The board game Clue is a great activity for helping students differentiate between nominative, accusative and ablative. In the blog under "Card and Board Games,' I explained how I use the game Clue in class. Link is here. Since then, I have expanded my use of Clue in the classroom from a two day project to a week of murder and mayhem.
Since the structure of the game perfectly exemplifies the use of the nominative, accusative and ablative cases, it has become my best tool to explain to students how case determines meaning. If you are not familiar with the game, the central tenant is to formulate an accusation that fits this pattern:
(Name of character) did it with (name of weapon) in (name of room).
In the game, the victim is always "Mr. Body."
To include the accusative, I altered the accusation to:
(Name of character) killed (name of other character) with (name of weapon) in (name of room.)
Here is the the expanded Clue lesson plan. At the end of it, everyone will be able to understand how Nominative, Accusative and Ablative function in a Latin sentence. There is a separate folder in the Omnia Drive for Clue Activities and stories now.
Lesson 1: Introduce Clue words. Worksheet for students to fill out words is in the Google Drive under "Card and Board Games" tab. Students write and translate short prepositional phrases that use Clue phrases
Lesson 2: Have students translate sentences based on the game Clue. Have them write a few in English. These are also in the drive. Here I explain how ablative of means works. Clue is a great vehicle for the ablative of means since someone is killed with a rope. knife, lead pipe etc. in every sentence.
Lesson 3: Students draw Clue sentences using my "stick figure" cheat sheet. Teacher writes sentences on the board in Latin and students draw the action. Characters should resemble the characters on the "cheat sheet" so that you can tell which ones they have depicted Here are two example sentences: Matrona Alba Magistrum Prunum cultro in studio necavit. In bibliotheca Dominam Rubram Dominus Herbidus tubo plumbeo necavit.
Lesson 4: Students act out Clue sentences. This activity has been a huge hit but it requires some preparation. First you need to create groups of 4-5 students. Each group will have the following roles: Actors (3), Director (1), Set Designer (1). You also need to collect some clothes that suggest at least 4 of Clue characters and 4 "weapons". To accomplish this, I found a red cape for Domina Rubra, a green shirt for Dominus Herbidus, a white apron for Matrona Alba and an army jacket for Legatus Flavus. My weapons consisted of a cardboard tube for "tubo plumbeo," a squirt gun for the "novum telum," a piece of string for the "filum" and a plastic knife for the "culter." If you have a small class, you only need one set of props and costumes. If you have a larger class, you need two sets of props and costumes. My classes tend to range from 18-22 students so I created three prop and costume boxes.
You also need 10 index cards for two teams that have "Clue type sentences." (5 index cards with sentences per team) For the sake of creating maximum participation, all my sentences for this activity had either two victim or two perpetrators. For example, Matrona Alba et Legatus Flavus Dominam Rubram in culina tubo plumbeo necavit.
If you have two teams, you can set the box and cards in front of them and have them take turns acting out the sentences. If you have 4 teams, you can arrange it as a relay. Set two teams up in the back of the room with a prop and costume box and the other two teams in the front of the room with a different prop and costume box. Have the two teams trade off acting out the cards and the first group to finish all ten cards is the winner.
Here is what play looks like: The first group comes to the front of the room and the Director reads the card aloud to the rest of the group. The Director explains who is doing the action and who is receiving the action. Meanwhile the Set Designer starts drawing the scene on the whiteboard behind the actors. The actors get their costumes and props out of the box and briefly act out the scene. the teacher watches the scene (all 2 seconds of it) and then if they have performed it correctly, the team sits down and the next team picks a card and performs the next "scene."
Lesson 5; Students read Clue story and map out where the various characters were when the "murder" was committed. This story is in the drive. Students who finish early can do the Clue Mad-Lib which is also in the "Clue" Folder in the omnia drive.
Lesson 6: Students play game "Clue." (See blog under Card and board games for more info here.)
Assessment: Students translate Clue type sentences and identify case of nouns in those sentences. Students write a few Clue sentences on their own. For this assessment, I allow students to use the Clue Vocabulary reference sheet that I hand out with the test. Although by the end of the unit, students have acquired many of these words, my goal is to assess how well students understand CASE not Vocabulary and so I can determine that, I remove the vocabulary issues from the test. That way if a student can't read one of the sentences, I know it isn't because he or she doesn't remember the words but doesn't know how they function in the sentence.
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