Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome lesson plan

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most fascinating structures in Italy. It took hundreds of year to construct. Find out why it tilts.

  • 1.

    Always work on a clean dry surface. A piece of cardboard or a white paper plate works well for a base.

  • 2.

    Roll out a handful of Crayola Air-Dry Clay to form a cylinder about 1 ½" thick. This will become the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

  • 3.

    The tower has 7 sections. Divide your tower in sections by scoring the cylinder with a plastic knife or craft stick. Each floor of the tower has archways all around. Use your thumb or end of a plastic spoon to make indentations to create the arch ways. Make columns on the sides of the archways by rolling small pieces of clay. Press to attach.

  • 4.

    On top of the tower make a small cylinder to form the top of the building. This is where they usually fly the Italian flag.

  • 5.

    Place your tower on your cardboard base at the correct angle. Press down to make it stay. If the tower becomes loose after drying, use Crayola No Run School Glue to hold it in place.

  • 6.

    Surround your tower with background scenery. Make clouds, a sun, people, grass or trees. You might want to research the buildings that surround the tower and recreate them.

  • 7.

    To add dimension to your tower paint the entire scene with Crayola Tempera Mixing Mediums. This medium will add a stone-like appearance to the clay.

  • 8.

    Your construction will take several days to dry. Air dry clay dries rock hard. There is no need to fire or bake in a kiln.


  • Children can learn to interpret information they have found using their reading skills
  • Students learn to analyze different historical structures and how they were built.


  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa has a definite recognizable shape. Can students think of any other buildings or structures that are as recognizable? Some examples are The Eiffel tower in France, The Great Pyramids in Egypt, The Great Wall of China.
  • Are their recognizable buildings or structures in the area where you live? When and how were they constructed?
  • Assessment: Discuss how buildings are made today. What are some of the technological advances that have improved the way structures are made?
  • Most buildings are designed by an architect. Have a discussion about architects and what exactly they do. Show some works of famous architects. Frank Lloyd Wright, or Ieoh Ming Pei are two architects who’s works are found around the world.