More Mad Libs!

what do they teach tumblr_mait9xrQUp1qm5qepo1_250Correct noun-adjective agreement, that’s what.

I got some positive feedback on the last Mad Libs assignment I posted, so I decided to make another one.  This assignment is based on passage 19 from Ecce Romani I, and corresponds to the content of the surrounding chapters, particularly noun-adjective agreement.  In these chapters, the distinction between 2-1-2 and 3rd declension adjectives is discussed, so special emphasis is placed on that.  Download after the jump.

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Latin Pledge of Allegiance Poster

Pledge of Allegiance Latin

For my followers in the US of A, here is a downloadable poster (optimized for 11×17) of the Pledge of Allegiance in Latin.  Translation by Claude Pavur.  Download after the jump.

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Hunger Games – Classical Allusions Poster

I saw Catching Fire yesterday. Ohmygoodness, so good. I highly recommend it. Team Peeta all the way.

That got me in the mood to create a poster that highlights some (of many) Classical allusions that can be found in the books and movies.

Hunger Games

I got the text here, at, and the article has even more examples of Classical allusions in character names. They even explain the etymology of other names, Classical or no.

Downloads after the jump.

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Kriss Kross, part II

I can’t believe I forgot to put this up here. I made another crossword puzzle a few weeks ago, something to keep kids busy while I was subbing for middle school study hall.

On one side of the page I copied a handout on the 12 (but really 14) Olympians. I forgot to include Hestia, dernnit. Maybe I’ll update it at some point to include her. On the other was the crossword. For some reason, middle schoolers really love crosswords. Go figure. Downloads after the jump.

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Latin Mad Libs!

Sometimes it’s hard to get students engaged.


Especially when in Latin class.

Taking inspiration from Mad Libs, and adapting a passage from Ecce Romani, I made what I think is a fun activity to help students practice noun-adjective agreement.  The passage is from chapter 5, but the activity actually correlates better with chapter 6.  Chapter 5’s story was just more entertaining.

Students fill in blanks to prompts such as “masc nom sing,” meaning a masculine nominative singular adjective.  They then plug in these adjectives into the story and translate.  Comedy ensues!  Grammar is practiced.  Download after the jump.

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Kriss Kross!

Woo! I made a crossword puzzle! There are a number of sites out there to use, like this one and this one. Not quite sure I’ve found a favorite yet. Some interfaces are better than others, but those others have a prettier end product. Hmm. Jury’s still out on that one.

This crossword is for grammar drills – the perfect active system of Latin verbs. Perfect, pluperfect and future perfect. Correlates with Wheelock chapter 12. Enjoy!

Student Project on Founding Figures

I’ve been looking more and more at comparative mythology lately – the similarities between the myths of various cultures. Many believe that most myths have at least an original basis in some form of truth, and for that reason many mythical archetypes transfer beyond one single mythology. This in turn expands to modern mythologies; we still look to gods, heroes and god-like heroes for inspiration.

In this assessment I created for a grad school project, students will explore the ancient-modern connection more thoroughly though an in-depth look at the Aeneas myth and mythical foundation figures in general. The Latin textbook Ecce Romani introduces the myth of Aeneas early on in the first text of the series, and many teachers love to bring in Vergil’s Aeneid for more advanced students to read in translation. For younger readers, a simplified version of the epic by Emily Frenkel and Simon Weller could be used.

In Part I of the project, they will compare two mythical founders to discover what traits are found in the archetype, and write up the similarities and differences in an essay form. I gave the following as choices for their comparisons:

  • Gilgamesh (Iraq)
  • Rurik (Russia)
  • Arthur (England)
  • Jimmu (Japan)

These of course could be added to as seen fit. The variety of cultures seen here, each with a founding figure that shares traits with the others, speaks to the power of this particular archetype.

In Part II of the project, they will create their own founding myth, putting a creative spin on it and making the archetype their own. Because I am based in Chicago, I ask them to create a founding figure for this troubled city.

By looking at Aeneas, the typified Roman hero, as well as other such figures from around the world, they will discover what traits they find in those they look up to. Downloads after the jump.

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Medea’s Day Care – “We’ll love your kids to death!”

(Woo! Long time no post!)

This summer I’m working with a group of 4-6 graders who are complete classics nerds. It’s wonderful. I told them my favorite myth figure is Medea, and they came up with the title of this post: Medea’s Day Care – “We’ll love your kids to death!” They’ve been joking about it the past two days.

So, I decided to incorporate their natural gift for irony into an enrichment activity for their program! We came up with ironic business names for various mythological characters. They really got into it! Below are some examples of their excellent work:

Cyclops Glasses

Dionysus Rehab

Hestia Dance Club

Minotaur Corn Maze

Trojan Horse Used Cars

Zeus Migraine Medicine

I think the migraine medicine is my favorite…


The passages found in both the Cambridge textbooks and Ecce Romani take place around the Bay of Naples, meaning that the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius is a critical event for the families in both stories. However, too often is the humanity of history forgotten, replaced by dates, facts and figures. The British Museum currently has an exhibit dedicated to that eruption, focusing on the individuals affected. The video created to promote this exhibit is a fine example of how this event can be taught in a classroom, by remembering the individual.


You know how I said in my last post that Fatih Akin is one of my heroes? Well, add Richard LaFleur to the list.

In the 1960s, Latin teaching in American high schools took a nosedive. People asked themselves, “Why are we teaching our children this dead language?” and pulled their kids from classics programs. It wasn’t until the 1980s that class offerings and enrollment at the high school level began to pick up again, and it was largely due to the efforts of University of Georgia professor Dr. Richard LaFleur. In 1981 he published a rather self-explanatory article entitled “Latin Students Score High on SAT and Achievement Tests,” and followed it up in 1987 with his book The Teaching of Latin in American Schools: A Profession in Crisis. Once people started rediscovering the advantages of a classical education, they also started putting their kids’ butts in the seats. Latin teachers nationwide owe him their gratitude.

LaFleur might be a Emeritus professor over at UGA now, but I have a li’l secret. His class website for Latin teaching methodology is still online. And I found it.

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