Reading Strategies

Rainbow: A Re-Reading Activity for Any Text

I apologize for the months-long absence. The past 5 months have been the craziest of my life (so far), and I just haven’t had time to blog.

But! Here we are.

I came up with this quick activity that I’m calling Rainbow on a whim a few days ago and tried it with my CP class. We had a good time with it and it only took five minutes to do. We will definitely do it again in a few weeks.

This is a re-reading activity, so choose a passage your students have read at least one or two times already. In this case, we were working with the Pyramus and Thisbe re-telling from Latin Via Ovid. I typed up a series of slides in Google Slides, each slide asking “in hac fabula, ubi “[color]” vides?” (“in this story, where do you see “[color]”?).  Then I passed out a sheet of Latin colors from Carmenta Online Latin School (get it here), which you could also have posted in your room as a poster.

I projected each question on the board, and in pairs, students had to find a place in the story that they thought represented the color on the projector and then write that line of Latin on the board. For example, when I asked where they saw the color “niger” (black), many of them said “spelunca obscura” (dark cave). Likewise, when I asked where they saw “rosea” (pink), many said “oscula” (kisses). Some of them also did more symbolic representations of the colors, like “amor” (love) for “ruber” (red). It was a good way for them to hunt back through the text and to review colors in a way that is so unlike the old school “memorize these colors” method.

Next time we do this, I think I will modify it by giving each pair or small group of students a color, telling them to keep their color a secret. Then I will tell them to find 2-3 quotes from the text that represent their color, either literally (like the dark cave for the word “black”) or figuratively (like envy for the color “green”). After each group works for about 5-10 minutes, the rest of the class will have to figure out what their color is based on their quotes.

I’ll have more soon, I promise!

Reading Strategies · Technology in the Latin Classroom

Kahoot Jumble

As you probably know, Kahoot is incredibly popular with students. I had no idea what it was when I started teaching, but I use it on a semi-regular basis now, usually for vocabulary. (Here is an example of one of those for CLC Stage 6.)

Kahoot recently introduced a new type of quiz: Jumble. With Kahoot Jumble, students reorganize blocks, which can contain words, events, etc., into the correct order. Truth be told, I think this feature has limited use as a standalone quiz. For real functionality, I think the Kahoot team should allow you to create quizzes with multiple types of questions: Jumble, multiple-choice, and whatever else is on the horizon. But that’s not the point of this post. 🙂

I can see Jumble being a great way to do post-reading with Latin students, and I think this is something that Latin teachers of all pedagogical stripes (CI, grammar/translation, hybrid – which is kind of what I am) can use.

There are two main things I foresee myself doing with Kahoot Jumble questions: put the words in the sentence in the correct order, and put the events in the correct order. I did this in the quick Jumble I threw together to get comfortable with how the whole thing works. That Jumble is for the Stage 1 story “Cerberus.”

Here are some screenshots of the quiz:

Caecilius est in horto.jpg


Ultimately, I think option #2 (put the events in order) is more useful for us as teachers and for our students’ interaction with the text. Option #1 works well for that very first stage of CLC, if that’s what you’re using, when the sentences are four words long. Option #2, however, lets you assess students’ comprehension of the text. For those of you out there who are reading novellas (I see you on Twitter, amici et amicae!), this could be a great ten-minute activity for post-reading of a passage.

The big con here is that, as far as I can tell, you are limited to four boxes of text, and those boxes of text have a character limit. This might not even be a con for many of us – it might just be a way to make us more “creative” in the ways we ask students to think about the text.