultures like the Aztecs, Inca & Maya.

And so on.

In short, to keep the curriculum stream-lined and allow for further topics of exploration, I am in favor of combining the histories of Greece & Rome. For this the best book is by Genevieve Foster.

Note: This block will work best if it comes after the String, Straight-Edge & Shadow geometry block.

Pinterest - Renee Schwartz
My curated collection of visuals! Browse sample main lesson book pages, watercolor paintings, chalkboard drawings, etc. for Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.

FREE eBooks at the Online Waldorf Library
Excellent resource! Published Waldorf curriculum books provided here in PDF format for you to download, keep, and read... for free!

Sample Lessons and Free Curriculum

Other Helpful Links

Books to Buy

The resource which I think would be best for this combined main lesson block is Augustus Caesar's World: 44 BC to AD 14 by Genevieve Foster. It is so well written and interweaves and reviews some of the information which was covered in 5th grade in a Waldorf school (such as Ancient Egypt). This approach is called "horizontal history." She traces seven major civilizations (Rome, Greece, Israel, Egypt, China, India & Persia) from 4500 AD onward to help explain the time in which in which Augustus Caesar lived. She puts everything in context beautifully. I think it's the perfect book to help cover any gaps as well as to help bring this historical period to life!

Augustus Caesar's World: 44 BC to AD 14

by Genevieve Foster

Although Charles Kovacs wrote a book on Ancient Greece and one on Ancient Rome, I'm not suggesting using them since you won't have enough time to get into that level of detail in a single main lesson block. You may, however, decide to purchase them and read them on your own, to deepen your own teacher background.

If you feel that Foster slants things a little Rome-heavy, there is also the book by Dorothy Harrer, Chapters from Ancient History, which is available online for FREE at the Online Waldorf Library (and includes Ancient Greece as well). If you compare her book with Foster's, the things she covers which Foster leaves out are Athens, Sparta, the Persian Wars, and Alexander the Great.

You could do "The Delphic Oracle" through "Alexander the Great" to begin this block assuming that fifth grade ended with the Olympics. Families who used Dorothy Harrer's book for Ancient Greece in 5th grade instead of D'Aulaire's Mythology will have already covered this content.

I also wanted to include more of the famous Ancient Greek mathematicians (Thales, Archimedes, Eratosthenes). Note: This block will work best if it comes after String, Straight-Edge & Shadow.

Suggested Pacing:

In order to have enough time for this combined block, I suggest a five week main lesson (six if you add in a bit from Harrer as well). Part I in Week 1, Part II in Week 2, and so on.

from Dorothy Harrer's Chapters from Ancient History


    The Delphic Oracle, p.103

    The Hand of Greece, p.104

      art project - watercolor painting of the hills of Greece

    Lycurgus of Sparta, p.105

    Education in Sparta, p.107

    Earliest Athens, p.109

    Solon of Athens, p.110

    The Tyrant, Pisistratus, p.112


    Themistocles and the Persian Wars, p.114


    Pericles, p.124

    Education in Athens, p.126

    Priests of the Beautiful, p.128

    East and West, p.129

    Sophocles, p.129

    Phidias, p.130


    The Birth of Philosophy, p.131

    After Pericles, p.134

    Philip of Macedon, p.135


    Alexander the Great, p.137

      art project - tie the Gordion Knot

When Augustus was the Schoolboy Octavius


    Janus, p.xi

    Under a Lucky Star, p.5

    The Ides of March, p.10


    Cleopatra and Her Son, p.14

    Caesar's Adopted Son, p.19

    Cicero, p.22


    Conspirators Without a Plan, p.26

    Mark Antony, p.29

    Why is July?, p.35


    Gauls, Geese and Black Vultures, p.41

    Octavian Plays the Game, p.45


    Bloody Fingerprints, p.50

    Candles and Holly Berries, p.56

When Octavius was the Young General Octavian


    The Festival of Lights, p.63

    Herod, Future King of the Jews, p.66

    Philippi and the Ghost, p.71


    Antony and Octavian Divide the World, p.77

    Horace and the Country Mouse, p.80

    Antony and Cleopatra, p.84

    Herod, the Fugitive, p.91


    Virgil and Isaiah, p.93

    Octavia Weds Antony, p.97

    Herod, King of the Jews!, p.100

    To Athens and Return, p.102


    The Future Empress, p.107

    The Siege of Jerusalem, p.108

    A Turning Point, p.112

    The Love Story Ends, p.117


    Herod and Mariamne, p.122

    Triumph and Peace, p.125

When Octavian was Given the Title of Augustus


    Augustus Caesar!, p.133

    The Druids, p.137

    Tales of the Wild Northwest, p.141


    A Wedding, p.145

    The Pantheon, p.147


    A Bible for the Romans, p.152

    The Story of Aeneas, p.155

    Who Were the Roman Gods?, p.159


    Golden Eagles Come Home, p.166

    Out of Persia, p.170

    We Still Call It Sunday, p.174


    Herod and the Temple, p.177

    Hillel, the Great Pharisee, p.182

    The Law of Moses, p.186

    Augustus, the God, p.192

When Augustus was Worshipped as a God


    A Roman Pharaoh, p.199

    Remember Akhenaton, p.205

    Philo and the Lighthouse, p.210

Tuesday - add in...


    Questions and Answers, p.215

    Stepsons and Stars, p.224

    Strabo and the World, p.228

    Of Calendars and the Mayans, p.233

    Children of the Sun, p.239


    Herod is Dead, p.243

    The Old Silk Road, p.246

    Land of the Dragon, p.250


    Of India and the Hindus, p.258

    Pater Patriae, p.265

    Buddha and the Kingdom of Truth, p.267

When Augustus was Honored as the Father of His Country


    December 25, Year 1, p.277

    Tiberius, p.282

    A Boy of Nazareth, p.283


    The Hebrew Prophets, p.287


    On the German Border, p.295

    The Passover, p.298


    "My Dear Tiberius," p.305

    Hermann, the German Hero, p.308

    Farewell Augustus!, p.312


    The Kingdom of Heaven, p.315

    A New Religion for Rome, p.320

My blog posts from teaching this topic:

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