I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii: Summary, Characters, and Lesson Plans

Pompeii city streets, which were destroyed in 79AD. Part of I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii 79AD website summary

I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii 79AD: Book by Lauren Tarshis

I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii is book #10 in the “I Survived” series, a popular children’s series about survival in historic situations.

Hope this guide of lesson plans to I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii helps you. It’s a book that connects a lot of elements of literature, history, and geography, and it really comes together with activities like studying about volcanoes, or learning about ancient Roman customs. Also, the book begins with some memorable literary elements – like a heart that turns to mush. There’s movement-filled imagery packed with juicy verbs, and similes that come as fast as a bullet.


Summary of I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii 79 AD: 



I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, 79 AD: Activities

Read the book.

Listen to the audiobook of “I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, 79AD”. There is an audiobook available for it, lasting 1 hour and 29 minutes. Perfect for a read aloud experience.


Videos and documentaries

Top 10 Treasures of Pompeii – History Documentary – Channel 5 (20 minutes)

It shows the streets of Pompeii, the “Cave Canem” mosaic of Pompeii (art!), Stabian baths – complete with one of the earliest uses of concrete which was created from volcanic ash, The Temple of Jupiter in the main square.

It’s at minute 11 that they show the brothels, so that may be a good moment to pause. As it was a daytime TV documentary, they don’t discuss what exactly a brothel is, and describe it more in general phrasing of “the men who came there” and “the women/girls who worked there.”


ScienceVolcano lessons for kids

This site dives deep into volcanoes, volcano types, volcanoes through history.


Art: Pompeii was filled with mosaics. Try making one!

Pompeii mosaic of birds, which survived after the destruction of Pompeii in 79AD


Pompeii was hit by a volcano in 79AD. These ruins survived the destruction of Mount Vesuvius.

Lesson Plans for I Survived the Destruction of 79 AD

I Survived the Destruction of 79 AD: vocabulary and literary analysis notes

Cannons   bullets  – page 1






I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, 79AD characters




I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii Map locations



I Survived the the Destruction of Pompeii 79 AD related go-along books

Disclaimer: These are affiliate links, for which I may generate a small income. Links are mostly provided to assist you in locating the books.


The Thieves of Ostia, by Caroline Lawrence

A book for 4th grade readers, or a high-interest 3rd grade readaloud, this book is a mystery set in ancient Rome. This book sees the four child detectives – Flavia, Jonathan, Nubia, and Lupus – come together for the first time. There is a giant BBC children’s show based on this series, and these books are written by a trained classical historian so they contain a lot of historical accuracy (minus the four kids travelling the whole of the ancient Mediterranian World, like all good kid detectives are known to do.) The first book in the series isn’t specifically about Pompeii, but it does reference the scrolls of Pliny the Younger.

Warning for Sensitive Readers – this book is accurate about Ancient Rome, so some families shy away from it because of the dogs who die in the story, two characters come from backgrounds where they have been enslaved or had their tongue removed etc. The depictions are age-appropriate, but some people will cry from the mention of a dog in a fictional book, and that’s okay too.

Available on audiobook, paperback, and hardcover.

The Pirates of Pompeii, by Caroline Lawrence

This installment of the same series covers the aftermath of Pompeii. Refugee camps have formed on the Bay of Naples, and the crew of 4 child detectives must solve the mystery about the Pirates of Pompeii. Book for 4th grade readers.


Escape from Pompeii: An Isabel Soto Archaeology Adventure, illustrated by Cynthia Martin

A graphic novel will be of high interest and easy entry for students. This book explains what happened at Pompeii, from another child adventurer.


I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1989, by Lauren Tarshis

Same author, this is the 14th installment book in the series. The volcano in Washington erupted in 1989, changing the landscape of the area.



That concludes this collection of lesson plans, summary, and characters from I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii by Lauren Tarshis. Stay tuned for more I Survived lesson plans, book summaries, and activities.

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