Pasadena Waldorf School Students Revisit Roman History at Getty Villa

The sixth grade class from Pasadena Waldorf School utilized the unique offerings of the Getty Villa in Malibu to enhance their studies of ancient history.

Published : Monday, January 13, 2014 | 7:12 PM

In December, the Pasadena Waldorf School sixth grade class visited the Getty Villa in Malibu as part of their Roman History block. Utilizing the educational links from the Getty Center web site, class teacher Peggy Reilly constructed a customized tour of the galleries to highlight areas taught in the main lesson block during grades five and six. The recreation of the Roman Villa dei Papiri, set in the hills of Malibu overlooking the Pacific Ocean, was an appropriate setting to reinforce the recent history lessons as well as to revisit the previous year’s studies of Greek history and Greco-Roman mythology.

The twenty-one students in the class were each equipped with a clipboard, a pencil, and some drawing paper. The students used the opportunity to draw studies of the architecture and ornamentation representative of how the house would have looked in its original setting before it was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. With only simple sketching materials, the sixth graders spent three hours at the Villa highlighting their own experiences, ranging from meditating on the significance of a tiny papyrus scrap from the original Odyssey by Homer to rendering their own sketches of ancient masks or towering statues.

Pasadena Waldorf School, founded in 1979, offers an inspired education to students from Early Childhood (Parent-Child, Preschool, and Kindergarten) through Grade Eleven (and grade twelve in 2015-2016). With over ninety years of experience and over 1000 schools worldwide, Waldorf education is one of the world’s fastest growing independent school movements.

Pasadena Waldorf School, 209 E. Mariposa St., Altadena, (626) 794-9564 or visit

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