Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pompeii: Pompeii

Pompeii has an amazing history and its site is truly worth visiting. The movie tries to show a bit of that historical eruption. Pompeii is an open air museum and knowing about its history is enriching.

I. Let's play a game. The teacher reads the statements that will follow. The students receive two tags written TRUE and FALSE. When the teacher finishes reading each sentence, the students raise their tags together when the teacher says GO! If a student raises the tag after or before the teacher says GO!, he can't score a point. 

1. Mt. Vesuvius is still one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes.

2. Although the eruption caught people off guard, the signs had been coming for years.

3. The eruption was catastrophic, lasting from 10 to 12 hours. 

4. We know much of what happened from an eyewitness account.

5. Thousands of people were buried alive.

6. There were various attempts to rebuild the cities.

7. It had happened before.

8. It can't happen again.

9. The eruption of Vesuvius was quite sudden, and many of Pompeii’s inhabitants lost their lives while going about their daily work.

II. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions.


1. Describe the scene. What were people doing during the eruption?

2. Do you think people realized what could happen to them? Why (not)?

3. How do you think the inhabitants of that area would react to the same event nowadays?

4. Why do so many people still live near volcanoes, knowing an eruption could kill them at any given moment? 

5. What are the threats nature imposes to your living area? What are your major problems (volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, storms, tornadoes, tsunamis, cyclones, pollution, avalanches, sand storms, fire, drought, etc)?

GAME: Answer key:

1. T

2. T

3. F 
It lasted more than 24 hours.

4. T 
There is a detailed account of the eruption thanks to Pliny the Younger, who was a Roman administrator and poet. He watched the eruption from afar and questioned survivors, and then wrote of the event in letters to his friend Tacitus. 

5. T 
At that time, around 20,000 people — manufacturers, merchants, and farmers — lived in Pompeii, and another 5,000 lived in Herculaneum. Many of the people who did not flee when the eruption started were buried alive by ash and other molten material. It is estimated that about 16,000 people died in the eruption.

6. F 
There was no attempt to rebuild the cities

7. T 
Though the Romans didn’t know it at the time, Mt. Vesuvius had erupted catastrophically at least twice before.

8. F

Mt. Vesuvius is still considered an active volcano. The most recent eruption occurred in 1944, and experts believe that a massive eruption could happen again soon, posing potential danger to the more than 2 million people who now live in the area.

9. T

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