This game or brain break originated as Pancho Comancho used in Spanish classrooms. I have changed the name to something a little more Latiny–Publius Publicanus, Publius The Tax Collector.
In the original game, five (more or less–I use five) stand across the front of the room holding large cards with nouns and adjectives on it. The teacher begins by asking one of the students (who, for example is holding the word “puella”):
Teacher: Johnny, est Publius Publicanus puella?
Johnny: Minime, Publius Publicanus non est puella. Publius Publicanus est (looking at another player and his/her card) stultus.
Mary: Minime, Publius Publicanus non est stultus, Publius Publicanus est (looking at another player) frater.
And so on. The teacher has set a timer for 30 seconds or 1 minute or another period, randomly for each round. When the timer goes off, the person who is talking must sit down. This goes on until one is left standing. If nothing else, it is an effective brain break from any other activity you are doing, but if you use recent new words in the game, it becomes an opportunity to get them repeated over and over, gives students a controlled setting for speaking Latin out loud with minimal stress because it’s fun.
The Virtues Versions
In fourth year Latin, I introduce 15 Roman virtues as part of our discussion of various pieces of literature throughout the year. I introduce them slowly, but after they have 5 of them, you can begin to use this brain break with them in a few ways.
Virtus ________ Publium Publicanum ennarat?
Minimie. Virtus ______ Publium Publicanum non ennarat. Virtus ______ Publium Publicanum ennarat.
(For this version, the virtues are all listed in the nominative singular on the cards).
Estne Publius Publicanus vir virtutis ________?
Minime. Publius Publicanus non est vir virtutis _______. Publius Publicanus est vir virtutis ________.
(for this version, the virtues are listed in the genitive singular on the cards)
Publius Publicanus virtutem _________ demonstrat?
Minime. Publius Publicanus virtutem _______ non demonstrat.Publius Publicanus virtutem ________ demonstrat.
(For this version, the virtues are listed in the accusative singular on the cards).
The point is not to turn this into a grammar lesson, but because this is upper level Latin, it occurred to me that we could do this more than one way.