Daily Archives: October 9, 2012


Using Spoken Latin in YOUR Classroom, Pars II

In my last post, I covered some basics about speaking Latin in class. Here are some other techniques I use to get my students speaking and acquiring vocabulary.
One of my favorite boxes in class is an old copy paper box, filled to the brim with stuffed animals and fake fruit. I have so many different old stuffed animals from when I was a kid, it’s crazy. If you need stuffed animals, or fake fruit, Ikea and Michaels/ACmoore are great places to acquire such items. So I take the box, filled with all the animals, show it to the students, and say “Ecce! Est arca!” (you can also use cista! Or whatever other word you have for “box!”) I use the method I talked about in my previous post to get the students to say “Arca est.” Then, pointing to the box, I ask, “Quid est?” The students reply, “Arca est.” Have a couple students say it individually, and then have the whole class repeat it once more.
Then, I set the box down and take something out of the box, usually an adorable stuffed animal, in this case, a dog. “Ecce!” I say. “Canis est!” Have the students repeat, “Canis est.” I pick a student (Clodia, for these purposes) and offer them the dog, making it very obvious that I want them to take it. “Visne canem?” I ask. Clodia should respond with, “ita vero!” or whatever word/phrase they know for “yes.” If I get a blank stare, I ask again, “Visne canem?” and then nod my head to see if I can prompt her. Once she say “yes,” I hold the dog up in the air. “Clodia canem vult,” I tell my students. I have the class repeat, “Clodia canem vult.” Then, I set the dog on my desk and say, “Da mihi canem, quaeso.” I take the sentence and break it down, like I did in my previous post. Once I’ve got the students saying, “Da mihi canem, quaeso,” I ask Clodia to say it alone. Once she does, I give her the dog.
If a student stumbles over saying something in Latin, you can do one of a few things:
1) Have another student say it and then have the struggling student repeat it.
2) Say it yourself and have the struggling student repeat it. (Sometimes it helps to break it down for them again!)
3) Have the whole class say the sentence again and then have the struggling student repeat it.
I always remind my students that mistakes are normal and use the “Mirable!” technique to help reinforce that.
Anyway, you can keep going through the box of animals and foods. Get them handed out to students, and then have the students offer them to other students and have the other students ask for them.
This is not a one-class lesson. This one will take a few classes for your students to get it. It works really well, even if you have high-schoolers, to get them sitting in a circle, so that everyone can see the object that the other students have. (And even high-schoolers love to play with the stuffed animals!)
Enjoy this one. It’s a lot of fun! ☺