Mike Peto is so great at painting a picture of his teaching through writing. Here’s a collection of strategies inspired by his post on One Word Images (OWI) that come in handy during any collaborative storytelling (e.g. TPRS, OWI, and other activities without names):
This is my favorite novella yet.
Syra sōla has the second fewest unique words of all 12 other novellas—29—(excluding names, different forms, and meaning established in the text), 10 of which are super clear cognates! This novella of 1400 total words is excellent as a Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) option for beginners, a quick read for more experienced readers, and also as one of the first whole-class novellas.
About Syra sōla
Syra just wants to be alone. Good luck in Rome, right? Syra travels to the famous coastal towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in search of solitude. She encounters a merchant with several animals from Africa, including arguably the best Latin animal name, camēlopardalis (a “giraffe,” because it really DOES look like a camel-leopard!). Don’t let that word bog you down; it’s pronounced camēēēēloPARRRRdalis, with the accent on the “PAR,” and has the rhythm of repeating iambs (i.e. short long short LONG short short). Syra sōla is available…
What’s an appropriate level text for students reading independently?
That is, texts intended to be used for Free Voluntary Reading (FVR) need to be way, way, way easier to read than most teachers think…
Here’s that first post with a longer explanation. Otherwise, the process:
- Students get a copy of fragmenta Pīsōnis
- Silient Sustained Reading (SSR) of the nefās est section for 10 minutes.
The new section is a little longer with 107 total words in length, but it also contains four lines of dactylic hexameter. If students finish before the timer goes off, they should reread the previous section, lutulentus ubīque.
After the 10 minutes of SSR, I’ll play the audio, then ask questions about the prose description, and finally recite the featured line of poetry.
Previous Audio Files:
0 fragmenta mea
1 lutulentus ubīque – Rūfus erat lutulentus et is…
New Audio Files:
1.1 nefās est – Rūfus vult lutulārī hodiē
1.2 nefas est – ecce domī est māter Rōmāna et
1.3 nefas est – Rūfus vult lutulārī in Templō
Here are 4 sneaky activities that don’t seem like input at first glance. I call them “admin-friendly” because when there’s conflict over providing CI, it’s usually someone in a position of power who just wants to see the kind of schoolwork that makes more sense/is familiar to them. Unfortunately, that kind of observable schoolwork is output, or something completely non-communicative, or not even in the target language. I must admit that these 4 activities appear output-heavy, but they aren’t, so pay attention…Continue reading
For this year’s students, learning about the Romans—in Latin—began late in October with a CALP-inspired topic exploration on Roman housing (more on this, later) after months of focusing on the self, class, and community. Exploring Roman housing took place just after students read their first novella, Quīntus et nox horrifica. Upon returning from the December holiday break, students read their second novella, Drūsilla in Subūrā, which featured city-living apartments more familiar to them after the topic exploration during the fall. Learning about the Romans will now continue throughout the year as a new weekly routine begins…Continue reading
I’ve seen pictures of brain breaks & bursts written on Popsicle sticks for students to draw at random. This, or some other system of randomly selecting one, is an excellent idea…
At a certain point, we don’t ever need to plan a break/burst, or specify what kind on our agenda. How? It’s simple. Once a brain break makes its way into the rotation, write it on a stick, or tiny piece of paper to put in a hat (or drum, Corinthian helmet, etc.). When students begin to lose steam, have someone choose the next break, or burst. That’s it. This especially helps for brain bursts when I’m not feeling creative in the moment. In fact, why not do the same for all TPR, pre-writing funny chain commands ready-to-go? You could also use separate hats/drums/helmets for the bursts (e.g. the one pictured that lasts just seconds), and other breaks that might take longer (e.g. draw/color for 2 minutes).
Recently, I took inventory of my breaks & bursts, making note of the ones I no longer use at the end of the list. Some of those were helpful when I first began comprehension-based communicative language teaching (CCLT), and couldn’t really sustain an hour-long class in the target language. Others just weren’t that fun. However, give them a try and see how they work in your context.