Monthly Archives: February 2014

Squirrelly weather 2

Squirrelly weather.
One of the disadvantages of teaching Latin in New England in the winter is that, when you try to go over weather terms before the NLE, Every day has the same weather. Last year, I had little clouds and suns and thermometers with the Latin phrases, and my students were supposed to choose the right one for each day. They got very good at “frigidum est” and ok at “lucet” and “ nubiliosum est,” but there’s not much variety in Massachusetts in February.
This year, though, my parents gave me a great present that I brought into the Latin room: a magnetic squirrel with various accessories.
So, I printed out the Latin for Addicts Weather Expressions and gave each student a copy. This has an extremely wide variety of weather expressions, not just the most common ones.
Every day, I use the squirrel’s little magnetic accessories to dress him up for different weather than we have. (He has holiday outfits and all sorts of other accessories.) I ask the students what the weather is like for the squirrel and what it’s like for us. We go around the room, and everyone who wants to can either describe our weather or the squirrel’s. I ask the question in Latin, and, once they’ve told me the Latin phrase, if the reasoning isn’t obvious, I ask “Cur?” I haven’t told them what it means, but they all have picked it up and start describing (in English) the complicated thought process that makes them think this outfit means hail (the bucket is to collect the hailstones). I also ask them “Sciuro aut nobis?” if they don’t say whose weather it is, which is helping the students who are still in “Classics,” not Latin get a feel for what the different endings can do for words.
If you’re looking for a way to discuss weather in your Latin classroom, I heartily suggest something like this squirrel.

Announcements for 23 February


  • It’s not too late to register for the Annual Meeting! It will be held March 6-8 at St. Anselm’s in Manchester, NH.
  • The theme for the 2014 CANE Summer Institute is “ “On the Shoulders of Giants”: Greco-Roman Giants and their Modern Emulators.”  Registration is forthcoming!


  • CLIPEUS is running several Latin speaking meetups in Boston. Check the link for upcoming events.
  • The New England Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Language is at the Copley Place hotel in Boston March 27-30th, and promises a full schedule of Latin seminars, talks, and workshops. Sign up through the NECTFL website.
  • The American Philological Association (APA) is accepting applications for three fellowship programs that may be of interest to CANE members. APA membership is not required to submit an application for any of these programs, two of which are named for long-time participants in CANE.
  • 2014 Pedagogy Awards. Fellowships to support professional development by both collegiate and precollegiate teachers. Application deadline: March 3.
  • 2014 Zeph Stewart Latin Teacher Training Award. Support for individuals seeking to obtain Latin teacher certification. Application deadline: March 3.
  • ”The spring meeting of CAM has been tentatively scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 2014 and will be held at Westwood High School (200 Nahatan St, Westwood, MA). The theme of the meeting will be “All Things Augustus” — appropriate for the year in which we celebrate (sive commemorate) the 2000th anniversary of his death.”
  • SALVI’s Rusticatio Latin July 2014 immersion weeks and pedagogy seminars are now open for registration.
  • The Vergilian Society is holding its first annual Vergil translation contest for students in K-12. To register, sign up here by 18 February. The contest will be the week of 24-28 February.
  • McGill is offering a summer course in Classical Studies in June and July. Check out their flyer.