Pie (charts), speeches, and music: Thanksgiving Day Links

Happy Thanksgiving!

(I am thankful for the plethora of links this week.)

A pie chart and bar graph of the reigns and causes of death of Roman emperors.

Evidence suggests gladiators ate plant ash for bone strength.

Archaeologists claim to have found remnants of the Trojan Horse.

The disparities between English and Latin pronoun usage.

Ted Cruz modifies Cicero’s famous First Oration in speech against president.

Gregory Crane weighs the pros and cons of becoming a professor of Classics.

An interesting new online Latin course through comics.

Young composers explore an ancient Latin text and what ancient Greek music sounded like.


New (and Old) Ways to Assess Understanding

Thinglink

Thinglink is a tool that allows you to mark up a picture with physical tags. These tags can hold information in the form of text, pictures, video, and even audio. There are a few scenarios where this tool could be useful in the language classroom.

The first is for the teacher to use the tool to introduce vocabulary in a Comprehensible Input scenario. Use a picture with a lot of action going on, and label the things and actions occurring in the picture (in Latin, of course!) Students will learn vocabulary in context without using English as an intermediary.

The second use, which I can personally attest to, is to have students create pictures to show their comprehension of a Latin passage. I recently used this to test students’ knowledge of a passage of Caesar, and my students surprised me with their inventive tags. It was out-of-the-box thinking and the kids enjoyed the activity.

Socratic Seminar

This is an oldie but Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 7.31.26 PMgoodie. It is best used (in my own personal experience) to explore culture topics. An “inside circle” of students will discuss a topic which has been previously studied but not discussed. An “outside circle” of students will observe the conversation and mark down those things which the inside circle does well and those which it needs more help with. This activity helps foster unscripted discussions while also paying attention to skills such as respect, listening, and analysis. Because the outside circle is paying close attention to the inside circle, every student is engaged in the class. Print up rubrics beforehand to let the students know what elements of the conversation they are being tested on (i.e. how well they break down an argument, how well they respond to an opposing position.)

One way that this process can be updated for the modern era is to have students submit their feedback via a Google Form. Make a short form with the same criteria as the rubric and have each student fill it out for the students he or she observed in the inner circle. You will get a spreadsheet filled with comments and rubric scores that you can then share out with the class or use for formative data.

Cloze Activities

I suppose I always thought of these as very elementary, but they can be used with advanced passages as well. As a review or consolidation exercise, take some unadapted Latin text that your students have already read for homework and take out tricky words, small phrases, or clauses. Give them the text with the missing words and have them fill them in. This could be done with an English translation and Latin fill ins, or vice versa. The idea is that the students have to critically scan the passage to see what is missing and fill in the appropriate words in context. It is a great help for combating the “word salad” that can sometimes occur when students get overwhelmed by an advanced text.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve used any of these or if you have other ideas for assessing comprehension!


Announcements for November 23

CANE

  • Deadline December 1: We are accepting proposals for papers and workshops at the 2015 Annual Meeting. Please visit here to read the guidelines and submit your proposal electronically. Alternatively, you can mail your one-page (300 word) abstract to:

CANE President

Elizabeth Keitel

Department of Classics
524 Herter Hall

University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003.

  • Deadline December 1: If you have a great idea for a class activity but need funds for books and/or materials, please apply for the quadriannual CANE Discretionary Funds!  For more information on this or other grants/scholarships that CANE offers, visit this page.
  • Deadline December 1: The Alison Barker Travel Scholarship (http://caneweb.org/BarkerScholApp.pdf) is offered annually to undergraduates wishing to participate in educationally-enriching travel abroad.
  • Deadline December 1: The Thomas and Eleanor Means Fund (http://caneweb.org/MeansScholApp.pdf) is granted to middle- and secondary-school students who wish to travel abroad for educational purposes.
  • Deadline December 15: This year’s CANE Writing Contest will be here before you know it!

 

BEYOND CANE

 Ongoing

  • Check out these updates from ASCANIUS.
  • The Yale University Art Gallery has recently renovated its ancient art galleries, and there is a great special exhibit entitled “Roman in the Provinces: Art on the Periphery of the Empire” running now through February 4th.
  • There’s an exhibit in Quincy Market in Boston that includes Lego reconstructions of a Greek vase and classical statuary through January 11.

Certamina et Dies Classici et Eventus!

  • New Hampshire is sponsoring the Granite State Certamen December 6th at Dover High School in Dover, NH.
  • Brown University’s Annual Latin Carol Celebration will be held Monday, December 8th, at 8:00 pm at the First Bapist Church in America, 75 N. Main St, Providence, RI.
  • The Pioneer Valley Classical Association is holding its annual Classics Day on January 16 at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA.  Latin students will have the opportunity to see lectures, attend hands-on workshops, compete in art, speaking, costume, and traditional certamen-style contests, and even see a play performed by peers! For more information, email its President, Bruce Arnold.
  • The Paideia Institute announces its 3rd annual Living Latin in NYC February 14-15, 2015 at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus.  Guest speakers this year include Dr. Nancy Llewellyn, Milena Minkova, Dr. Terence Tunberg, Cristophe Rico, and Luigi Miraglia.

Meetups

  • Live in western MA or northern CT and want to practice speaking in Latin? There is a large group that meets weekly in Amherst! For details, contact TJ Howell.
  • In the Boston area? Check out the Active Latin Meetup page for events.

Jobs

  • See our new Jobs page for details.

Awards, Scholarships and Fellowships

  • The deadline for applications for the Bean Scholarships, offered by the College of the Holy Cross to students who intend to major in the Classics, is January 15th.
  • THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF CLASSICAL STUDIES AT ATHENS presents…THE M. ALISON FRANTZ FELLOWSHIP IN POST-CLASSICAL STUDIES AT THE GENNADIUS LIBRARY
    Deadline: January 15

 

The M. Alison Frantz Fellowship, formerly know as the Gennadeion Fellow in Post-Classical Studies, was named in honor of photographer and archaeologist, M. Alison Frantz (1903 – 1995) whose photographs of antiquities are widely used in books on Greek culture.The Frantz Fellowship is awarded to scholars whose fields of study are represented by the Gennadius Library in Athens, i.e. Late Antiquity, Byzantine Studies, post-Byzantine Studies, or Modern Greek Studies.

Eligibility: Ph.D. candidates and recent Ph.D.’s (up to five years) from a U.S. or Canadian institution. Successful candidates should demonstrate their need to work in the Gennadius Library.

Terms: A stipend of $11,500 plus room, board, and waiver of School fees. Fellows are expected to be in residence at the School for the full academic year from September 1 to June 1. A final report is due at the end of the award period, and the ASCSA expects that copies of all publications that result from research conducted as a Fellow of the ASCSA be contributed to the Gennadius Library of the School.

Application: Submit application for Associate Membership with fellowship, curriculum vitae, description of the proposed project, and three letters of reference online on the ASCSA web site .

Web site: www.ascsa.edu.gr or http://www.ascsa.edu.gr/index.php/admission-membership/grants

E-mail: application@ascsa.org

The award will be announced by March 15.

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, religion, ethnic origin, or disability when considering admission to any form of membership or application for employment.