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What did the Romans ever do for me? 2

To provide a complete assembly play script for Yr 5 children studying Roman Britain.

by Tony Gay

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To provide a complete assembly play script written for Year 5 KS2 children studying 'Invaders and Settlers', focusing on Roman Britain.

Preparation and materials

  • This is a continuation of What Did the Romans Ever Do For Me? 1.


Soldier: Do you know that the Romans invented the first take-away?

Child 1: The first take-away? You're joking!

Soldier: No, I'm not. Sit up straight and I'll show you. Look. What about this then?
(He points his sword like a magic wand. Enter Chefs.)

Chefs (split up speech between them): 2,000 years ago in Rome, most people lived in small wooden flats, where cooking was banned as a fire hazard. People had to buy take-aways from their local food-bar called a popaina - a bit like our chip shops.

That's a good name isn't it? Pop - a - in - a. Sort of, pop - a - in - a, for - a - some - a - food - a. It's - a - like - a Mama used to make - a.

Well, actually, it wasn't exactly like my Mama used to make, because they used to eat some very strange foods - such as stuffed dormouse.

Recipe for stuffed dormouse:
1. Take one not-very-clever dormouse.
2. Feed with nuts and seeds until fat (could take a few weeks).
3. Kill dormouse.
4. Stuff dormouse, and place on a tile in the oven until well done.
5. Delicious.

Soldier: Take-aways! What about that then?

Child 1: Stuffed dormouse? Yuk! I'd rather have pizza or chips.

Soldier: Tell you the truth, so would I.

Child 1: The Romans were pretty amazing people, weren't they? I'm surprised that they didn't invent a car to drive along those super roads that you were talking about.

Soldier: They didn't invent a car, but I can tell you what they did invent.
(He points his sword like a magic wand. Enter Engineers.)

Engineers (split up speech between them): About 2,000 years ago a Roman living in Alexandria invented a steam engine. They filled it up with water, lit a fire and the engine spun round. It was a marvellous invention. The first ever steam engine in the whole world. Unfortunately, no one could see any use for it at that time.

Steam engines were forgotten for 1,600 years, until about 300 years ago when they were used for pumping water out of coal mines. In 1804 Richard Trevithic built the first steam train to run on rails.

Soldier: What about that then? You must be impressed now!

Child 1: You know, I wish I could have lived in Roman times.

Soldier: No, you don't. You would probably have been a slave.

Child 1: So, not much different from school then! Soldier/Child 1 (both turn to face the audience): We hope you have enjoyed our play. Thank you for listening to us.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Thank you for Class ___ and their work on the Romans.
Help us all, and help the world, to learn from the past,
enjoying and celebrating the good things,
and learning from the mistakes,
so that we can become better people.


'Spirit of peace' (Come and Praise, 85)

Publication date: December 2001   (Vol.3 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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