The board game Clue has been a family favorite for years. I find Clue to be an excellent way to teach prepositional phrases. To refresh your memory, here is the board game:
Players move their pieces from room to room and attempt to guess who committed the "murder." Each turn, a player must make a statement, such as "Miss Scarlet did it in the study with the candlestick." Then, they receive information from other players that perhaps it wasn't done in the study so the players move to a new room and make a different accusation. The rules are fairly simple and are included with the game. I don't intend to explain them here.
What is useful here is the repetition of ablative prepositional phrases that students must make throughout the game. To play Latin Clue, I simply have all the students make their accusations in Latin. I teach them the names of all the Clue characters, rooms and weapons. We then do several practice worksheets where we practice writing and translating: "Professor Plum killed Mrs. White in the conservatory with the knife." Now during the game, you usually don't say the victim since the victim is always "Mr. Body" but I find that in practice, it's fun to add a different victim. That way students get practice with nominative, accusative and ablative.
You may also be noting that "with a knife" isn't technically a prepositional phrase but rather ablative by means of and the "with" would be dropped. While I understand the logic of this, I find that this activity works best to teach students about prepositional phrases. The idea that you drop out the preposition in some cases is unnecessarily confusing. Once students are comfortable with ablative prepositional phrases and can readily identify a work in the ablative case, then I explain that some types of phrases do not use a preposition. However, this occurs long after Clue is put back in the closet.
To do this activity, you need to familiarize students with the Latin words for the Clue rooms, weapons and people list. This word list is in the drive. I tend to write the Latin and then have students guess the English meaning. There are many good derivative discussions to be had here about the words. In a few cases, I have taken some creative liberties. For example, I called the revolver, novum telum because I wished to familiarize students with the word telum. I called Miss Peacock, Domina Purpurea because pavo, or peacock is a third declension noun and initially my students only work with first and second declension words.
The second step is to have students practice translating and writing Clue accusations in Latin. I have several different worksheets also included in the drive. Some classes have needed more practice than others.
The third step is to divide the students into groups of 3-5 players, give each group a Clue board and have them play the game. To facilitate making the accusations in Latin, I have written the Latin counterparts on all the playing cards. It is a good idea however that all students take their Clue word list to play the game so that they can refer to it.
In order to do this activity, therefore, you do need one Clue game for each 3-5 players. Clue is fairly inexpensive, between $15-20.00 retail. Make sure you get Classic Clue and not the deluxe version which is twice the price. If you cannot convince whoever is in charge of purchasing to buy 4-5 games for your classroom, you can acquire them through garage sales or simply by asking students to bring in their own game. Some of my students have donated their boards to my class. The Clue boards in my classroom take up an entire shelf in my closet. New students always ask, "Why do you have so many Clue games?" "You'll see," I reply.
4/1/2016 08:33:53 am
Can I have a translation of this in Latin?
2/22/2019 01:38:47 pm
I love your site soooo much! I have a question about this subject. Not the clue game, I already bought mine at Goodwill and have begun recreating it for Latin. I am photoshopping the clue sheets so I can change the words to latin, then I will laminate them so we can use wet erase markers and not waste papers each game. But my question is about the clue story included in the file. First question: in this following sentence, is the word EDIT meant to be there? Magister Prunum quoque scribit dum paucos crustulos edit.
2/22/2019 03:43:47 pm
Hi - to answer your questions. yes, in the first sentence, edit should be there - it means "eats" (from where we get the derivative edible" Professor Plum also sits while he eats a few cookies. The second sentence says Colonel Mustard is in the garden. He sits under a tree and he he watches a cat in a tree and frogs in the fishpond. (Both frogs and cat are in the accusative case so they are receiving the watching rather than doing the action.) And finally, yes - it was Mr. Green because of the wax. Feel free to make a copy of it, re-edit it and change the murderer if you want. The "novum telum" is how I referred to the "gun" since it isn't a Latin word.. Lectus means both bed and couch but because the room is the bedroom, it was assumed to be the bed here. Hope that helps. - Jocelyn
2/23/2019 04:13:11 pm
Yes, that helps so much! I didn't understand that frog was in the accusative state, somehow I missed the (s) at the end changing it from a singular Nominative to a plural ablative. It's there, I just was blind to it. Sort of like when I go looking for the phone that is in my hand. It is such a fun little teaser, I do want to arrange more scenarios to play with it! The only thing I am still not clear on was the clue to the gun. It was under the bed in the house, but in the pool for the last hints. Did it get moved?
11/6/2019 06:41:33 am
2/23/2019 06:51:51 pm
WAIT!- I just realized I still don't know the WHY??? The last question there. Is there more to tell me the why?
2/24/2019 01:42:33 pm
I see - I changed the verb in the sentence about the weapons being under the bed to "erat" - was instead of "est" - is. this should be clearer now. The weapons aren't there any more. As far as why - No idea. Ask your students to concoct a reason. They will tell you.
3/4/2019 03:00:18 pm
I realized the students were to answer that after I asked! Silly me. So...I printed out the game words for my son and he did his usual grumbling about the word choices. And for once, I think he may be right. He said for new weapon it should have been mechanicus arcum. For colonel mustard, he wished it had been Centurion Mustard! hahaha. I should have been writing them down, but I was busy shooing him off because I was studying myself.
11/7/2019 09:40:53 am
Whoops! You are right - Cera is wax and cena is dinner. That's an unfortunate typo. Thanks for bringing it to my attention
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