Daily Archives: February 25, 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.