Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English–Language Arts, History–Social Science, Science
Time Required: Single Class Lesson
One short pre-visit activity, a one-hour activity for your visit to the Getty Villa, and ideas for post-visit activities
Author: J. Paul Getty Museum Education staff

Activity Overview

Wall Fragment, Woman on Balcony / Roman

Use this activity for exploring the Getty Villa's Atrium and Triclinium, the Gods and Goddesses gallery (Gallery 104) and the Women and Children in Antiquity gallery (Gallery 207). Students learn the living spaces in an ancient Villa, describe their ancient use, and compare them to modern living spaces.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
• recognize the architectural spaces of an ancient Roman villa and describe their functions.
• recognize basic Latin terms for ancient living spaces.
• recognize objects and architectural elements that would have been featured in an ancient villa.
• compare ancient and modern living spaces.


Download the documents below to use for your pre-visit activity, visit to the Villa (student worksheet), and post-visit activity. Links to images of works of art that students will see at the Villa are also provided.

Activity Steps

Follow the steps below to make the most of your Villa visit.

  1. Download the pre-visit activity, above, and use it in the classroom to help prepare your students for their Villa visit.
  2. Before coming to the Villa, download and make copies for each student of the appropriate student worksheet (see Materials section above). At the Villa, students will use these sheets to investigate the Museum collection and site. An instruction sheet is included with this to guide you and your chaperones at the Villa.
  3. Follow your visit up with the post-visit activity, which your students can complete in the classroom or as a homework assignment.

Below is a summary of the activities contained in the downloadable materials above.

Pre-Visit Activity: Introduce students to the concept of a "villa." Students study floor plans of an ancient Roman villa, noting the key spaces and their functions, and comparing these to their own homes.

Student Worksheet: At the Villa, students follow an activity sheet to find and explore some architectural spaces at the Getty Villa that are based on ancient architecture. They then view works of art in the Villa galleries that would have been found in similar spaces within an ancient Roman villa.

Post-Visit Activity: Students follow up their visit to the Getty Villa by comparing ancient and modern living spaces, designing their own decoration for an ancient space, or creating and drawing a plan for their own villa.

Venus Genetrix / Roman
Venus Genetrix, Roman, A.D. 100–200