Rome


A New Latin Program: A Success Story!

We’re all used to hearing bad news: “Latin program being eliminated!”or….“I’m being reduced to half-time!”

In the current climate it’s important to hear some good news. I have some to share, and I encourage all of you to send me other positive stories to me so that I can share them to the rest of our CANE readers.

Plaistow, NH, located in southeastern New Hampshire (pop. 7600), is home to Timberlane Regional High School. About 1400 students attend Timberlane, but until this current year none of them could take Latin. That has changed. This year, six students are taking Latin in a pilot program under the guidance of new teacher and program builder, Michael (Mike) D’Angelo (University of New Hampshire, 2013). But it gets better; 25 students have so far signed up to take first-year Latin next year (and eight others will be taking “The Classical World”), and the school has made a commitment to support the program at least into the second year, and perhaps into the third. Right now, Mike is working with the administration to come up with the required standards for the Latin program, which bodes well for the future of Latin in Plaistow.

I had the pleasure of meeting the Principal, Don Woodworth, and Vice-Principal, Sandra Allaire, last December (2015). They graciously talked with me for over an hour and expressed excitement about adding Latin to their curriculum.  One of their motivations, naturally, was that Latin would add prestige to the school, but Don and Sandy also felt strongly that Latin had great potential to transform students’ academic lives.  When I had the honor of meeting the current students I learned that all of them were pleased that they had the chance to take this ancient language.  They told me that the highlight of their year came when the students summoned the courage (oh, to be young!) to contact Mary Beard and ended up having a 30-minute Skype session with the famous classicist!

Please send me any success stories that you know of, but also remember that my role is to help save programs in trouble—but we need to know as soon as possible to mobilize a response.

You may reach R. Scott Smith at the University of New Hampshire, Department of Classics, Humanities and Italian Studies
301 Murkland Hall, Durham, NH 03824 ; by telephone at 603.862.2388 (voice mail) and email, Scott.Smith@unh.edu

 

 


The Epic History Timeline 1

For some reason, I have found that whenever I get my upper level students, they have no historical context for what we are reading.  This year, I worked very hard on giving my Latin 2 students that context, so that they would have it for Latin 3.  But how to make them retain it?

This is where I came up with the Epic History Timeline.  You will need:  three rolls of that wide Bulletin Board Paper (Colors make it look awesome!), Colored pencils/Markers (Markers stand out more!), and devices that can access the internet.

I gave my students these instructions:

“Working in groups of 3, your mission, whether or not you choose to accept it, is to outline a period of Roman history on a Timeline.  You must find 20 or more events for your time period.

Your group will select this time period by chance.  Working in your group of three, you will each need to choose a role:

*Exquisitor—You will be researching the chosen time period on your phone and will be in charge of describing the event to the Scriptor and the Pictor.

*Scriptor—You will, on the description of the Exquisitor, put the event on the timeline, and write a concise description of the event.

*Pictor—You will draw a picture of the event on the timeline.

Once you have put together your piece of the timeline, you will present it to the class, discussing your events and their significance to Roman History.  Then, add your timeline piece to the timeline.

Don’t forget to put your names on your section!”

They then drew their time periods out of a hat.  I had seven groups, so I split the time periods up like this:

The Monarchy (753 BC to 509 BC)

Early Republic (510 BC to 367 BC)

Mid Republic (366 BC to 132 BC)

Late Republic (133 BC to 31 BC)

Early Empire (30 BC to 68 AD)

Mid Empire (68 AD to 96 AD)

Mid Empire 2 (96 AD to 180 AD)

Each group was instructed to cut 4 feet of bulletin board paper, and get started.  The results were spectacular!  This project took two to three 1.5 hour classes, from start to finish.  (Three classes for most of my classes!)  Each group presented their section to the class and talked about why the events in their section were important to Roman history.  We then pieced the timelines together and hung them up All over the school.  These things are a work of art!

(And, yes, I did give them a quiz about it, with fantastic results.)

I love this project because there is something for everyone.  Those who would rather research can do so; those who have the gift of neat handwriting can make use of that talent; and, of course, the ones who like to draw can do that too.  The students need to internalize and own the historical events so that they can explain them clearly to their peers. This project worked extremely well for my students and I hope yours enjoy it too!