For my standard that I have chosen to focus on for the semester, the first point of the standard is to have students know the difference between Latin sentence structure to that of English for a level I Latin student. The standards has many possibilities, and can easily implement collage projects for the students.
As a hook to this lesson, I created an image of three smoking mountains, using Gimp. Now, you’re probably thinking, level I’s don’t know participles, so why make an example with one in it? My reasoning behind having an image more advance than the topic, is because I can use the image again, for when the students know more grammar functions of Latin.
I layered the text and arrows using Google Drawings. The original goal was to have the arrows interactive and for the students to come up and match the arrows to their counterparts. However, I’m still getting used to the technology. Another possible tool could be using the software for an interactive tech-board. Nota bene, I left of an arrow with the word “subject” on it. This was done intentionally for two reasons. One, I felt four arrows would overtake the image. The second, the fact that the subject is attached to the verb is a huge difference from Latin to English. The students need to be aware of this difference. By leaving out this key part of the sentence, the students then begin to hopefully think about the language and how it orders it’s words.
From this picture, you can address how all the arrows intersect and other things the students point out. From this point, I would then transition into the next activity. Last semester, a professor pointed out how we are plainly teaching second languages, when students regardless of whether they are high school or middle school students are learning the new language like infants. That got me thinking of how I learned English, and more specifically it’s grammar. The main way I learned English grammar was through sentence diagramming in fifth grade.
Therefore, for the main exercise for the lesson, I would have the students look at example sentences in whatever text we are using and create sentence diagrams. Using the sentence from the hook, I demonstrate sentence diagramming as a reminder. This activity can also be made using Google Drawings, or a interactive tech-board program.
I made the line separating the subject yellow, because depending on how the student sees and understand the language, they may or may not want to chop up the word itself. However, it helps strengthen the parallels within English to Latin.
This exercise helps strengthen recognizing patterns in Latin that differ from English is a way that students may have already learned. It also gives a visual representation to the language.