We started by doing some revision by doing a ‘Count to 10 in Latin’ exercise which built on the previously lesson’s introduction to Latin numbers. A secondary benefit of the game is that it is purposefully done to get the pupils immediately engaged in a fun way by acting as a mental warm up. They particularly liked this exercise, and it was incredibly effective; so much so that after 10 minutes the pupils were actually able to go from 1-10 and 10-1 without the need of the number translations on the Powerpoint.
The next exercise ‘Introducing Yourself’ was the first stage in building up the required knowledge to have a conversation in Latin. Pupils were asked to put an ‘a’ or ‘us’ at the end of their name, and we went round the class each saying our new Latin names out loud. They then made a crown from cardboard kept together by sellotape, which the students then put their name on. Though taking making the crowns took a bit of time (the students required help piecing it all together with sellotape and making the crown fit) those that had done their crown already were able to decorate creatively to keep them preoccupied.
The repetitive oral element of a Latin conversation exercise (salve, sum...) made it not only enjoyable but also effective in reinforcing the lesson learnt here. Admittedly the fun activity combined with the conversational nature made some students quite excitable and some students ended up have a conversation that was off-topic, but by going around the class and monitoring the various conversations I was able to steer the focus back to the Latin conversational at hand.
The ‘Facebook in Latin’ exercise proved quite hard for them. I presumed that most would be familiar with Facebook but as they were Year 7 only some were. It was a beneficial exercise for them to do, as it got the students thinking about how Latin can be incorporated in day-to-day language; however some students weren’t able to entirely express themselves as they weren’t at the level yet. In future. I think I'll keep this handout for more advanced groups.
Overall, the lesson was incredibly interactive and fun. The students certainly were engaged throughout and the chance to incorporate arts and crafts as well as making Latin relevant to them was a topic they particularly enjoyed and chatted about throughout the class.
Written by Harvey Richardson, 24 March 2015