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Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate"

Activity: Roman Shields

The Roman Shield, called a scutum, was a piece of military equipment employed by the Roman Army to protect its soldiers.  The curved shape of the shield allowed it to absorb (and deal) heavy blows, while the sides sloped away from the attacker, allowing arrows and enemy blows to glance off without transmitting the full force of the impact to the legionary, Roman soldier, sheltering behind it. Some gladiators also carried a small shield during the gladiator games, but it offered little to no protection to them. 

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Sample plates courtesy of students of St. Pius X Catholic School.

Directions for making a paper plate shield

Materials:

        1 paper plate (a thicker paper plate works best)

        Aluminum foil

        Hot glue

        Liquid black shoe polish (with a sponge works best)

 

Directions:

1.     Students draw their design on the underneath side of the paper plate.

2.     With a hot glue gun, students trace over their design with a thick layer of glue.

3.     Cover the paper plate with aluminum foil.

4.     Apply a VERY thin coat of shoe polish over the surface of the shield.  The shield should only have a light shine of shoe polish on it. Let dry.

5.     Optional:  You may tape or glue a tagboard handle to the back of the shield. 

Shield design adapted from the Ancient Rome Activity Book.  Two images, right, courtesy of Katie Schwertfeger.

Contributed by Katie Schwertfeger.

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Copyright 2012 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.