Thursday, October 8, 2020

Teaching Digitally as an Adventure (Part 3)

It's that time again! When I realize I have postponed posting too long and now have a lot to update--but less than I should because honestly I felt a little lost off and on recently. 

I think that's okay.

I think this year, if we don't treat ourselves with grace, we are going to implode.

So I don't have as much, but I did create a couple of new things and I'm going to continue to share all my stories with you because..I don't know what might or might not inspire and if what I have can help someone, then I want it to be out there!

I changed the organization this time because it has been so long that I just figured it would be easier to wade through the things I have made that way.

The Story So Far
Here is the story of Andromeda so far. I have illustrated parts 1-3 and not part 4. There are definitely going to be mistakes because sometimes I am throwing this thing together at the last minute. But I am excited to be working on this thing.

  1. Andromeda Prima (illustrated Google Slide) (text)
  2. Andromeda Secunda (illustrated Google Slide) (text)
  3. Andromeda Tertia (illustrated Google Slide) (text)

Vocabulary Activities

  1. Match Cards (and template) I made a board using Google Slides that is based on the Memory 
    card game. The basic set up is simple: they have "cards" that they move, and below each is a picture or word. They are to match the Latin words to their meanings, either as pictures or English words. Setting up the board was a little more complex because I wanted them to be able to work independently of me and I wanted each student or group of students to be able to progress at their own pace. So I designed this so that you can set up three different memory boards and the students can change to a new board as soon as they finish the old one! To edit the boards does take a little finessing, since you are going to create a background that you then add to one of the master layouts, but I have included a video below to help you out. This game is best used shared with all students able to edit the same Google Slides.
  2. Vocabulary Categories I made a simple template for students to organize the vocabulary we
    were working on into categories that can be used in various ways. You can leave it as a basic exercise in thinking more deeply about the vocabulary itself or you can make it a competition (one I learned from my friend Patrick Yaggy): If students hit on the same category, they get points for any vocabulary words they used that no one else did in that category; if they come up with a completely unique category, they get points for all the words in that category. This template is ready to use! If you want, you can edit the Instructions in the master view and other parts, etc., to be in your target language. This activity is best used in Google Class as a copy for each student.
  3. Vocabulary Drawings This is a mashup of Keith Toda's Vocabulary Olympics and my Read, Draw, and Discuss. Basically, using (thanks, Meredith White!), I gave students
    nonsense sentences to draw on whiteboards that only I could see, then I would clip two images per sentence, put them on a slide, and discuss them with the class to review the sentence and the vocabulary. This is easy to prep: put sentences that will create fun images on Google slides that also use the vocabulary you want to focus on. This activity is best used shared with all students able to view the same Google Slides.
Reinforcing the Story
  1. SNAP (and template) I made a new game! I can't help myself. I get bored with old games. This
    one is meant to be a replacement for Slap Jack, which I created last year to be a more accessible version of Flyswatter. The basic idea is that I put sentences that describe pictures--some from the story and some vocabulary-based pictures--on "cards" that I could read aloud and show students, and I put the pictures in groups, lumped together in order so that students can self-select what level of difficulty they are playing at. To help explain game play and game setup, I have created a video below! This template is easy to edit for your class needs by just changing out the pictures and sentences. This game is best used shared with all students able to edit the same Google Slides.
  2. Class-Sourced Video I just learned about Screencastify Submit so I of course immediately created an activity for it. This is not an especially deep concept. Students each are assigned a sentence of a story we've been studying. They create a video using the link to Screencastify Submit that I provide. Their videos end up in a folder together, then I put all the videos in Screencastify's video editor and made it into one video that we watched as a class! voila! 
  3. Quis Dixit The last story-related thing for this post will be Quis Dixit, inspired by an activity
    John Foulk made where students chose which sentence went with a picture. I wanted to dig a little deeper into their character knowledge since we're three stories in, so I gave students either direct quotes from the stories or quotes that could have been said by characters. I also used images of the characters as the background, and on each slide, students were to match the statements to the correct characters. The activity is modified similarly to other activities such as SNAP and Match Cards: go into the Master View and to change out the character images and names (I have them grouped--you can ungroup them with a right click), then in regular view you can change out the quotes all you want. This activity is best used in Google Class as a copy for each student.
Culture: Connecting to the Modern World
I was thinking about how little choice Andromeda has in anything that happens to her in this entire story and that made me start singing some stuff from SiX: The Musical so then all the stuff below happened.
  1. Letter from Catherine Parr Students read this for independent work one afternoon. It is just an excerpt from the song "I Don't Need Your Love" put on a pretty background. I put this on Google Classroom as a material to view.
  2. Exploring Catherine Parr I had students use this as a guide for discussion. We broke into discussion groups via breakout rooms in Zoom and in class. Students were expected to fill out the form with their answers individually. Between each boxed "breakout" we reconvened as a class to discuss their answers to the questions. We also watched the song in context on youtube and therefore got the entire song that way. I put this on Google Classroom as a copy for each student.
  3. Gallery of Choice (and template) After we did the class discussion, I had students take the final
    question of the discussion and enter it into a Google question on Google classroom. I used those answers to fill frames in my gallery so students could explore each other's ideas about other modern stories with a similar theme. We then were able to discuss these as a class. I also got a new book to read! This is not too hard to set up and personalize, but to make sure I made a video for you below. This is best offered to students to view on their own at their own pace.
Now, for the best clarity for a few items, I thought it was most prudent to offer some videos. (I also may have been reading some Jane Austen recently so my vernacular may be a little affected.)

That is everything I am going to put into this one humongous post! I hope you find something helpful in it! Let me know if you use something in it or if you have questions! And good luck. We all need it right now.

Want more ideas? Check out my previous posts here:
Posts by others:
Todally Comprehensible Latin Keith's blog has been basically completely focused on online teaching activities.


  1. Hi! This is a great post- full of ideas. However, I am a little unsure about the gameplay of snap because the video got cut off. Would you mind linking to more? I am just not sure what you as the teacher are doing - are you copying the middle (question) to the center blank box? How are you doing this for each student? Or am I missing something key...?

  2. You and Keith Toda are SUCH an inspiration and and are giving me a leg to stand on in this mess. I've taken to the interactive slides idea and I'm liberally applying it to all kinds of activities - it has been the single best thing to emerge from this yet. I put together a story order activity that follows the same vein, and can be used as an individual activity or collaborative (
    It's nothing groundbreaking, simply a paper manipulative but digital, but I was able to use student artwork for it which was nice.
    Thanks again - in solidarity!
    -Chris Chan