If you have a school like mine, your students can probably find information more quickly using their phones than using the laptops on the laptop carts. If you do actually have faster technology/a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program, this is a great activity for teaching History.
Step 1: Find a roll of that bulletin board paper–the long rolls of colored paper–color code them by class if you want!
Step 2: Break Roman History up into Periods. (Remember–students will be working in pairs to compete this–try to match number of periods accordingly)
Step 3: Student pairs draw period out of hat.
Step 4: Students go to paper which is rolled out on floor–I have it rolled out when they come in. One very long, continuous sheet. Hallways, if you can, are a great place to work on this.
Step 5: Students divide up paper, claiming their pair’s section. Remind them that they need enough space to write everything they find. When they claim their part, have them put their names and the years they are doing. (Each pair should have the same color marker!)
Step 6: Using their phones, students need to find 10-15 events that happened during their time period–bonus points for more. They should write them down on a loose leaf paper first, make sure they have them in order, and then transfer them to the timeline. (I often give them a paper of interesting sources and places to start.)
Step 7: Students present their section of timeline to class. Have them be prepared to talk about not only the event itself, but why it was relevant.
The students find this to be a really engaging and fun activity and I find that they really remember their history. We always find places to display their epic timelines as well! (Sometimes, you can even get hallway wall space–teach the rest of the school about Roman history!)