Teaching Ancient Civilizations with Children’s Literature: Pompeii Lost & Found

Pompeii

Pompeii Lost & Found, written by Mary Pope Osborne and illustrated by Bonnie Christensen, tells the story of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius which buried Pompeii.  The story begins right before the eruption; “As everyone went about their daily routines on August 24, AD 79, no one seemed to notice that strange things had begun to happen.”  The warning signs and the eruption are described; “Tons of hot ash rained down on Pumpeii until the town was completely buried.”  Then the story goes into the discovery of the buried city of Pompeii over 1500 years later.  Archeological findings, practices, and techniques are described.  “With all the discoveries of the archaeologists, we can now fully imagine what everyday life was like in a Roman town almost 2,000 years ago.”  The book helps children visualize the lives of the people of Pompeii by describing what their houses were like, what they ate, how they shopped, what adults and children did for entertainment, what children learned in school, and how the people worshiped their gods.  The illustrations show images from AD 79 before the eruption and from today, allowing students to make connections to the past which bring history to life.

Curriculum Connections

This book would be great for introducing a lesson on Pompeii or Ancient Rome in general.  The illustrations make the book approachable even for beginning readers.  This book would help students learn about the contributions of Ancient Rome, including their architecture, art, culture, sports, and hobbies (VA SOL 3.1).

Additional Resources

General Information

Book: Pompeii Lost & Found
Author: Mary Pope Osborne
Illustrator: Bonnie Christensen
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 40
Grade Range: 1 – 5
ISBN: 0375828893