Greco-Roman Museum

A casino of student-created games

Rolling dice, flipping cards, spinning wheels … the main hallway of John Jay Middle School was transformed into a casino of student-created games that teach and test one’s knowledge of the Greco-Roman world.

It’s Team Tapestry’s Greco-Roman Museum, the final fun project in the sixth graders’ exploration of the cultural and political traditions of ancient Greece and Rome. The engagement of the exhibits grew out of the assignment. “It’s in the rubric,” said Jesse Weiss, who teaches Team Tapestry with Guy Amdur and Jeanne Kellachan. “It required students to create something interactive.”

testing each other's knowledge

competition and prizes

The first table featured a board game called the Punic Wars created by Asher Barnett and Andrew Cai. Choose the Roman or Carthaginian perspective, toss the die and move a piece around a board. Each stop tested the players’ knowledge of battles, weapons and achievements. It didn’t end there; winners got a handmade drachma. Take it to the next table—a display of Spartan weapons and armor created by Benjamin Zhu and Ollie Yuan—and see what the money could buy.

Engaging information

Learning through games

All sixth grade teams visited the museum in shifts. The students were quickly engaged in winding through Crete’s Labyrinth on Josh Klein’s board game, spinning Fidella Swana’s handcrafted tops and playing with other toys of ancient Greece, getting a lightbulb to blink on an Alexander the Great Q&A circuit board made by Alex Krebs, receiving a ticket from Emma Gomes to see a gladiator fight at the Coliseum and determining where to sit, by social class, and more.

“I learned a lot,” said Selina Hedigan, a staff developer who visited the museum. “The students were also very informative. They shared facts and then elaborated even more. It was also fun!”