Sunday, October 30, 2016

Mafia: Comprehensible, Compelling, and Fun!

In many ways this year has been amazing so far. I am still learning how to exist as a person without homework or a thesis hanging over my head, but one of the wonderful side-effects of realizing I have more time is that when my class needs my focus, I can actually take the time to offer it attention.

Mafia safety nets. The first student who died drew the rest of the deaths!
Another wonderful side-effect: when a student suggests playing Mafia in Latin, I can take the time to figure out how to do it! This is just a short post to offer materials for anyone who wants them.

Luckily, I was not on my own; Martina Bex (@MartinaBex), a magical font of ideas and inspiration, had already not only posted about using Mafia in her Spanish classroom, but had developed materials for the game, including safety net signs for students to help their output. The materials and her explanation are super helpful, and made it possible for me to narrate a game of Mafia in Latin--without having ever played it before.

We had a blast playing it, and I know Keith Toda (@silvius_toda) also successfully ran the game at Fall Forum, a state gathering of Latin teachers and students, even with students who had never spoken Latin or heard Latin spoken previously.

Without further ado, click here to get my adaptation (still a work in progress, see below). I recommend reading Martina's post about the game (linked above)--she makes the game and game play really clear.

Before I play next, I will brainstorm a bunch of different ways for the characters to die using limited Latin vocabulary. I had a hard time coming up with things off the top of my head; eventually I moved from "swords" and "spears" to "poisoned cake" and "rocks fall," but, really, I'd like to have creative and surprising options in front of me.