One of my favorite memories from learning Latin in high school was learning the declensions for the nouns. Route memorization is never anyone’s first choice of a favorite academic memory. However, my Latin teacher didn’t just stand in front of the classroom having us repeat in monotone, “a, ae, ae, am, a, ae. . .” Instead, she learned Latin declension songs and taught us these songs to help us remember the order.
I have learned six declension songs for the five declensions (the sixth is for second declension neuter). However, so much class time went to learning these songs. While it was fun having us all sing along, when it came to applying the meaning behind why we needed to know these songs, there enough time to address such a question.
Therefore, using PlayPosit, I used the videos I made to go with the songs to ask the students interactive questions with the song. For students who do not have access or the access is limited, I would provide either time for the student to stay after or to come early to do the work, or give them an offline copy of the songs and a worksheet with the questions. The goal of this flipped lesson is to get students to learn the songs outside of class, so that in class we can focus on the use and understanding of these declensions.
However, the videos are short and there is a bit more to it than simply having the students complete the PlayPosit exercises. Therefore, I have created a Google Form, which I would provide offline copies of for students with limited or no internet access, to see how the students understand Latin nouns and how well they learned the songs from the videos. Within the form, I have students listen to the original videos without interruption three times. If I am using Google Classroom, I can easily check that all my students have completed the task or have them identify who they are when they start the assignment. The sections with PlayPosit videos also hold students accountable because if the student does not complete the videos, I am made aware.
For the in class portion of the lesson I have three stations in mind for the students. One is a word builder, another sentence changer, then a vocabulary station.
The word builder can be a interactive whiteboard activity or one made with Scrabble tiles or building blocks. This station is for the students to play and change different Latin words and seeing them with the different case endings. This is highly important for third declension nouns because the root of the word changes.
The sentence changer is to show how the cases operate in a sentence. In English, we add prepositions or move the position of the word in the sentence. That is not the case in Latin. In Latin, you simply change the case, hence the importance of the knowing the declensions. This station again could be interactive whiteboard, or a textile approach. I keep thinking of a caterpillar with a sentence on each section of its body and students can change out the words to change the use of the noun.
The last section, vocabulary, I would highly encourage to make the interactive whiteboard station, because students rarely like vocabulary. However, the main purpose of the vocabulary is for students to familiarize themselves with which nouns are a part of which declension. Therefore, this activity is mainly looking at dictionary entries and classifying the nouns.
These stations are small and can be easy to make multiple of them, so that the groups of students can be smaller.