This is a terrific review activity that can be used at many levels. It is best used to see if students have masted a grammatical concept in context with other concepts. The goal of the game is to be the first team to move your chariot all around the track. It involves galloping horses, straining to surpass each other. It looks like this!
What it really involves is 5-6 magnets and the ability to draw or project a racetrack with 5-6 "spaces" on your board. Below is an example of one of my own "Circus Maximus." Pitiful- I know but progress around this misshapen doughnut promotes much excitement. Nascar caption was snuck in by a student at the end of the class. The magnets were made by buying a pack of magnet blanks from Staples and then gluing on a picture of a chariot. I then then colored each chariot in different race colors. Before I did this, I simply used 5 random magnets I had in my house. The magnets work as the teams' markers so their shape isn't really important.
Pre-Game Set Up:
Divide your class into teams of three or four. If you have two strong students left over, you can have a dynamic duo. It is important that the teams be balanced in terms of ability otherwise one group may very quickly get discouraged. You now need to come up with five sentences - or more - one for each space on the track that practice the concept that you just taught for students to write in Latin. You can also generate five sentences to translate but I find this activity works much better for writing in Latin since the group needs a thoughtful problem to work out. Now, generate extra sentences - a different one for each team and write each of those on an index card.
How to Play:
Draw your race track and stick your magnets on the first space
At the beginning of the game, announce the teams of students and tell them to get together with their group with all their Latin resources: text book, reference charts etc. Tell them to appoint a writer - someone on the team with neat handwriting and a runner. Have each team choose a colored magnet which to represent their team.
Now here's the main action: Write one of your sentences on the board and tell the teams to write it in Latin. The must write the English first and the Latin below it. Once they feel they have it correct, the runner brings it up to the front of the room. You read the sentence and underline in red what they have wrong. I tend to underline the whole word if they have the wrong word or just the ending if the ending is wrong. Don't say anything - just underline the incorrect bit. The runner then dashes back to his team and they hash out the problem and bring up the new version - rewritten. Before they bring it up again - THEY MUST REWRITE THE SENTENCE. This is important. Otherwise, you will never be able to tell what has been fixed and what hasn't. Insist on this or you will go blind trying to navigate hastily crossed out words and endings. Once they have it correct, you put a big check on it and the runner moves the magnet to the next space. AS soon as one team has correctly written the first sentence, you write the next sentence on the board and the play continues until the first and second team goes all the way around.
About the Index Cards:
At the beginning of the game, give each team one index card with the extra sentence. These are rotae fractae, broken wheels. At any time, a team can hand one of their cards to another team. When this happens, the team with the "broken wheel" must translate that sentence before moving on. This way a team can slow down another and make the game more competitive.
Tips to Make the Game Work:
For this tried and true activity, I must credit the incomparable Nancy Emery. She invented it, shared it with me and it has never failed me. Debeo te, magistra.