Home Up Site Map Light Pollution What's New? Upcoming Events

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. 

roman4935.JPG (1776917 bytes) roman04925.JPG (1917345 bytes) roman04937.JPG (1886139 bytes) roman04938.JPG (1736736 bytes) roman04939.JPG (1898450 bytes)

 roman04940.JPG (1892702 bytes) roman04941.JPG (1879092 bytes) roman04942.JPG (1876079 bytes) roman04943.JPG (1762812 bytes)

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

Directions for making a paper plate shield


        1 paper plate (a thicker paper plate works best)

        Aluminum foil

        Hot glue

        Liquid black shoe polish (with a sponge works best)



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.

Home Activities! Site Map Light Pollution What's New? Upcoming Events
The contents of this site may be reproduced for non-profit educational purposes only.  Please cite the contributing author  in credits.  
All other uses require the express written permission of the respective contributors.

Copyright 2012 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.