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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Monasebian

All Things Latin (November and December)

At the Aequora sessions held in November and December, learners and teachers dove straight into the Colosseum’s Ancient endeavors!

Educator Dani Kobrick implemented an interactive learning setting with students by initially explaining entertainment as it pertained to the Colosseum. The students have previously exemplified their interest in entertainment in Ancient Rome, and at Aequora, we are very flexible with our curriculum. So, we were able to make it possible for our students to learn about the topic. Kobrick introduced topics such as chariot racing in the Circus Maximus to the students, which they took great interest in. Kobrick also briefly touched upon the Roman Forum, or the Forum Romanum in Latin, a marketplace in Ancient Rome.

An interactive, kid-friendly learning style was implemented to further engage the students. Following Kobrick’s brief description of Ancient Roman entertainment, she played a YouTube video from the creator by the title “Magister Craft.” Magister Craft is a YouTuber who built the entire city of Ancient Rome on the Minecraft application and teaches about it speaking only Latin (with English subtitles). The children, being avid Minecraft users, were able to resonate with the YouTuber, as he essentially spoke their language: Lat— I mean, Minecraft! Kobrick frequently paused the video to explain certain aspects of the video that may have seemed confusing, or that Magister Craft did not touch upon, but were relevant to the video. Utilizing this method of learning is especially important, as students are more engaged and become more accustomed to Latin in everyday situations, such as watching a YouTube video.

To accompany the introduction of these Roman landmarks, the class explored the Colosseum even further, particularly the gladiators that fought inside the amphitheater. From learning about the Murmillo who was armored with a sword to the Retiarius who held a net and trident, students sought to replicate gladiators by designing their own gladiatorial helmets!

After the “fun stuff” (although, I’ll make the argument that all of Latin is fun), Kobrick shifted the focus of these sessions to grammar and the ordering of words. Oftentimes in school settings, students are taught grammar in foreign language classes. However, not many foreign language classes teach the origins of grammar and where words come from, which is what Kobrick did, taking teaching students Latin a step further.

Shortly after, Kobrick offered fun facts to the class as a way to engage interest in the students and their desire to learn even more. As an example, she explained where the month of January comes from— the Roman god “Janus”.

Toward the end of the sessions, Kobrick went through the predominantly used Latin terms spoken about during the duration of the session with the group via Quizlet flashcards. She then proceeded to create Quizlet Live games where there were teams (the alpacas, orcas, and unicorns if you were wondering) and students would have to match up Latin terms with their definitions or parts of speech. This method of learning was quite a success, as students took joy in the competitive aspect of learning. To make the game even more pleasurable yet competitive, a selection of candy was awarded to the winners.

Overall, these sessions featured an interactive, kid-friendly, and competitive edge that left our students yearning to learn more. Until January!

Students with their gladiator helmets and (harmless) weapons of choice!

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