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The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire Lesson Plan

Learning Objective

Students will be able to explain the key events and factors that contributed to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire through creating an animated gif using Brush Ninja.


  • Computers or tablets with internet access for each student
  • Brush Ninja website
  • Research materials on the Roman Empire (books, websites, etc.)
  • Art supplies (paper, pencils, markers) for brainstorming and planning



  • Begin by discussing with students what they know about the Roman Empire. Ask questions such as: What was the Roman Empire? Where was it located? When did it exist?
  • Show some visuals of ancient Rome to generate interest and curiosity.


  • Divide students into pairs or small groups.
  • Provide them with resources (books, websites, etc.) to research and gather information about the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.
  • Encourage students to take notes on important events, influential leaders, significant achievements, and reasons for its decline.


  • Have each group create a list of key events and factors they found during their research.
  • Provide art supplies for students to sketch out ideas for their animated gifs based on their chosen events/factors.

Animated Gif Creation using Brush Ninja

  • Instruct students to visit the Brush Ninja website on their devices.
  • Demonstrate how to use Brush Ninja’s tools and features such as drawing, adding text, stickers, frame animation, etc.
  • Encourage creativity in designing visually appealing gifs that effectively represent the chosen events/factors related to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.

Sharing & Presentation

  • Allow time for students to complete their animated gifs.
  • Have each group present their gif to the class, explaining the events/factors depicted and their significance to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire.


  • Observe students’ engagement and participation during research, brainstorming, and creation phases.
  • Evaluate the quality of students’ animated gifs based on accuracy in representing key events/ factors and creativity in visual design.
  • Assess students’ oral presentation skills during their presentations.


For advanced or interested students:

  • Research other ancient civilizations (e.g. Greek, Egyptian, Mayan) and create additional animated gifs comparing their rise and fall with that of the Roman Empire using Brush Ninja.
  • Write a short reflection on how studying history can help us understand patterns in human societies over time.

How to animate with Brush Ninja

This video teaches the basics of using Brush Ninja

More Tutorial Videos →

More World-history Lessons

Note: The lessons are written with the assumption that teachers will be using them as a starting point, and will be adapting them to suit the needs of their students and curriculum.

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