Sunday, August 10, 2014

Summer Fun... Week Ten!


How was your week off?? While I was on my trip, I found quite a few Latin inscriptions, in countries that were never part of the Roman Empire! It just goes to show how far reaching the influence of the Romans is. I found Latin inscriptions in... Germany, Finland, Estonia, Sweden, and Norway! I also found a Latin inscription on a park bench in New York City.

It says, "alteri vivas oportet si vis tibi vivere" which is translated, "You should live for another if you would live for yourself."


Most of the adjectives we use in elementary Latin are 1st and 2nd declension adjectives. This video explains how 1st and 2nd declension adjectives work.


Write the following bold noun/adjective pairs so that they agree in gender and number. They are all in the nominative case. Use the word banks to determine which noun and adjective forms to use. The answers are in the comments to this post.

bonus, bona, bonum - good
pulcher, pulchra, pulchrum - beautiful
improbus, improba, improbum - naughty
laetus, laeta, laetum - happy
miser, misera, miserum - unhappy
longus, longa, longum - long

mater, matris (f) - mother
puer, pueri (m) - boy
bellum, belli (n) - war
amicus, amici (m) - friend
flumen, fluminis (n) - river
villa, villae (f) - house

1. good friend
2. naughty boy
3. long war
4. beautiful house
5. unhappy mother
6. beautiful river
7. unhappy wars
8. happy friends
9. long rivers
10. beautiful mothers

Not much longer until school starts up again! This will be the last blog post for this summer. We've had 10 weeks of practice, and hopefully you've learned a few new things and enjoyed the lessons! See you in a few weeks!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Fun.... Week Nine

Guess what? I'm on VACATION!! That means you get a week of vacation, too! This week I have a few videos for you to watch, including two that have silly songs to help you remember imperfect endings and the present tense conjugation of amo. You can work on singing these silly songs all week, as they are sure to get stuck in your head! But first, a fable (derived from fabula, meaning story) from Aesop:

Now, for the silliness.... ;) Here is the verb amo in the present tense, conjugated by singing paintings.

That was the present tense, but you remember your imperfect tense endings, right? Just to make sure, let's review....

-bam (I was _________ing)
-bas (you were ________ing)
-bat (he, she, it was _______ing)
-bamus (we were ________ing)
-batis (you all were _______ing)
-bant (they were _________ing)

So.... how would you translate each of these words? (remember, amo means "I love".) Answers are after the video!!


Here's a little video to help you remember the imperfect tense endings! (It is even sillier than the last. **Magistra Wickland shakes her head at all the silliness**)

And now for the answers....

amabat = he, she, it was loving
amabamus = we were loving
amabant = they were loving
amabam = I was loving
amabatis = you all were loving
amabas = you were loving

Did you get all the answers correct?? I hope so! If not, you know what to review this week! Have a great one! (I should be back from vacation next week, but if there's no blog post, I'll be back the week after that!)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Fun... Week Eight!


Last week we learned about the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd declensions. This week we are going to discuss the gender of nouns and the neuter endings for nouns of the 2nd and 3rd declensions. Enjoy the show!!


tempus fugit 

You know from the video above that tempus means 'time' and, as the picture above suggests, fugit means flies, though not in the way you're thinking. Tempus Fugit means time is fleeting, it is passing quickly, it is flying right by us. Time flies when you're having fun.... !


The following nouns are all 2nd declension. Identify whether they are masculine or neuter, based on what you learned from the video above.

bellum, belli
vir, viri
servus, servi
puer, pueri
vallum, valli
hortus, horti
periculum, periculi
verbum, verbi
filius, fili
ager, agri

When you have finished identifying each one as masculine or neuter, you can check your answers below.


The answers are below.

bellum, belli - NEUTER
vir, viri - MASCULINE
servus, servi - MASCULINE
puer, pueri - MASCULINE
vallum, valli - NEUTER
hortus, horti - MASCULINE
periculum, periculi - NEUTER
verbum, verbi - NEUTER
filius, fili - MASCULINE
ager, agri - MASCULINE

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Fun... Week Seven!


These videos cover the noun forms for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd declensions. There are several of them, but they are pretty short. Enjoy!


mea culpa

The phrase mea culpa literally means "my fault" and is said as a sort of apology when you have done something wrong. It is the Latin equivalent (and a much classier way) of saying "my bad." Any guesses which declension the noun culpa belongs to? If you guessed the 1st declension, you're right!


Instead of a translation story this week, I have a couple exercises for you to practice what you learned (or reviewed) in the videos above.

Give the declension (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) of each noun by looking at the genitive ending. When you are finished with that, decline the nouns marked with an asterisk (*) using the correct endings. 

princeps, principis ___________

*domina, dominae ____________

*leo, leonis __________________

*servus, servi ________________

puer, pueri _________________

Did you figure them all out? Did you get them all right?


The answers are below: 

princeps, principis - 3rd

domina, dominae - 1st

domina     dominae
dominae   dominarum
dominae   dominis
dominam  dominas
domina     dominis

leo, leonis - 3rd

leo         leones
leonis     leonum
leoni       leonibus
leonem   leones
leone      leonibus

servus, servi - 2nd

servus     servi
servi       servorum
servo      servis
servum    servos
servo      servis

puer, pueri - 2nd*

*This was almost a trick question! The nominative ends in -er, but puer is a 2nd declension noun because its genitive ends in -i. This is part of why it's so important to work carefully in Latin!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Summer Fun... Week Six!


The first video gives an overview for all of the noun cases in Latin. The students don't learn how to use all 5 cases until 7th grade, but this is a good introduction for students and overview for parents. The second video focuses in on the nominative and accusative cases, which students learn early on, so this is a good review.


You are, no doubt, very familiar with these two quotes, or at least with their abbreviations. We use them regularly, though you perhaps didn't know that the abbreviations stood for Latin. Can you figure out what they mean?

ante meridiem
post meridiem

These two are typically abbreviated am and pm and used with reference to time. Have you figured it out yet? ante meridiem means "before noon" and post meridiem means "after noon." That's why we use am to mean morning and pm to mean afternoon! Look carefully at the ending of meridiem. What case is it?


This week we continue our story of Aeneas and Elissa as he tells about the fall of Troy. As with previous weeks, there are probably words you will encounter in this story which you have not yet learned. I recommend using the following website to look up words you don't know:

Aeneas miseram fortunam Troianorum pulchrae reginae narrabat. 

Aeneas: "Graeci Troiam occupabant. nostros viros feminasque cum amicis ad oppidi portam convocabam. propter periculum sacra deorum ad portam portabamus et Anchisae dabamus. mei servi frumentum et aquam parabant. meis amicis servisque gladios dabam. Anchises deso invocabat: 'amabatis Troiam Troianosque. ubi estis? spectatisne nostra pericula? inter multa pericula laboramus. nonne amant dei nostram patriam?' "

The translation of the story is in the comments. Have a great week!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Fun... Week Five!



Did you know that Latin quotes aren't just for those interested in science and law? Latin quotes can be found all over the place, even in sports! Have you ever heard this phrase before?

anima sana in corpore sano

Perhaps you don't recognize it in this form, but have you ever seen this brand of shoes?

The althetic brand ASICS actually stands for the phrase above. Anima Sana In Corpore Sano. It means "A sound mind in a sound body." So now you know... Latin has infiltrated the sports world, too!


Dido*: "meos tuosque amicos convoco. narra nobis malam fortunam Troiae."

Aeneas: "cum meo parvo filio et femina, Creusa, in oppido meo habitabam. vitam bonam Troianorum laudabamus. nuntii bellum nuntiabant: 'Graeci ad Asiam navigant.' Troiani bellum parabant et Graecos exspectabant. bellum in patriam meam portabant Graeci. Graecorum gladii multos Troianos vulnerabant. Troiani laborabamus: Graeci Troianos superabant. cum Graecis feris pugnabam et multos vulnerabam. O, malam fabulam narro! Graeci meum oppidum altum occupabant. 

*Dido is another name for Elissa, from our previous stories.

This story, again, uses several words introduced in the previous stories, as well as some new ones. Instead of using glossed words to help you, use the following helpful website:

I will post a translation of the story in the comments so you can check your work. Have a great week!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Fun... Week Four!



This week's quote comes from the entryway of a house in Pompeii. The quote is:

cave canem

Can you guess what that means by this mosaic?

If you guessed "Beware of the Dog," you are right!! It was common for Romans to keep guard dogs on hand and to warn their visitors (and potential unwanted "guests") to watch out for the dog!


And now, we will continue our story from last week. Some of the words in this story are words from the last two stories. You may need to look back if you do not remember them. There are other words, however, that are at the bottom of the story to help you.

          regnum Elissae in Africa est. regnum est latum et oppidum est magnum altumque. feri Africani reginam non amant. bellum parant, sed reginae oppidum non occupant. 
          Aeneas cum amicis a Sicilia ad Africam navigat. Elissa Aenean amat et vocat: "meum regnum est tuum. Africani meum regnum non amant; in magno periculo sumus. Troianis meam patriam do."
          sed dei Troianos in Italiam vocant. Aeneas: "tuum regnum est magnum et bonum et pulchrum, et Africani sunt mali. te et tuum regnum laudo, et te amo. sed dei Troianos ad Italiam vocant."

Words to Help:
regnum - kingdom
latum - wide
altum - noble
ferus - wild
Sicilia - Sicily
malus - bad
laudo - I praise

As always, the translation key is in the comments below. Have a great week!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Summer Fun... Week Three!


If you want to look up a Latin word, I highly recommend the following website. It is very helpful, especially if students are finding that they do not remember their vocabulary as thoroughly as they thought they would after a couple weeks away from school.


This week we are going to begin with a couple grammar videos from Latin Tutorial. I like these videos, because he explains the parts of speech in English, which is important if you want to understand what is going on in Latin. Enjoy!


Did you catch the Latin quote our Latin tutor used in the first video? In case you missed it, I'll give it to you again:

sine qua non

Do you remember what it means? It is the "not without which." Now, if you gave me that answer in class, I'd look at you and say, "Does that sound good in English?" The answer, of course, is, "No." In English, this basically means "the essentials" of something. This is one of the times where we see that translating from Latin into English is not a matter of word-for-word, but one of idea-for-idea. In order to correctly use sine qua non, we need to know what the IDEA of it is, not the word-for-word translation. 

There are other Latin quotes that can be taken at face value, i.e. their word-for-word translation. One of these is our second quote this week:

per se

This literally means "by itself" and that is exactly what it means. Here is an example:

The movie wasn't bad per se, but the man behind me kept kicking my seat so I couldn't enjoy it.

The movie wasn't bad by itself, but... 


I encourage you to read the story aloud all the way through before you begin translating. Reading it through once, out loud, in Latin, will help you understand the whole story before you begin translating. There are some words to help below the story, however some of the words you haven't learned yet look close enough like their English derivatives that I think you can figure those out on your own. This is a continuation of the story of Aeneas from last week. There are lots of prepositional phrases in this story. Enjoy!

post longum bellum in Asia, Aeneas cum amicis ab Asia ad Europam navigat. sed periculum est in Europa. ab Europa ad Africam navigat. est magnum oppidum in Africa. Elissa* est regina oppidi. Elissa frumentum et dona Aeneae amicis dat. Elissa Aenean amat. dei Aenean reginamque de caelo spectant. nautae Aeneae et viri feminaeque in oppido sunt amici. sed periculum est in Africa. 

Words to Help:
post (+acc.) - after
bellum - war
cum (+abl.) - with
periculum - danger
oppidum - town
frumentum - grain
-que - and 
de caelo - from heaven

*Elissa of Tyre, usually known by her nickname Dido, was the foundress of Carthage in North Africa.

As usual, the translation can be found in the comments below. This story is to be continued next time! Have a great week!

Monday, June 09, 2014

Summer Fun... Week Two!

This week we're going to review the specifics of Latin pronunciation. Chances are, you're not reading aloud to yourself while you're practicing Latin at home, so I want to encourage you to keep your Latin reading skills fresh by practicing them.

A VIDEO (or two or three...):

These videos will walk you through the pronunciation of consonants, vowels, and how to trill your r's when speaking Latin. You'll have a chance a little later on to practice this yourself. For now, though, grab some popcorn, sit back, and review.



This famous quote was by Julius Caesar, in a letter detailing a recent victory in battle. Can you guess what it means?

If you need help guessing what it means, here are some hints:
  1. All three words are perfect tense verbs using the i, isti, it endings.
  2. The first word is the verb venio, venire, veni, ventus - to come
  3. The second word is the verb video, videre, vidi, visus - to see
  4. The third word is the verb vinco, vincere, vici, victus - to conquer
Have you figured it out yet?

The quote by Julius Caesar means, "I came, I saw, I conquered." He used this phrase to sum up his battle victory; it was a swift one! People today use this quote to show that something was not difficult for them. The next time someone asks you how your Latin test went, you can tell them "veni, vidi, vici" instead of "It was easy!" 

Using the pronunciation rules you learned above, how would you pronounce veni, vidi, vici?


Read the following story aloud to practice your Latin pronunciation. Then listen to the video below to see how you did! After you read the story aloud to practice your pronunciation, practice translating the story. Like last week's lesson, I will give you a couple words to help (below the reading) and include the translation in the comments so you can check your work. 

          In Asia est vir clarus. vir est Anchises. dea Anchisen amat. Aeneas est filius deae et Anchisae. Aeneae uxor est Creusa. Creusa Aeneasque filium vocant Ascanium. 
          Aeneae patria est Troia. Troia non est in Europa, sed in Asia. Graeci et viri Troiae pugnant. Graeci Troiam occupant. Aeneas Anchisen portat. Creusam filiumque vocat. 
Aeneas: "non iam est Troia. sed dei deaeque viros Troiae amant. etiam feminas et pueros puellasque amant. hodie ad Europam navigamus."

Words to help:
clarus, a, um - famous
Anchisen - accusative form of Anchises

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Summer Fun... Week One!

I have had several students and parents ask me about Latin practice over the summer, so I am going to provide some content here on the blog for that purpose. My target audience is those students going into 6th or 7th grade Latin, but the information could also be helpful for students going into 5th or 8th as well, and for parents who just want to learn a little along with their students!


To begin, I'd like to share a video from Latin Tutorial explaining what happened to Latin after it "died" and why so many English words come from Latin even though English itself doesn't come from Latin. Enjoy!

As you go about your work and play this summer, pay attention to the words around you. Do you hear or read derivatives that remind you of the Latin words you learned this year? As you find them, keep a list - or better yet, share them with me in the comments on this blog! I'd love to hear what words you're finding! I will try to share some of my favorite words as well.


Speaking of favorite words, did you know that we have quite a few Latin phrases and quotes that we still use today? Here is one of my favorites, and one of the most famous quotes....

"carpe diem"

Can you guess what it means?

Foxtrot by Bill Amend
carpe diem is usually translated "Seize the day." It means to make the most of the day ahead of you, to take advantage of the opportunities presented, and to put all of your energy into living this day to its fullest. In the comic above, Peter doesn't really want Paige to make the most of her day, he really just wants her to get up off the couch so that he can sit there instead. What are you doing to seize the day today?


One of the ways you can keep your Latin skills fresh over the summer is to practice translating Latin. Here's a story to read and translate. You haven't had all these words yet, but you have had many of them. Many of the words you don't know are very similar to their English meanings, so I want you to see if you can figure out what they mean. I will give you two words to help, though:

nauta - a sailor
patria - country, homeland

In via sunt nautae. Agricolae nautas spectant. Agricola nautam vocat:
Agricola : O nauta, ubi est tua patria?
Nauta: mea patria est Germania; sumus nautae.
Agricola: ubi est Germania?
Nauta: Germania est in Europa.
Agricola: estne Hispania in Europa?
Nauta: Hispania etiam est in Europa, sed non est prope Germaniam. Hodie ad Hispaniam navigamus, et postea ad Germaniam. patriam nostram amamus. vale.

I will put the correct translation in the comments so you can check your work and see how you did!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Minimus Mosaic

Before the holidays the Latin 3 class learned about mosaics and made a mosaic of Minimus, our favorite Latin mouse! The students helped with the design of the mosaic and then laid all the tiles. I think they did a great job!

Back in session!

I returned to teaching Latin this year after a 7 year hiatus to stay home after my daughter's birth. I am thoroughly enjoying being back in the classroom, though I had forgotten what it was like to be a first year teacher again. Thankfully, the Latin language hasn't changed on me, but I am teaching from a different curriculum and approach than I was before. I am teaching grades 3-7 and teaching from the Cambridge Latin Course. My breakdown of classes is as follows:

Latin 3 - Minimus
Latin 4 - Minimus Secundus
Latin 5 - Cambridge Latin Course Stages 1-8
Latin 6 - Cambridge Latin Course Stages 9-14
Latin 7 - Cambridge Latin Course Stages 15-20

Previously, my instruction was largely paradigm based, with an aim for students to have a firm grasp on the grammar and vocabulary of the language, going even so far as giving Latin composition assignments. Cambridge, instead, takes a reading approach, with little emphasis on grammatical paradigms and vocabulary memorization, and instead a focus on reading comprehension and glossed vocabulary. While I think this works very well for boosting the confidence of 3rd and 4th graders, I am somewhat skeptical as to how well the upper grades are actually learning Latin as opposed to learning to "guesstimate" Latin for a general idea of the reading.

Still, this is the curriculum we are using and I am bound and determined to give these students the best Latin education I can using the resources at my disposal. I am excited for all that I am learning this year (mostly through trial and error) and look forward to a better understanding of the curriculum and flow of the material so that I can improve my instruction next year and the years to come.

It's good to be back in the classroom!