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 November 2016

Lesson 3 - Categories, scientific and grammatical

lots of derivatives
We warmed up at the start of the lesson with one of my favourite games, Word Roots Challenge. As Latin words (and their English meanings) appeared on the board, we all tried to think of as many modern words (English or any other European language) that have descended from these Latin 'root words'. There was no shortage of excellent answers, as you can see from the picture on the left. And, thanks to the amazing linguistic talents of Classics Club students, I now know the word for 'pig' in both Spanish (puerco) and Portuguese (porco, so very similar to its Latin root, porcus).

Next, we considered last week's challenge, and recalled how
felis domesticus (aw, bless!)
sorting things into categories can be very complicated. We then looked at how the eighteenth-century scientist Charles Linnaeus came up with a seven-part system for categorising everything that can be found in nature. We also saw how that system is still in use today, and how these category names are in Latin (and sometimes ancient Greek) as this was the shared language of European scientists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Then, using our powers of deduction, we matched some Latin scientific names up with various pictures.

Latin x exercise = Laxercise ?!
We then turned our that very important type of word, the noun. We played 'If It's A Noun, Sit Down', a game that cunningly blends grammar learning and physical exercise. The game initiated some fantastic critical conversation amongst the students. Is maths really a thing? What part of speech is 'yesterday'? You can't touch bravery, so can it be a noun? Learning Latin will make you a grammar ninja, guaranteed! So once we had established that we could all spot a noun at twenty paces, we then looked at how Latin changes word endings to show whether a noun is doing the action in a sentence (the subject), or whether it is having the verb done to it (the object). 

Tum nobis cenandum erat! (And then it was lunchtime!)