One of the most engaging and instructive ways to use whiteboards to have students draw words, phrases and passages in Latin. Be warned though, when given a whiteboard, a barely functional marker, and limited time, even the best artists' skills will degrade into lumps and squiggles. Be generous in your understanding of white board iconography. If the student tells you that the stick figure wearing what looks like a toilet plunger on his head, clutching an inner tube is really Aeneas in armor carrying his father out of Troy, believe.
Drawing with the Beginning Student
While the beginning chapters in most texts, make poor and dull visuals, I find it helpful to add in animal vocabulary for case practice. Students can easily convey the following animals on the white boards. These are:
porcus,ursus, cuniculus, rana, equus, gallina
and of course avis, canis and felis. However, I use these word when I want students to draw but only first and second declension nouns when I want them to write. I find limiting instruction to forming case endings to first and second declension noun in the first year to be the most useful.
I know these words aren't in your textbook chapter. It doesn't matter. Use the above cast of characters to help students master case usage. Ask them to draw:
Gallina porcum portat vs. Gallinam porcus portat
Ursus taurum pulsat vs. Ursum taurus pulsat.
Then add in plurals...
Cuniculi ranam vident vs Cuniculos rana videt
And so on...By the way, the dotted line with an arrow is the indicator of who is seeing who in whiteboard lingo. For each case introduced, use a series of short sentences to be drawn by which students can practice case mastery. Dative anyone? Have students draw:
Cuniculus servum urso dat vs Servus ursum cuniculo dat.
Drawing with the Mid-level Student
Drawing activities are very instructive for students of all levels. To review a chapter, simply take sentences from the text, write them on the board and ask students to draw what is happening. Here's a demo sentence derived from Chapter 21 in the Ecce Romani series that a student might draw for a test review:
Caupo scelestus corpus in plaustro posuit et stercus supra coniecit.
(The wicked innkeeper put the body in the cart and threw manure above it)
When drawing more complex sentences, I tell students to draw the part that they understand. I award between 1-4 points for having different elements of the sentence on the board. For example, 1 point for drawing an innkeeper, 1 point for indicating somehow that he is wicked (usually slanted eyebrows) 1 point for drawing a body in a cart , and 1 point for drawing manure in the cart. Students tally their points in the corner of the board.
When using the sentence draw activity, I find its very helpful to change the sentence from it's original form to test students comprehension. Usually, I begin with sentences that follow the plot of the text and then start to vary them. For example here' s sentence from that same chapter that you might use to check case mastery.
Cauponem scelestum miles in fossa posuit et in stercore a plaustro obdormivit.
(The soldier put the wicked innkeeper in a ditch and fell asleep in the manure by the cart)
The more ridiculous your sentence, the better. There will be a lot of "How do you draw that?! That doesn't make sense?!" To which I reply, "I have complete confidence in you!"
Drawing with Advanced Students
Don't neglect your advanced students either. My A.P. students drew their way through the Aeneid with top marks on the exam. So many passages from the Aeneid and some from Caesar make excellent visuals. You can easily use the point system for the different elements as well. Due to the length of these sentences, I tend to write them ahead of time, project them on the board and then underline the different pieces that are worth points after the pictures are drawn..
Drawing with Mythology
The drawing activity is an excellent way to review mythology. After reading or listening to a group of myths, ask students to draw part of the story on the whiteboards. Here are some questions that get great visual responses:
What is the symbol of Jupiter? Neptune? Mercury?
Draw the birth of Minerva
Draw what happened to Persephone, to Daphne, to Io etc.
Tips to Make White Board Drawing Work: