Word Chunking With Latin in a Week’s Lesson Plan
This is my application of Word Chunking as I took it from Ben Slavic and adapted to my situation. I usually do Word Chunking AFTER I have asked a story. This is where I do something a little different from what Ben does, but he took what I did and ran with it, too.
Day 1—ask a story including 4 new words/structures. Recently, my list of words included verbs/phrases that require an infinitive. So, I asked a story that day, and in each of four Latin 2 classes, got four rather different stories.
That night, I took their story lines, and I wrote 25 more sentences taking off from their plots and using the four words (review) as well as weaving in 8 new words over the 25 sentences. The sentences continue to flesh out a story line, so they are not random. One leads into the next.
Day 2—Divide class into teams of 4-5 students each and set the ground rules (really only necessary the first time. Thereafter, they know how to play).
a) Each team must give itself a team name in Latin and come up with a gesture that goes with it. Whenever their team is called upon, they must simultaneously say their name and do their gesture (everyone in the group) or they are disqualified to play that question.
b) I read a sentence, and each team then begins to deliberate among themselves about what the sentence means. Any new words (no more than 4) are on the white board. They gesture to me when they want the sentence repeated, and each sentence is often repeated multiple times (3-10 or more), so repetitions are happening in a big and unusual way.
c) When a team thinks it is ready to respond, they raise their hands. I call on the first team I see. If there are multiple teams responding, I designated them “prima, secunda, tertia (grex) in case the first team doesn’t get it right.
d) They say their name, do their gesture, and then I call on someone in the group to the give answer. I alternate who I call on each time, and they do not know who it is going to be, so everyone on the team has to be ready. Team members cannot feed the words to the one called on, but may correct him/her. This adds a really good aspect to how they work together and listen to each other.
e) If they get the sentence correct (and it must be completely correct), they all go to a pre-established free-throw line where I have 5 whiffle balls placed. A make-shift basket ball goal (cardboard box on a stool next to the white board) is what they aim for. Each basket earns the team points. After each round, I announce the score, Latine, by team name.
f) I conduct the game largely in Latin: “Prima sententia: . . . “
g) At the end of the period, the team with the highest score gets bonus on their daily work grade (or it could be a bonus quiz grade—you decide).
Day 3—repeat. I have found that it takes 2 days to get that many sentences in and not rush, and that allows me to get 12 new words in a week which is my personal goal this year..
Day 4—we read a story from CLC or an embedded version of it using all the new words, or a typed up version of the story that we’ve been telling all week through the game.
Day 5—Review the story, and a short quiz over it followed by a 5 minute timed write.