To achieve this, I've started including some basic writing and transcribing activities like:
- Sentence Frames - mad libs for Latin. Here is an example.
I wanted one more activity, with a little more freedom, to review vocabulary and see what skills they'd already picked up (while not grading those skills for accuracy). So, we did an activity called
I set this up very simply by creating a document with instructions and also an approved list of words. I expanded this list to include est (is) and et (and), as well as the new words we'd learned that day on the board. Students were to write a single sentence that could tell a story, much like a newspaper headline. While their sentences could be simple and didn't have to be "above the fold" quality (if you will), they needed to be interesting and make sense. Students then accompanied them with a detailed picture. The picture gave the assignment a visual quality and a fail-safe which allowed me to understand what they were saying even if the sentence wasn't perfect. These were graded on a 5 point scale as follows:
0 - student wrote English sentence, or only submitted a picture
1-2 - Student wrote an English sentence with a Latin word or two
2-3 - Student attempted a Latin sentence, but used names instead of Latin words or the sentence didn't make sense
3-4 - Sentence mostly made sense, but had an extra word (or was missing one)
4-5 - Sentence made sense and may have had the extra verb "est" (see observations below)
- Students got very excited with this activity. The vocabulary list provided assistance, but also kept the assignment simple enough for those still working on vocabulary acquisition.
- Most students worked with what they were given. Some wanted to know extra words or constructions. I told them to "work within the confines of what we know."
- The most, by far, common mistake was that students would put "est" (is) and another verb. This is a reflection of how English works. In English, we often use a helping verb along with
- Students were excited to be using vocabulary outside of the context of our stories.
- This was a great way to get kids thinking outside the box. They weren't tied to the mythology we'd been reading and were able to enjoy the vocabulary in a new way.
- There were lots of grammar mistakes, but I know these to be later acquired for a Latin I class.
- I know which vocabulary the students know really well and which they don't.
- My purpose was to see if they were able to use Latin vocabulary to create simple, meaningful sentences. They were.
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