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I was walking the streets of Manhattan the other day and it occurred to me that the street plan was in some ways similar to Latin grammar (Yes- I am that geeky). While many of the streets run parallel, and are numbered, in certain areas, such as the West Village, where I teach, the streets do not obey the rules so neatly. I thought this would be a great analogy when discussing grammar with my students. So last week we went on a little walking tour of the neighbourhood, renaming the North-South streets "Nominative St.", "Genitive St." etc., and the East-West streets "1st Declension St." etc. Now we are working on our streetmaps and we have a physical framework to situate words in relation to one another.

It's still early days, but it looks like the students are responding well to this technique. I'll let you know how it develops...

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that sounds super! I love metaphors like that!

I used to use something called "Planet Perfect" and "Planet Imperfect" to convey the idea of aorist (perfect) past and imperfective past... on the Planet Perfect, all their pictures are snapshots, in frames, that show something that happened. On Planet Imperfect, they have everything running as videos instead. The idea of saying "are we on planet perfect? or planet imperfect?" helped students see these different aspects as different REALMS, rather than simply as different English translation formulas. When you live on Planet Perfect you just "see" things differently than you see them on Planet Imperfect. You might say "they walked" in English on either planet - but "they walked" would look one way in a picture frame on Planet Perfect and a different way in a video screen on Planet Imperfect.

This is REALLY cool. What I'd love to see is a graphical, interactive on-line representation of Latin cartography. Perhaps we can work on this together once your students have mapped the city.
Sure- I'm working on superimposing a google map onto a grammar table now. I'll let you know how it turns out.




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