Classics in the News, Part II
Bringing Modern Reports of Ancient History into the Classroom
In a recent blog post
I touched on a few ways for students to take classics-related news they find online and bring it into the classroom. The idea is to have students briefly browse the internet for or set up an alert to help find an article relevant to classics studies. Then, students share the article with the class, discussing its main points and the significance of the article, as well as its relation to classics. Additionally, I mentioned a couple of different ways to present the article. In light of the March 2015 eLitterae
, where Lynne West provides a "Tech Tip" on the movie-making program, Animoto
, I will here show how students can use the program for this type of classroom project.
|An article taken from the UK news site,
Independent, discusses a botched
restoration job that ruined mosaics.
The first step is to find the article. As mentioned in the previous post, I receive daily Google alerts, so it was easy to find this article
from a United Kingdom news site, the Independent, on a restoration job that left several mosaics warped and ruined. I recommend that part of the project involve students setting up an "ancient news" alert, using terms such as "Ancient," "Greek," and "Roman" to help narrow the results of their alerts.
Next, it is important for students to find out what the main point of the article is, the article's relevance to classics, and why it is significant. Students should not have to force the answers. If they cannot answer these questions easily they should scrap the article and find another as there will be plenty to choose from. In this article, the Independent reports that "negligence in the process of moving the artefacts [sic]" led to the damage of eight or nine mosaics, including one depicting the sacrifice of Isaac and one of Dionysus. This point is at the center of the article. These mosaics are ancient Roman artifacts, directly linking them to the ancient world and thus, making this article relevant to classics. Lastly, the article is important because it raises awareness to the issue of negligence when handling ancient artifacts and how, when not handled properly, valuable pieces can be lost.
|A shot of the Animoto dashboard.
Once students have established these points, they should then put it all into presentable format. With Animoto (which, for those interested in trying this approach, allows for a free 30-day trial), all students need to do is pick a video format, add photos and some text, pick some music to accompany the project, and produce it! Students might want to let their film run while they present over it or designate a spot during their presentation to show it to the class. Something simple like this one I've created
may work better as an illustrative auxiliary for when the presenter makes their points, though something fancier may deserve more attention.
Students have a chance to let their creative sides shine in a variety of ways! If you have any ideas or suggestions on how else to make "Classics in the News" an effective project, if you you have any experiences using Animoto or any similar format, or if you have other classroom project ideas, comment below! I would love to hear from you.
What to Do in Kalamazoo: 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies
|Laurel Draper and Adam Velez
in Kalamazoo, MI in May.
Last month marked the 50th year of the International Congress on Medieval Studies at the Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In attendance for Bolchazy-Carducci were assistant editor Laurel Draper and senior graphic designer Adam Velez.
Check out what people bought, said, and won at our booth this year!
Rumor had it that overall attendance for the conference may have been down, but it appeared to be about normal from our end. The Wheelock's Latin supplement, Ecclesiastical, Medieval, and Neo-Latin Sentences, was very popular this year and and attracted many customers seeking help in their transition from elementary Latin to medieval Latin.
This supplement moved like hot cakes off of the booth. The usual top sellers, the children’s books and the Dr. Seuss titles, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
and The Cat in the Hat,
were readily sold as well.
There was also continued strong interest in the BC Latin Readers
. Also, while a few people did come by to look at Artes Latinae
, our self-teaching Latin program, most in attendance commented on their expectation of and desire for something more technologically and pedagogically more modern. Looks like we’ll need to make some adjustments to what we bring next year to further suit your interests!
|Laurel Draper presenting "fishbowl drawing
winner V. M. Roberts with four new books.
Bolchazy-Carducci also held a “fishbowl” drawing for a bundle of four books, including Ecclesiastical, Medieval, and Neo-Latin Sentences
. When attending conferences, always be sure to stop by our booth, lest you should miss an opportunity to win prizes! Congratulations to V. M. Roberts, the lucky winner of the Kalamazoo "fishbowl" drawing, who took home this book bundle.
Were you able to attend the International Congress on Medieval Studies this year? Do you have questions, or is there anything you hope to see next year? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!
Lectiones Memorabiles, Volume I is at press!
Lectiones Memorabiles: Volume I: Selections from Catullus, Cicero, Livy, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, and Vergil
, now at press, is due out in June. This reader contains the prescribed passages for the Vergil
, and Love Poetry
portions of the IB Latin syllabus with examinations in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Order today!
, which contains the prescribed Good Living
passages, will go to press in a couple weeks and is due out later in June. When Volume II is available, you can save by purchasing both volumes as a bundled product
Marianthe Colakis, author of Volume I, recently discussed her experiences writing the commentary with eLitterae
newsletter editor Don Sprague. The following interview was originally published in the March 2015
DES: Bolchazy-Carducci chose to divide the IB Latin curriculum for exams in 2016, 2017, and 2018 into two volumes. What inspired you to choose the volume with selections from Vergil and selections on love poetry and on women?
MC: I had taught AP Vergil for years, so I felt as though I knew the text of the Aeneid very well and understood the issues that make the epic more complex than it would appear to be at first glance. As for love poetry, I was fortunate enough as an undergraduate to learn from one of the great experts of Roman poetry: Steele Commager. He was truly brilliant in that he always made you believe that you were seeing the Latin as the Romans saw it. We translated, but the focus was on the arrangement of the Latin words. I also was pursuing higher education in Classics at the same time that women's issues were coming to the forefront as a field of scholarship. I've followed the field with interest since then.
DES: Authoring the background and contextual essays along with the notes for the volume was a significant undertaking. What in your schooling and experience did you find especially prepared you for doing so?
An undergraduate and graduate education in the humanities, including Classics, is excellent preparation for all types of research work and scholarly writing. I'm fortunate in that I like to research. I love working in libraries. The New York Public Library and Butler University Library at Columbia University are superb resources. At the same time, the amount of material available online has grown so much more extensive and dependable that I was able to work away from libraries also. I'm old-fashioned enough to think of brick-and-mortar libraries as my go-to resource, though.
DES: Besides the time crunch, what was the most challenging aspect of this task?
MC: I had not read many of those passages for years, and a few—such as Lygdamus—I had not read at all. I had forgotten how complex some of those authors, such as Propertius, were. I had a new appreciation for what students find difficult when reading the authors for the first time.
DES: What part of the project did you most enjoy?
MC: Although it wasn't always easy to read them, I liked becoming acquainted with authors I had not read much of, or at all, such as the above-mentioned Lygdamus. I liked becoming familiar with Sulpicia, also. We have so little authentic writing by Roman women that it was a pleasure to see something written from a female perspective ("a" female perspective, not "the" female perspective!).
DES: Which of the authors for this text— Catullus, Cicero, Livy, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, and Vergil—is your favorite? Why?
MC: I've always been fond of Ovid. He was younger than the other "Golden Age" poets—Vergil, Horace, Propertius, Tibullus—so it was more of a challenge for him to write something fresh, especially in the well-worn field of elegiac love poetry. He did so much more than rehash old tropes, though! It was interesting to read his take on the Odyssey from Penelope's point of view. All her worries—that her husband is dead, that he's found someone else, that they've grown into different people while he was away—ring very true.
DES: What advice do you give someone beginning their career as a high school Latin teacher?
MC: Take as many opportunities as you can to learn from other Latin teachers! If you're the only one at your school, find a way to connect with others online. Go to meetings and workshops, especially ACL institutes. You'll get more ideas than you can use in a year.
has taught at Trinity College (Hartford), Queens College, Brooklyn College, and Davidson College. She is currently teaching at Townsend Harris High School in Queens, New York. Colakis holds a PhD in classics from Yale University. Much of her scholarly work has involved modern adaptations of classical myths and tragedies; her first book was The Classics in the American Theater of the 1960's and Early 1970's
(University Press of America, 1993). In recent years, she has turned her efforts toward development of pedagogical materials. Colakis is author (with Gaylan DuBose) of Excelability in Advanced Latin: A Workbook for Students
(Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2003) and coauthor with Mary Joan Masello of Classical Mythology and More: A Reader Workbook
(Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2007).
This work has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the International Baccalaureate (IB).
Classics in the News, Part I
Bringing Modern Reports of Ancient History into the Classroom
It might surprise some to learn just how frequently an article pops up discussing the themes of a museum display or the arrival of a new exhibit, or about how an ancient town or statue has been digitized, or about an archaeological find such as the caryatids at Amphipolis or the Antikythera shipwreck. With so much pertinent information circulating, articles could easily slip past a student unnoticed. I set up an alert through Google to keep me updated and have adopted the forum on eLatin eGreek eLearn, the Ning run by Bolchazy-Carducci, as a place to post them. Doing so has sparked an idea for a classroom project.
|The eLatin eGreek eLearn homepage.
|An image, courtesy of the Greek Ministry
of Culture, of a caryatid found in a tomb
The project involves a little sleuthing around the internet and drawing some connections, but it should ultimately be a fun learning experience. Students should bring a relevant, interesting, or fun article they find and share it with the class, touching on the main message of the article and where they found it, its significance today, and how it relates to classical studies, giving the project the opportunity to be both enjoyable and educational. Have students sign up or assign them a day throughout the term when they can present their discoveries. Students going earlier may have difficulty digging stuff up, but I have provided plenty on the Ning's forum
to serve as a jumping-off point.
|Colin Jost, left, and Michael Che
currently host Saturday Night
Live's "Weekend Update."
The project also provides students the opportunity to get creative with their presentation styles. In an older blog post
I mentioned some programs useful in mapping projects. If appropriate for the article, they may also be useful here. For example, students may find Prezi
, mentioned in the older post, useful for this type of project, but students have other options, such as a PowerPoint slide show or making a movie with Animoto
, or perhaps they would enjoy emulating Saturday Night Live anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost and providing the class with their own classics-related weekend update. There are many ways to get creative, and I urge classrooms to do so.
Stay tuned for my next post where I provide an example of one of the many ways this can be done. In the meantime, if you have any ideas on how else to make this an effective project or if you have other classroom projects, comment below! I would love to hear from you.