A Year in F7 – Week 2 (Latin I)

Lesson Plans


MONDAY – Day 4

  1. Reading (Card Talk Review) 

Reading Activity: Quis diceret?

Planning Time: 10 minutes (typing up last week’s Write and Discuss review of Card Talk to create the reading)

  1. Card Talk – Pars II

Targets: placet: is pleasing to; likes, ludit: plays

Planning Time: 0 minutes

  1. TPR

Targets: currit (runs), capit (takes, seizes), sumit (picks up), deponit (puts down), iacit (throws)

Planning Time: 10 minutes

add new verbs/English translations to list, along with new adverbs

Total Planning Time: 20 minutes


Reflection: “Quis diceret” ended up lasting around 20 minutes in each class (sometimes a bit longer).  I make sure to spend time on classroom procedure.  This week really is about setting the tone for the rest of year, not really about learning specific things in Latin.  I taught them procedures for passing around the white boards (tabellae), teaching them the commands directly (o tabellarii, afferte tabulas! “o tabellarii, go get the boards.”).  I also taught them assessment procedures.  I distributed index cards (chartulae), and walked them through “scribite nomina” (write your names), “scribite diem” (write the date), “hodie est tredecimus dies Augusti” (today is August 13th), and “scribite horam” (write the hour/period).  I take time with all of this, because classroom procedures provide great contextualize communication opportunities.  I haven’t explicitly taught numbers for years—I just count off quiz questions in Latin, we count objects when necessary, talk about the date or the calendar, play “digitis micare” as soon as they are familiar with 1 -10, etc.

After the quiz, we went right in to TPR.  I reviewed commands from last week (I give them in the third person singular for now), and added “tangit” today, with previews of “sumit” and “ponit/deponit” towards the end.  I was able to stay on one word for so long (15 minutes or so), because I used tangit to teach parts of the body (caput, nasus, os, aures, manus, pes, etc).  There is a great a video of Keith Toda doing just this activity as way to introduce the word tangit for a story.  Looks like I will add sumit (pick up)  and ponit/deponit (put/put down) tomorrow, as well as begin talking sports, games, and instruments (using the info I collected on the first day).


TPR Review

Review previous TPR verbs, nouns, adverbs

Planning Time: 0 minutes

Card Talk – Part 2

Targets: “placet” and “ludit

Planning Time: 0 minutes (I already had this ready for Monday)

TPR – New Verbs

Targets: tangit, sumit, deponit, iacit

Nota Bene: I am going to use objects for “sumit” and “ponit.” I thought of using some Beanie Baby-style animals I picked up in a thrift store this summer.   I usually do this with classroom materials (pens, cards, chairs, papers, a table, etc), but I figure if I use an animal I can front-load some animal vocabulary, and if I let the students name the animals, they can possibly show up again in a story during “story-asking” later on.


  1. TPR Skits based around the target verbs.

Planning Time: 0 minutes (I’m planning on improvising these, although I hope that I don’t regret not sketching out a few plots ahead of time)



Notes that I wrote to myself for today’s class.

  1. SLOOOOOW DOOOOOOWN (I really caught myself talking fast on Tuesday)
  2. You need to have more control of the conversation. It gets away from you!
  3. Keep the language in bounds! (I have a tendency to introduce too much too quickly)

On the agenda today:

  1. TPR Review

TARGETS: surgit, considit, ambulat, currit, tangit, aspicit ad, sumit, ponit, gaudet, dolet, capit

Prep Time: 0 minutes

  1. Continue TPR Story (improvised in class using some props, actors, and TPR commands. Typically, these skit revolve around someone wanting what someone else has, and inventing sneaking ways to attempt to take (capit) various objects. The drama keeps the students engaged.)

Planning Time: 0 minutes

  1. Write and Discuss Story

Planning Time: 0 minutes: (text created during class)

  1. Choral/Karaoke Translation

Planning Time: 0 minutes:

  1. TPR three more verbs or play a game

Planning Time: 0 minutes:

Total Planning Time: 0 minutes (!)

Reflection: Today was a bit rough.  Perhaps it is the shine of TPR wearing off.  The students were a bit restless and maintaining a reasonable amount of control was difficult.  There was a lot of talking over my commands, and students blurting things out instead of listening.  In one class, I had to end a skit early as the actors could handle having props.  I’m a bit worried, as I was planning on trying a One Word Image activity tomorrow.  It’s an activity that is always an experiment (I don’t feel like I’ve got it mastered yet), and I involves giving my students a bit more say in what happens.  I guess I’m just afraid that if I give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.  Building community is incredibly difficult.  I’m making little victories every day, but I feel that I have a long way to go.



  1. Calendar Talk

Targets/possible targets: hodie, dies, numbers, dies natalis


qui dies est hodie?”

quis diem natalem habet? quando? quo in die?”

PREP TIME: 0 minutes: (already have a blank calendar, and I can reuse the same blank calendar every month)

  1. TPR Review – Brain break (as needed)

Prep Time: 0 minutes

  1. OWI (One Word Image)

Target: an animal

  1. Student Jobs: Introduce with artist, scriba, and question writer (scriba rogatorum)
  2. Brainstorm an object (in English)
  3. character creation: size, color, location (ubi habitat?), emotional state, appearance

PREP TIME: 0 minutes

  1. Write and Discuss (Details of the OWI so far)

PREP TIME: 0 minutes

Total Prep Time: 0 minutes (!)

Reflection: Much better today, though I am still (as always) reinforcing structure and discipline in the classroom. Especially in my latter classes—my morning classes are sleepy and therefore generally compliant.  Fortunately (?), my issues right now typically stem from students blurting out and trying to shout over each other when trying to reach a consensus.  So, students are participating, and, honestly, I prefer an energetic class over a lethargic one, but it takes extra work on my part to focus their energy.  As I get more and more students to buy into what we are doing (especially now that we are starting to move away from TPR-based skits) I have to use my clearly-posted classroom rules often, and I begin class with a brief discussion of what the students should be doing to acquire the language (“listening to and comprehending the messages”).  Whenever things begin to get out of hand, I slow down, slowly move towards the rules, point at the rule that I want to draw their attention to, wait, make eye contact, reveal no emotion on my face, and begin again, calmly and slowly.  Sometimes I have do this a lot.

On the positive side, the students REEEEALY got in to creating a character via One Word Image.  It was amazing to see how much language they could comprehend when I turned control of the character creation to them, while I acted as a moderator guiding the conversation is simple questions and sketches on the whiteboard.


FRIDAY – Day 8

  1. OWI (continued)

TARGETS: colores, habitat, gaudet, dolet, vult, placet

      PREP TIME: 0 minutes

  1. Dictatio (based on a TPR skit from earlier in the week.)

This is the first “writing” assessment of the year in their journals—though it is technically a

      PREP TIME: 10-15 minutes (writing 5 sentences or reworking sentences from previous “Write and Discuss” sessions).

  1. Read and Draw (text based on the Dictatio)

PREP TIME: 5 minutes (I changed the ending)


The artists in each class were able to complete their portraits by the end of the class, and the revelation of the character portrait at the end of class was a great way to end their first full week of Latin.  I felt that OWI would be a bit of risk, as I’m still building rapport and trust with my classes, and a more “freeform” activity could blow up in my face.  And a good OWI image session with a mix of 8th through 12th graders crammed into the same room takes a fair amount of practice, more so than any of the other activities I’ve tried. I only recently have felt that I am getting any good at it, and that’s after attempting 12-14 OWI characters at various times in past years.  I did recently develop a fixed question sequence (for the first OWI) that helps me pace the activity and keep the discussion in bounds.  My mistakes in the past were not underdeveloped characters and stories, but overdeveloped ones.  The discussion lacked structure and frequently went off on tangents and dead ends.  This week I felt like I finally am making some progress.  Let me introduce you to my favorite OWI character of the week, an isopod named Shlubi.

Shlubi the isopod.PNG

Can you tell that the artist had no idea what an isopod was? (and that I didn’t really either??)

It was nice to end such a difficult and crucial week on a high note, and I am enthusiastic to see what next week holds!


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