Monday, January 27, 2014

Cleaning has its advantages - Teaching Latin Part 2

Good news I found my Latin Centered Curriculum book and my print out of Teaching Latin in High School when I was cleaning.  YEAH!   There are a few other items I wanted to highlight from Teaching Latin.  He has a great listing of resources (all in public domain) that will help give you some background about Caesar's Gallic Wars and Cicero (if you plan to try to read them in high school).

Here are a few more quotes
A careful investigation into the mythological element in a number of the English poets has been made . . . and a numerical count of these references has given the following results:
Spenser 650
Byron 450
Shelley 325
Robert Browning 250
Tennyson 225
Pope 175
Mrs. Browning 175
Matthew Arnold 100
J.G. Saxe 100

He then talks about the difference between a student who looks up in the encyclopedia (or googles) Hera and one who has read the Iliad.  Their understanding of Hera will be completely different and will result in a different depth and connection to the text.  So, again, if you are struggling with why we study mythology - maybe this gives you a boost.

He includes a list of Latin classroom materials which also includes a list of public domain books.  He suggests the following maps: "Ancient Italy, Ancient Gaul, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire".  May sound pretty basic but I hadn't thought too much about having them on hand.

In high school the typical progression of Latin is from a general introduction of all the forms, etc. and in the second year you begin reading Caesar's Gallic Wars (Henle does this I think).  Well, he has a different view on it:

Classes are often not ready for Caesar at the opening of the second year.  Few of the usual books prepare for Caesar, and it is doubtful the average pupil can get ready for Caesar in one school year of nine months, without neglecting some of his other studies.  Caesar is more difficult Latin than its place in the course of study would indicate. . .  It really ought to be given in the third year, for it is the rock on which unnumbered thousands of faithful pupils have gone to pieces utterly. 
For nine out of ten classes, it is best to begin with some simple Latin and review the forms and simple constructions of the first year.  This can be done by using the Gradatim, Fabulae Faciles, Via Latina, etc.  or one of the second year volumes specially prepared to take the place of a full year of Caesar.  They generally give about the second half of the year to Caesar. 
I include this to encourage you that if you feel your program is moving too fast - it might be!  There are many sources for other reading material that can help students get familiar with reading Latin.  So far, I enjoy reading adaptations of the Bible aloud because most of our students already know the story so they can focus on how it is written, not just trying to figure out what it is saying.  I think you probably need material they are familiar with and some stories that are completely new to them.  Compass Cinema, producers of Visual Latin, also provide some free Latin readers that might be useful.  One of them focuses on the history of the United States.

And I'll leave you with this quote he includes from a Mr. Williams of the Indianapolis News:
It makes a man more a man, the more he knows of what men aforetime have borne and done and thought.  The most practical man, in the final survey of human life, is the one who puts the emphasis on man and not on practical; who is never too absorbed in the cares and triumphs of life to ask himself soberly now and then: "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" 

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