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Lesson Plans and Ideas

Latin Alive Reader: Latin Literature from Cicero to Newton!

LA Team: Steven, Chris, Karen, and Gaylan at the book release during the national conference for the Society for Classical Learning in Austin, TX.

We are very excited to announce the publication of the fourth and final installment of the Latin Alive series!  The Latin Reader is the fruition of the dream Gaylan and I shared for the series from its earliest beginning. It was our desire to create a series that would train students to read original Latin literature and then enjoy the fruits of such literature, not just from ancient Rome, but literature that reflects the great breadth and depth of Latin influence through the ages. This unique reader provides excerpts of Latin literature that includes the prose of Cicero, Caesar, and Bacon; the poetry of Vergil, Ovid, Queen Elizabeth and Milton; the theological treatises of Augustine, Luther, and Aquinas; and the scientific musings of Pliny and Newton.  And these are only a few of the authors represented!  So great is the content, that we are delighted to welcome Dr. Steven L. Jones as a third author for this special book.  You can read more about Steven on the “about the authors” page of this blog site.

 

As with previous LA books we include biographies of each Latin author so students can learn about the context of each piece: historical, social, and even political.  Footnotes abound which provide further insight to the language, idioms, and cultural references for each piece.  We have also provided a variety of reading comprehension questions (Latin and English) to allow teachers to explore the readings further with students.  For all intents and purposes, this book serves as the basis for a humanities class in Latin.  For my students, this is their favorite Latin class.

Another distinctive unique to this book is the inclusion of a thorough grammar review in the second section.  Teachers and students may use this to review aspects of Latin grammar that apply to the pieces of literature they are reading.  Numerous appendices with reference charts, pronunciation review, and lessons in both Medieval Latin and poetry make this book on Latin literature complete.  There truly is nothing like this in circulation to date.  We are overjoyed to share this treasury with all of you.

You can read more about the Latin Alive Reader on the CAP website, including sample chapters.  Here is a sneak peek at the wealth of literature contained within its pages.  Among these you will see many of the authors and titles often included among the literature lists of classical schools.  This is very intentional as it is our hope through this book to support and enhance the study of these pieces of literature.

  1. Pro Archaia, Cicero
  2. Cornelia Gracchi, Nepos
  3. De Bello Gallico, Caesar
  4. Tria Poemata, Catullus
  5. Aeneid, Vergil
  6. Quattuor Poemata, Horace
  7. Metamorphoses, Ovid
  8. Fabulae Breves, Phaedrus
  9. de Ira, Seneca
  10. Evangelium secundum Sanctum Lucum, St. Luke
  11. Evangelium sucundum Sanctum Mattheum, St. Matthew
  12. Naturalis Historia, Piny the Elder
  13. Institutio Oratio, Quintilian
  14. Alia Epigrammata, Martial
  15. Perigrinatio Egeriae, Egeria
  16. Confessiones Sancti Augustini, St. Augustine
  17. Confessiones Sancti Patricii, St. Patrick
  18. Institutiones Divinarum et Saecularium Litterarum, Cassiodorus
  19. Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, Bede
  20. Vita de Caroli Magni, Einhard
  21. Magna Charta, The 25 Barons
  22. Summa Theologica, St. Aquinas
  23. Epistola ad Ciceronem, Petrarch
  24. Epistola Latina Columbi, Columbus
  25. Disputatio pro Declaratione Virtutis Indulgentiarum, Luther
  26. Stultitiae Laus, Erasmus
  27. Adversus Lutheranos, Cajetan
  28. Carmen et Oratio, Queen Elizabeth
  29. Elegia Secunda, Milton
  30. Historia Regni Henrici Septimi Angliae, Bacon
  31. Principa Mathematica, Newton

In addition, we have provided two readings included on the AP Latin syllabus from Caesar and Vergil.

 

Participles!

Latin uses participles extensively. It is essential to understand how to read the various forms, for they appear frequently in Latin literature. The participle is basically a hybrid between a verb and an adjective. As with verbs, the participle will have tense and voice. As with adjectives, the participle will have number, case, and gender and the ability to modify a noun (or even act as a substantive adjective in place of a noun). Because Latin uses participles more frequently than English does, there is a great deal of variety in the way a translator can render the Latin into English. The following is a brief review of the participle forms and their meanings.

 

Please take for an examle the verb edo, edere, edi, esum (to eat).

 A. Present Active Participle, Stem: second principal part + –ns/-nt + third declension endings.

 Exempli gratia:  edens, edentis

             Liberi edentes crustula sunt laeti.

            The children eating the cookies are happy.

            The children who eat cookies are happy.

 

 An ablative noun + an ablative participle create a phrase, independent of the sentence, which may express cause or time. The present participle in an ablative absolute:

 Crustulis edentibus, liberi sunt laeti.      When eating cookies, children are happy.

 

B. Perfect Passive Participle, Stem: fourth principal part + first and second declension endings

Exempli gratia:  esus, esa, esum

             Crustula esa erant gaudium liberis.

            The cookies (having been) eaten were a joy for the children.

            The cookies that were eaten were a joy for the children.

 

 The perfect passive participle in an ablative absolute:

Multis crustulis esis, liberi erant pleni.     

When many cookies had been eaten, the children were full.

 

 C. Future Active Participle, Stem: fourth principal part + –ur + first and second declension endings

Exempli gratia:  esurus, esura, esurum

             Liberi esuri crustula manus lavant.

            The children about to eat the cookies wash their hands.

            The children who are about to eat the cookies wash their hands.

 

The active periphrastic (also called the first periphrastic) uses the future active participle plus a form of esse.

Liberi sunt esuri.        The children are about to eat.

 

D. Future Passive Participle, Stem: second principal part + -nd + first and second declension endings

This form, also known as the gerundive, communicates action that is a necessity or obligation (though occasionally merely a future/present reference). The participle alone:

 

Exempli gratia:  edendus, edenda, edendum

            Mater parat crustula edenda.

            Mother prepares the cookies to be eaten.

 

 The passive periphrastic (also called the second periphrastic) uses the future passive participle plus a form of esse. This construction communicates necessity or obligation. To express agency, this construction must use the dative instead of a, ab with the ablative.

 Crustula liberis edenda sunt.        The cookies must be eaten by the children.

 

 Nota Bene:  It is easy to get the forms of the participles mixed up when first learning them.  Use these derivatives for the model verb agere to help keep them straight.

  • agent (present active participle) – a person “doing something”
  • actuary (future active participle) – someone who computes probabilities, things “about to” happen
  • act (perfect passive participle) – a law passed, a motion made, something already “done”
  • agenda (future passive participle) –  “things to be done”

 

*This review is compiled from excerpts provided in Latin Alive Book 2.   A smiliar review appears in the grammar section of the Latin Alive Reader (coming soon).

 

Latin Haiku

My students really enjoy composing their own original works of Latin.  Such assignments allow them to apply some colorful creativity to the routine of grammar.  The exercise also proves a wonderful way to reinforce lessons in Latin grammar and syntax.  I have incorporated some of these composition assignments into Latin Alive, Book 3. One such lesson is the Latin Haiku.

The Haiku, a form of Japanese poetry, is among the shortest of literary genre.  It is known for its compact yet powerful means of expression.  The Haiku should consist of three lines, 17 syllables in toto.  The first line should consist of only 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third line another 5 syllables.  This is a wonderful way to begin exploring Latin poetry, as the Romans wrote their poetry with regard to the number and rhythm of syllables as opposed to rhyme.   The Haiku typically contains themes related to nature or emotion, but you may write a bit of poetry to commemorate a person as Ennius does in the chapter reading.

Below are four examples of Latin Haiku composed by members of my 8th grade class at Grace Academy of Georgetown.

 

Ferus equus

In magna silva vivit

Totus sed solus

 

Canis effugit

Periculum nocte sed

Cadit in die

 

Offa suavis

suci plena rubraque

cocta perfecte

 

Avis non volat

Struthiocamelus est

Currit sub sole

Latin Brain Teasers

One of the Seven Laws of Teaching* states that a teacher should never attempt to begin a lesson without first having gained the attention of the student.  This can be a challenge, especially when it comes to bubbly (er . . . chatty) middle school students.  A strategy I have employed often and without fail is the Latin warm up.  I have a Latin phrase on the board ready to go before the student come in.  With very little training, students will know that as soon as they enter the classroom they are to get busy.  This eliminates wasted dead time that can creep in as the teacher waits for straggles or is pre-occupied with someone or something lingering from the previous class.  Such a warm up engages the students’ attention immediately and begins preparing their focus for the subject at hand – Latin. There is certainly no lack of pithy Latin phrases, but it is good to keep their attention by throwing in a puzzle or brain teaser amid the expected ancient proverb.  Several of these brain teasers and puzzles have made their way into Latin Alive, Book 3.  In this post we’d like to share some wonderful sources for more such diverting tidbits.

For Latin Puzzles see   http://www.archimedes-lab.org/atelier.html?http://www.archimedes-lab.org/latin.html

For the Latin quote of the week, see http://www.dogtulosba.com/archives/cat_quidquid_latine_dictum_sit_altum_viditur.html

For Latin sayings, see http://www.rktekt.com/ck/LatSayings.html

For handy Latin phrases, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/guide/A218882

For palindromes, see http://villemin.gerard.free.fr/Langue/Palindro.htm

 

*The Seven Laws of Teaching is a treatise by John Milton Gregory that outlines the seven natural laws of teaching and how teachers may best work with such laws to maximize effectiveness.  It is an excellent read and highly recommended.

Latin Alive, Book 3 – a sneak peek!

We are excited to present a sneak peek at the third and final installment to the Latin Alive Series.  We are delighted to say that this text will feature unadapted readings of literature, a step up from the adapted readings provided in LA2.  This is because our goal all along has been to introduce young people to the wonderful world of Latin Literature.  Students will be able to sample from a banquet table that provides a survey of Latin Literature from Ennius and Cato, the first poet and prose author respectively, down to Sir Isaac Newton and his famous laws of motion.  The third unit will provide a poetry study as students round out their grammar lessons.  This unit will feature the poets from the Golden Age of Literature and demonstrate the inspirations which they had on poets such as Shakespeare, Milton, and Tennyson.  The fourth and final unit, aptly titled Latin Literature, will offer students further reading practice with concise grammar reviews.  This final unit is designed for you as the teacher to use as you wish.  You may complete the entire unit or pick and choose according to your preference and your classroom needs.  Once students have finished this text they will have learned all the grammar necessary to read virtually any piece of Latin they should so choose.  Thus they may follow the LA series with any reading program that should interest them.   It is our hope that the wide selections of readings they encounter in LA3 will whet their appetite for the various genres of Latin available.  Please peruse the grammar lessons and reading selections provided below.

 

Latin Alive!  Book 3

Table of Contents

 

Introduction

 

 Unit One: Indicative vs. Subjunctive

Chapter One . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            noun declension review; irregular noun vis; gerund and gerundive

 

Chapter Two . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

verb review: present system, active and passive; ablative of means and agent; present participle; impersonal verbs

reading: Arbores ad Rogos Faciendos Caeduntur (Ennius)

 

Chapter Three . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

verb review: perfect system, active and passive; perfect passive participle; deponent verb review

reading 1: De Bello Hannibalico, Liber VIII (Ennius)

reading 2: Fabii Cunctatoris Elogium, Liber IX (Ennius)

 

Chapter Four . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

subjunctive mood; present subjunctive; irregular subjunctives; independent subjunctive

reading: De Agri Cultura, Praefatio (Cato)

 

Chapter Five . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

imperfect subjunctive; simple conditions; future less vivid

reading: De Agri Cultura, iii (Cato)

 

Chapter Six . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            perfect subjunctive; pluperfect subjunctive; sequence of tenses; indirect command

reading 1: De Agricultura, i – xiii (Varro)

reading 2: De Agricultura, i – xiii (Varro)

 

Unit 1 Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            historical reading: ” Early Latin Literature” by Alden Smith

Latin reading: De Lingua Latina, V. iv (Varro)

 

Unit Two: Subjunctive Clauses

Chapter Seven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            purpose review; purpose clause; future imperative

            reading: Epistula Corneliae, Matris Gracchorum (Nepos)

 

Chapter Eight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            indirect question; indirect statement; exclamatory accusative

            reading: Oratio in Catilinam Prima (Cicero)

 

Chapter Nine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            irregular verb, fio; ablative case: comparison, degree of difference, respect

reading: De Bello Gallico I:i – ii (Caesar)

 

Chapter Ten . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            result clause; cum clauses: time, cause, concession

            reading: Ab Urbe Condita, XXX. xxx (Livy)

 

Chapter Eleven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            countrary to fact conditionals; doubting clauses

            reading: Hannibal (Nepos)

 

Chapter Twelve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            fearing clauses; genitive and ablative of quality

            reading: Naturalis Historia, Liber XXXVI. xiv (Pliny the Elder)

 

Unit 2 Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            historical reading: “Catiline” by Christopher Schlect

            Latin reading:  Bellum Catilinae IX et X (Sallust)

 

Unit Three: Latin Poetry

Chapter Thirteen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            Latin poetry; meter and scansion; elision; hendecasyllabic and sapphc

            reading:  Catullus I et LI

Chapter Fourteen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  

            relative clause of characteristic; dative of direction; dactylic hexameter

            reading: Aeneid I.i-xxxiii (Vergil)

 

Chapter Fifteen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            dative with compound verbs; objective genitive; alcaic meter

            reading 1: Ode I.xxxvii (Horace)

             reading 2: Ode III.xxx (Horace)

 

Chapter Sixteen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            proviso clause; dum clause; poetry review

            reading: Metamorphoses, Liber V (Ovid)

 

Unit 3 Reading. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            Historical reading: “The Latin of John Milton” by Grant Horner

            Latin Reading: Elegaica Secunda (Milton)

 

Appendix  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            Pronunciation Guide

            Reference Charts

            Glossary by chapter

            Unit Tests (Teacher’s Edition Only)

 Glossary

Leap Year and Julius Caesar

2,057 years ago the first leap year was celebrated.  It was the year 45 B.C. (or  608 A.U.C.) and Julius Caesar had been named Pontifex Maximus.  As the high priest of Rome he gained control over the Roman calendar; a very powerful office indeed as the High Priest had the power to interpret the omens and decide on which days public meetings, votes, and even declarations of war could be held.  The Roman calendar by this time, however, had some major problems.  The seasons were off from their assigned months.  The original calendar had been created by Romulus and was based on the phases of the moon and a ten month agricultural cycle.  Later rulers had added two more months, but by Caesar’s day they did not fall in the proper seasons.  Caesar hired Sosigenes, an Egyptian astronomer, to help him create a new solar calendar for Rome and for the world.  Caesar moved the first day of the year from March to January.  He balanced the lengths of the months with alternating days of 30 or 31, but left February with only 29.  He then gave February the Bissextile, which was the first leap day.  The bissextile came once every four years.  In these leap years, February had 30 days.  This gave the new Julian Calendar, as he called it after himself, 365.25 days.  The seventh month, the month of Caesar’s birth, was renamed July in his honor. After his adopted son and heir, soon to be known as Augustus, took control of the empire he decided to follow the lead of his predecessor.  Augustus renamed his own birth month August.  At that time, however, August had only 30 days.  It was not fitting for the emperor’s month to be shorter than July, so he took another day from February, leaving it with only 28 and giving August 31.

The calendar has remained relatively unchanged from Caesar’s day until this.  February is still shortchanged, with a little redemption only once every fourth year.  There has, in fact, been only one significant change since Caesar’s leap year decree.  In the 16th century A.D. the Church began to realize that something was terribly amiss with the calendar.  The Easter Holiday, whose date is determined by the equinox, was off by ten days. (1600 years later and only a ten day error!)  At the Council of Trent in A.D. 1545 Pope Gregory XIII commissioned the astronomers Christopher Clavis and Luigi Lilio to determine the problem and reform the calendar.  They discovered that the Julian Calendar was off by 11 minutes and 14 seconds.  That is a difference of just .0078 days!  Amazing.  In order to better align the calendar with the rotations of the heavens, they created the Century Leap Year Rule.  Three out of every four centennial years ( a year divisible by 100) are “common.”  That is, they are a leap year.  No centennial year, however, can be a leap year if divisible by 400.  For that reason the year A.D. 2000 was not a leap year.  Did you notice?  That centennial rule will not come into play again until A.D. 2400, unless another ruler decides to reform the calendar again before then.  For now, Pope Gregory’s mandate to tweak the Julian Calendar earned him the right to rename our calendar after himself.  But remember, while the modern Calendar may be called Gregorian, it has Roman written all over it.

 

Nota Bene:  If you find this post interesting check out the other calendar post titled “Happy New Year!

Latin Alive Book 1 offers a lesson and activity on the Julian Calendar in the appendix for the Teacher’s Edition.

 

The Christmas Story

As we enter the season of advent and the school calendar moves ever more quickly towards the holiday break, I like to introduce some readings that relate to the season at hand.  I find offering a break in the routine with material relevant to the holidays really helps to maintain the interest and enthusiasm of students growing restless and anxious with anticipation.   Many years I have often given students old Latin hyms to translate.  Traditional hyms such as Veni, Veni, Emmanuel and Adeste Fideles are still widely popular today.  The students seem to genuinely enjoy learning the meaning behind the words they sing each year.  The first verses of the latter are wonderful for even younger students due to their simplicity.  The former is a little more complicated, but the poetry of the verses is powerful and moving.

Having read through both of these in years past, I gave my advanced students the Christmas Story: Luke 2 from the Vulgate Bible.  The New Testament, including all four gospels were originally penned in Koine Greek for this was the common language of commerce in the Mediterranean world.  In the late 4th century Anno Domini Jerome translated the entire Bible into Latin.  It was known as the versio vulgata, the commonly used version.  Today it is called the Vulgate.  This translation served as the authoritative work for the Roman Catholic Church for centuries.

This resource provides a wonderful opportunity for student work.  For Christian students there is certainly a caveat against relying to heavily on their memory of Bible stories or peeking at their own Bibles for too much help.  It must be emphasized that they need to understand the words and their meanings for themselves, otherwise they are short changing themselves.  At the same time, the familiarity of words and story allow a great opportunity for reading at sight.  Perhaps most valuable of all, in this time of shopping, decorating, and celebration overload, it reminds us all of the true meaning of Christmas.  God most high descending to earth in lowly human form, a seemingly helpless babe in a manger who would become our savior and redeemer. 

 gloria in altissimis Deo et in terra pax in hominibus bonae voluntatis  

(Luke 2.14)

The following are two links for online versions of the Vulgate.  The first is a great resource for teachers and parents as it provides a side-by-side English translation.  This allows you to move through the text more easily to find the passages you want to use.  It is difficult, however, to cut ‘n’ paste text from this site.

Latin Vulgate with King James Translation:  http://www.latinvulgate.com/verse.aspx?t=1&b=3&c=2

(It should be noted that the King James translation is based off the original Hebrew and Greek, not the Latin text.)

 The Vulgate: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/vul/

 

 

 

In Honor of our Soldiers

Veterans’ Day is fast approaching.  With it comes a growing desire to find ways to recognize and honor those who have served our country and defended our freedom.  I cannot pass up the opportunity to offer you a way to do so through your Latin classes.  I have mentioned state Latin mottoes many times on this blog site.  Did you know that each branch of our armed forces, and even many divisions within those branches, have their own Latin mottoes as well?  Most have heard of the famous motto of the U.S. Marines – Semper Fidelis  or Semper Fi!  Have you heard of Semper Paratus, motto of the U.S. Coast Guard?

Each day this week and perhaps even in weeks to come write one of these military mottoes on the white board of your classroom before class begins.  As students file in ask them to translate this motto as a warm-up.  Then begin class by reading the motto and discussing which branch of the armed forces it represents.  Ask students why they think this motto was chosen to represent this group of soldiers.  Then end your Latin warm up with a prayer for their safety and thanksgiving for their service.

Here are a few of my favorite military mottoes to help you get started.  You can find an extended list in Latin Alive Book 1, chapter 20.  An internet search is sure to find many more.  Ask students if they have a family member or friend in the service and see if the class can find the military motto for the branch or unit for that soldier.

Fidus Ultra Finem (Faithful Beyond the End) – 2nd Air Defense Military Regiment

Non Cedo, Ferio (I do not yield, I strike) – 3rd Air Defense Military Regiment

Videmus Omnia (We See Everything) – 55th Wing, Airforce

In Cruce Mea Fides (In the Cross My Faith) – 30th Medical Brigade

Pro Deo, Patria, Vicino (For God, Country, Neighbor) – 104th Medical Battalion

SCRIBO – A Latin Writing Contest

SCRIBO, an International Latin Composition Contest designed to — 

  • spur interest and excitement in using Latin for creative writing,
  • provide teachers with high quality materials in Latin that they can read in their classes, and
  • honor and recognize top work in Latin creative writing!

Entries: Original short stories, comics, and poems are accepted. Illustrations are encouraged but not required. Entries have a maximum of 1,000 words and a maximum of 10 pages. See our website for sample entries.

Eligibility and Levels: 
Students of Latin in any grade, from kindergarten through college, may participate. Entries will be sorted into the following levels, which are based on length of time studying Latin and content of the course: exploratory, lower, and upper.

Classroom Integration: SCRIBO is designed to be as flexible as possible for easy classroom integration. You could offer a contest, assignment, or project from which you could choose and submit the best entries. This could be open-ended, connected to a cultural unit, or connected to your text’s storyline! See our website for sample project ideas!

Benefits: Participation in SCRIBO has the following benefits —

  • high quality certificates for all participants
  • medals with ribbons for the top 20% of scorers
  • press release plus letter to the principal recognizing medal winners
  • free CD of the top entries, including multiple entries per level
  • ability to purchase full-color bound books of the collected top entries (plus inclusion in a raffle to win a free copy of this book)
  • knowledge that your school is supporting the mission of Ascanius to bring Latin and Classical Studies to our youngest scholars

Scoring: All entries will be judged by Latin teachers and professors who have training in Latin composition and/or oral Latin, using the following categories: grammatical and syntactical accuracy, choice of vocabulary, quality of work, audience appeal. Entries in the running to be in the top 20% will be scored by at least one additional judge.

Cost: $5 per student (max of 25 students per school) plus a $20 school fee. Discounts for Title I schools, home schools, and teachers paying out of pocket.

Registration & Submission: Once you register for the contest, you may pay (online via PayPal or by mail) your registration fee. You may also submit your students’ entries (electronically, in PDF format) at that time. Note that your school must register, pay, and submit entries no later thanJanuary 15, 2012. Entries must be submitted within three days of registration. Results, awards, and CD’s should be in the mail by April 21, 2012!

Visit www.ascaniusyci.org/scribo for samples of past entries, detailed rules, and to register!

Latin Letters

My 9th grade Latin Literature class read a letter written in Latin on September 20, 1947 by C.S. Lewis.  Lewis carried on a correspondance with an Don Giovanni Calabria, an Italian priest, for a number of years during the WWII era.  C.S. Lewis did not speak Italian and Calabria did not know English.  Their common tongue was Latin.  This collection of letters has been published for Lewis enthusiasts as The Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis. They make a wonderful reading source for classes.  The 9th grade is currently studying the modern era, so this letter, which makes mention of Hitler and the atrocities of the day, is a perfect opportunity for lateral integration of subject matter.

After reading one of these wonderful letters I then assigned the students the task of writing their own Latin letter to one of our Grace Academy alumni.  Writing Latin letters is a perfect opportunity to help students begin composition and conversational Latin practice.  The subject matter can be short and simple and great fun.  Moreover, our alumni, now away at college, were delighted to get a Latin letter from home.