2017 Session: Saturdays from February 11 to March 11, 1 - 2 p.m. Click here to register
The Grade School Latin Program is a free introductory program that introduces elementary school students to the Latin Language and Roman culture. The program is open to elementary aged boys in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The program runs for consecutive Saturdays and is held for one hour (1-2 p.m.) in room 217 of the main building. Each one hour session consists of twenty minutes of instruction by a faculty member, twenty minutes of small group work lead by a Latin Club Officer, and twenty minutes of Roman culture. The program is held once during the fall and once during the spring. Students who complete one or both sessions may qualify to take the placement test for Honors Latin I in the spring prior to freshman year.
On the first day of the program, the students learn about the connections between Latin and English. They learn about the names of the planets, the names of the months, a variety of abbreviations, and deciphering simple derivatives. After working in small groups to complete the lesson, the students get the opportunity to experience some Roman artillery on a small but tasty scale. Each student is given a mouse trap catapult and is equipped with a bag full of marshmallows. The students compete in several fun competitions that include the marshmallow toss/catch in which one student launches a marshmallow and his teammate catches it in his mouth and enjoys a sugary treat and the siege the tower in which student try to knock down a pyramid of paper cups.
The second day of the program, the students are introduced to Latin nouns of the first and second declension. They learn how to change the nouns (nominative case) from singular to plural. They also learn the present form of the verb sum and are able to make simple sentences. After the small groups complete the worksheets, the students experience Roman weaponry on a somewhat larger scale. The students get to see a replica ballista (nearly full scale) fire tennis balls at them.
The students, of course, get to hide behind replica shields which they hastily maneuver into a testudo formation.
On the third day of the program, adjectives (first and second declension) are introduced and the students learn about noun/adjective agreement. Students also choose a Roman "name" by selecting the adjective that best describes them. After the group work session, the students are treated to show and tell demonstration of replica weapons and armor. The students were able to try on the gladiator and legionnaire helmets and handle the swords, daggers, and trident.
On the fourth day, students tackle the accusative case and third person forms of the present tense. At this point they can translate some very basic sentences that contain a subject with an adjective, a verb, and a direct object.
The final day is the grand finale. As the students arrive, they are divided into teams that will compete in a school wide scavenger hunt event. Each team of students is directed to a venue to complete an event. After the event is completed, the team is given direction for the next event. There are twenty different activities to complete which include quizzes on a variety of topics like Roman mythology and physical challenges like the pulling a teammate in a chariot. All of the events are staffed by a Latin Club member to ensure that the students know the rules of the game, stay safe, and most importantly have fun. The team the successfully completes all of the events first wins the competition. At the end of the day, all of the students are treated to pizza and pop and all participants receive a Latin Club t-shirt.