Learning Classics is a bit like putting on a magic pair of 3-D glasses. Once you start delving into the language and the culture, you'll start to see it all around you. This blog is a record of the club's journey through the worlds and language of ancient Rome and Greece... and through modern times, too, searching for the influence of classics all around us. You'll also be able to find vocab, home tasks, links and generally enlightening info here, too.

26 September 2014

Lesson 3 - Beastly blends and feminine wasps

Zedonk - overdoing the cuteness
More exploration of beasts this week, this time looking at compound creatures in myth and reality. We marvelled at the zedonk and beefalo, and now know that a unicorn is NOT REAL! FICTITIOUS! A FANTASY! We matched beginnings and ends of words to make familiar and novel creatures, showing our creative excellence along the way (see selection of pics at the end of this post).

Language work saw an introduction to nouns that have genders, and how adjectives need to agree in gender with their noun. Plus we discovered the similarities between wasps and motor scooters (the word 'vespa' and the buzzy noise that they make).

Top effort on home tasks, with even more suggestions flowing in for links between Latin and modern words (left). And here's the start of our Mythological Top Trumps deck (right) - keep those cards coming in, we need as many as possible.

She's got wings and feet - she's a pteropod

Here's a selection of our new mythological creations...

A Minodactyl: wouldn't want to meet one on a dark night
Klaudiusz' Biocephian - surely the next Dr Who alien?

20 September 2014

Lesson 2 - Myths (and CGI) ancient and modern

Session 2 was full of puzzles, monsters and our first taste of verb endings...

Lesson 1 recap
Latin-to-English brain workout
Max brings Portuguese into the mix
Loud and clear, it's all about word endings in Latin. Great recall from the class of the homework vocab in the slightly challenging Latin/English, English/Latin word searches. Plus 30 points earned by Max, Anna and Kacper for finding words in English and other modern languages that come from last week's vocab.

Creatures of mythology video quiz
We watched videos (of varying CGI quality!) of how films have brought mythical monsters to life. We noted how ancient monsters have found their way into modern stories, too. We watched an evil Centaur battling Sinbad, Harry Potter versus Cerberus and a terrifying Medusa attack, as well as the perils of relying on a Cyclops for hospitality.

And why do myths arise? Eight volunteers brought mythological stories (ancient and modern) to life, and we sorted them into these four aetiological* (i.e. 'reasons why') categories:

1. Explaining natural phenomena
2. Teaching a moral lesson
3. Controlling people
4. Confronting fears

(But are UFOs real or mythological? The debate rages on!...)

Present tense verb endings
gallinae rident
Jabba ridet
Now we know the importance of verb endings, we can start learning the codes to help us crack them. Present tense verbs tell us what is happening NOW, and in Latin words in the present tense end in 't' when one person or thing (singular) is doing something, and they end in 'nt' when it's more than one person or thing (plural) is doing it. The class tackled an ambitious worksheet, selecting the right verb to match the subject of a sentence, and then translating from Latin to English.
Top translations from Benedict

Home tasks
Vocab is on the link to the right as usual, and for extra points, everyone's got a blank Greek Myth Top Trumps card to research and fill in: draw a picture and give scores out of 100 for each of the four categories. You can find out about your monster here.

(* pronouned ee-tee-oh-loj-i-kal. From 'aitia' + 'logos', ancient Greek for 'reason/cause' and 'study of' - stun someone this week by using 'aetiology' or 'aetiological' in a conversation...)

12 September 2014

Lesson 1 - name badges and disgusting pictures of fish

We kicked off Classics Club today with some great contributions, and we're already making connections between ancient and modern worlds. Here's a few of the things we explored today...

Word matching
CC members sped through their word matching task, proving that they already knew loads of associations between English and Latin words.

What do invading forces bring to conquered lands?
Armies and language, and this is how English ended up with so much Latin influence in it, courtesy of William the Conqueror in 1066. 

Name badges in Greek
Overcoming the challenges of lack of J and W in the Greek alphabet, CC members all wrote their first names in Greek on badges. An especially colourful badge from Anna.

What is the most important difference between Latin and English?
English uses word order, Latin uses...?

(I think we shouted it loudly enough)

Here's that picture of the boy eating the fish that you all loved so much (note: not the fish eating the boy). And excellent connection-making between 'piscis' ('fish') and Pisces the star sign.

In case you've forgotten/lost your sheet, this week's vocab for learning can be found by clicking the 'vocab' link on the home page of this site. Have a go at the optional gold star home task if you're feeling keen: write your whole name in Greek letters. There's a link to the Greek alphabet on the home page, too.

Did we do ALL THAT in an hour?!