Whole Class Drawing
This is a relatively new activity in my classroom. I started using it several years ago and have repeated it many times since then. It has been successful every single time that I have done it and students often beg for "Bad Latin Drawing" as it is colloquially called in my class. You need absolutely nothing for this activity except a white board in front of the class. Colored white board markers help but they are not necessary. Below is one drawing that my 8th grade class did.
What it requires is that you speak in Latin to your students. Now before you balk, this is really easier than it seems. You don't need to give a Ciceronian oration in Latin but simply direct students what to draw. I know many teachers who are fluent Latin speakers, I am not one of them. When surrounded by Latin speakers, I appear rather dense and taciturn. Sometimes I speak Latin with a New York accent. It's not pretty. My point is - If I can lead this activity, you can too.
Basically, all you need to do is decide upon a scene to draw - a house, a road, a farm and field. Since I am currently using Ecce Romani, I tend to use the scenes that are described in the chapter - a road, an inn, a country house etc. In Latin, I then tell students what to draw and they come up one by one and add pieces to the picture. My commands tend to be:
Necesse est habere...
Necesse est delineare...
I usually start with Volo terram planam, which is simply a line on which we can add more things. Then Volo villam...Volo arborem prope villam... Volo agrum cum floribus. This activity is great for oral practice with prepositional phrases. Eventually we add different types of people, animals and items. Things quickly get bizarre. I might say: Volo in caelo deum iratum or Volo draconem qui edit puerum. Some students call out in Latin things that they want to add and then we add those. This activity can run between 15-20 minutes.
For those following the pedagogical debate between acquiring vs learning language, this activity definitely falls within the realm of language acquisition. If you wish to understand the debate, there are many language blogs on the topic quoting different aspects of language acquisition research. As none of the studies answer my overriding concern, "What am I doing tomorrow?" I will let others debate. However, proponents of both the grammatical and acquisition approach can agree that repetition builds retention. By dictating a picture that students can draw, I can repeat words orally five or six times that they might only encounter once or twice in the text. I can easily bring in other words particularly adjectives and prepositional phrases that they may not have seen recently. Regardless of language learning theory, this activity provides entertainment and instruction with almost zero preparation on the teachers's part. In my research, this experiment bears repeating.
Tips to Make this Activity Work