Mala Ad Mala
There are many ways to adapt the popular card game, "Apples to Apples" to the Latin classroom. This particular variation besides being a very big hit in my Latin II class was also very easy to assemble.
If you haven't played the game or it's rated "R" variant, "Cards Against Humanity," you need two types of cards - people cards and descriptive cards. In my variation, the people were celebrities my students knew and the descriptive cards are phrases in Latin the students will understand. For a group of 5 players, you need about 100 index cards with celebrities and about 20 descriptive phrases which can be written on the board.
Step I: Generate the list of names. Tell your students to write names of well-known people on your class white board or have everyone contribute a person to a shared document or one that you have projected on the board. Have students reflect on the list - it should be a mix of cartoon characters, literary characters, people from history, super heroes, movie, pop and Youtube stars. I don't let them add names of people in the school - that could quickly turn cruel. As the list is generated, make sure that everyone knows the characters on the board and delete those that only a few students are familiar with.
Step II: Then when you have a list of about 100, hand out index cards to the class and divide the evenly by the number of students in the room. For example, if you have 20 students, each student is responsible for 4 celebrities. Also with 20 students, you would need 5 groups of 4 students each so each student should write their five celebrities on four different index cards so that you can generate 4 decks of cards. It helps if you can hand out colored index cards so each deck can be its own color but its not necessary. Step I and II generally takes about 30 minutes. Collect the decks, put rubber bands around them and announce to the class that you will play this game later.
Step III: Now you need to generate some Latin phrases that could apply to these celebrities. There are many different possibilities here. This is an excellent activity for practicing superlative and comparative adjectives, partitive genitive and even optative subjunctive. Below I have some examples:
Amor meae vitae
Nemo eum amat
Intelligentior quam Julius Caesar
Utinam essem coniunx
Utinam esset mortuus
You don't need to write these on index cards although you can if you want and have the time to do so.
Step IV: Playing the game - Put the students in groups of four and give each group one of the decks that you generated. In each group, have one student deal out five cards to all players in the group. Each group should choose a "leader." This role will rotate each round. Now the teacher writes one of the phrases on the board. Each student looks at the cards in their hand and decides who of the cards they have best exemplifies that phrase. They then give their card to the "leader" who reads them all aloud and decides who they think best fits the phrase. The student who had that card gets a point. Now the student to the right is the new leader and the process repeats. Each student should take a new card from the deck to the replace the one they played. The teacher writes a new phrase on the board. Students again check to see which card best fits the new phrase, hands it to the new leader who makes the decision and so on.
Tips to Make this Game Work