Lessons from Antiquity

Lesson Plan

Teach your students about democracy with examples from the very beginning! In this lesson, students learn about Athens’s direct democracy and Rome’s republic. Students explore how these governments took shape and key features of their structure, and then try their hands at comparing and contrasting each to U.S. government today. 


  • Describe democracy in Athens and Rome

  • Differentiate between democracy and other forms of government

  • Identify characteristics of direct and representative democracy

  • Compare and contrast democracy in Athens and Rome to the U.S. government today

  • Analyze arguments against democracy