From News of Delaware County:

It's Ancient Roman Field Day - a chance for some 90 sixth graders to show off their research skills for two other sixth grade classes by creating an interactive tour of all things Roman. In the auditorium and in five classrooms, students, teachers, and family have been invited to learn about ancient history through plays, displays of architecture and construction, as well as presentations by gods, goddesses, and Roman emperors.

"Welcome, fellow Roman citizens," announces Kate Walton, sixth grade science and social studies teacher, as she stands at the auditorium podium in her toga. "We have worked very hard preparing this entertainment. It takes a lot of courage to perform in front of people - especially classmates - so show your kindness and respect."

The skit that follows is about two ancient gladiator brothers, Romulus and Remus. Then comes a game show called Quiz Bowl, complete with toga-clad contestants.

"This represents about three weeks of work," says Walton, sweeping hurriedly down the hall from the auditorium to one of the classrooms. "The other sixth grade social studies classes have already done Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt."

This format marks a first for Walton and her sixth graders. Tour guides -- in togas, of course - are leading groups of 10 into classrooms. In one, gods and goddesses are presenting lore about their characters that include Lonesha Smith as Diana, Kathleen Duffy as Ceres, Katie Gerzabeck as Minerva, Shane Vochinsky as Mars, James Fahy as Hercules, Courtney Kennedy as Venus and Kelly Cahill as Vesta.

As Mars, Vochinsky's is looking quite stately in his plumed helmet and leather belt. "We had a guy present a show about gladiators," he says. "He gave us this costume to use."

Across the room, students sit with their architectural creations of cardboard, paint and plastic, ready to describe in detail what they've been learned during the construction process.

"The Romans used this as a performing area," says Nick Horan displaying his Roman theater. "It was carved partly into the hillsides and it was free to get in."

Like his classmates, much of his information was obtained from the Internet. "I learned even more while I was building it," says Horan. "It was a lot of fun."

"The Arch of Titus was the only way into Rome," explains Joe Vitale of his project. "The Romans built it in 203 A.D."

A popular stop seems to be in front of John Michael's replica of a Roman bathhouse. A gold, spray-painted plastic tub filled with water serves as an impromptu splash contest as classmates gleefully hold high the action figures, then release them with a flourish.

Other architectural projects include Nick Ondo's Circus Maximus, the site of those famed chariot races, and Darrell Pace's Coliseum.

"It held 50,000 people," says Pace, pointing to the multitude of Magic Marker circles he drew to represent the crowds. "I also learned that the women and the poor sat on different levels."

Peering out from the opening in his Roman aqueduct is Caesar Millas, a student who could not have a more perfect name for Roman Day.

"It carried water for miles," explains Millas of the red painted, multiple-tiered structure.

In a nearby classroom, a student tour guide is leading visitors around the Cursus Publicus. For the unfamiliar, this is the post office. Turns out, the Romans were the first to have a highly-develop post office - starting it as a way to deliver political messages.

Students act out stations of the postal process, from writing a note on parchment, to handing it to a messenger who would ride up to 40 miles per day on horseback to deliver it.

"We all worked hard preparing for the presentation day and it really showed," Walton says afterward. "Every single student was engaged throughout the day and very interested in their presentation. I think there were valuable lessons learned in public speaking, researching information and being organized.

"I definitely plan to do this project again next year," she adds. "It was worth every minute."