At the start of the lesson, as always, the pupils greeted us with enthusiasm and excitement for another Latin lesson - which is always rewarding. This particular lesson was very engaging; all of the pupils were attentive and taking in the information well. The lesson was informative and fun: the pupils thoroughly enjoyed the interactive elements and the chance to stand up and move around the class. Certain pupils especially liked coming to the front of the class where the teacher stands to read the conversation aloud.
The pupils especially enjoyed learning about the difference between foods we eat today and foods that the Romans ate. They then created numerous concoctions with a variety of food types and drew them on plates. The majority of the pupils really enjoyed the conversation of the shopkeeper and his customer. It is fair to say some pupils got slightly concerned about the exercise and how to pronounce some of the words, but on the whole they were able to understand how to hold the conversation in the correct order. The PowerPoint was of particular interest to the pupils because it really brought to life the type of meals that the Romans ate. The pupils also enjoyed holding up cards with the corresponding sentence when it was spoken aloud to them. Clearly, interactive and participatory lessons are much more accessible to these pupils than just reading and writing.
Teachers may want to cut certain activities out of this class just to make sure the lesson is completed in the time allocated and some of the elements risk rowdiness. However, this kind of lesson plan is very effective because it includes varied activities addressing different learning paths for the pupils. It is quite hard work, as the teachers have to keep the activities running and make sure the class keeps moving through the work that is set without too much distraction. I find that the varied elements work best if the pupils have a good grounding in hearing the conversation of the shopkeeper prior to attempting it themselves. Speaking Latin to the pupils, even simple words such as greetings, really helps to get them used to certain phrases and gives them confidence to try for themselves.
Written by Alexandra Montgomery, 21 March 2014