Explicate Scaenam! Reading Review, Collaborative Writing and Speaking

I designed this activity as a review for reading several chapters of a novella, and it involves collaborative writing and speaking.  The writing and speaking will happen, of course, appropriately for the level of the students.

  1. Divide students into small groups (3-4 in each).
  2. Give each group a whiteboard and markers, and a few 4 x 6 index cards.  Ask them to draw a scene from one of the recent chapters they have read together as a class. They must also write on an index card in Latin a summary of the scene they are drawing (and their names on the back of the card).  After the first round, you may place a time limit on it–say 5 minutes, but the first time you do this, you may want to be flexible about how much time it takes.
  3. When all are ready, take up the scene and card, and then redistribute them to groups so that each gets a scene that they did not draw.  You keeps the cards for scoring.
  4. Groups have 5 minutes to decide how to explain the scene they have received in Latin. Then, each in turn shows the scene they have and they explain the scene “Latine tantum.”
  5. You mark scores on the index cards. Scoring:
    1. 5 points for a well drawn scene
    2. 5 points for a good Latin summary
    3. Up to 5 points for a good Latin description of another group’s scene.
    4. -1 point whenever English is used in the descriptions, written or spoken.
  6. Play as many rounds as possible.  At the end, have stickers ready for top scoring teams. I like to make that stickers for all, and perhaps some extras for the top scoring team because, really, doing what they are doing here is sticker-worthy all the way around!

You may also use this for an assessment for reading, speaking and writing standards.

Bob Patrick