Interdisciplinary dream, year 2021 Teaching + learning – Mainline Media News
Three weeks ago my SJU students and I walked to the Barnes Arboretum to complete a project anyone could do. We oriented towards the mansion, took photos of the map and legend to avoid getting lost among the ferns and tall trees, and set off on an adventure as a group of 2 and 3.
Our foray included finding our favorite plants and zooming in for a perfect photo of the plant, growth or tree and its label demonstrating Greek or Latin nomenclature.
It doesn’t sound particularly exceptional but there is more.
Before leaving, we each tasted a chocolate-filled croissant baked that morning at Petit Mitron in Narberth, accompanied by a small biodegradable cup of the right amount of Pink Lady Kombucha GT.
Thus fed and finally stripped of our masks, we surveyed the Barnes property with joy and optimism.
The students discovered the medicinal garden teeming with medicinal herbs, the lush multi-level rose gardens, the path to the pond and waterfall, and the small house with a fireplace perfect for a fairy tale.
A student discovered a beautiful pink rose named Pierre-Auguste Renoir which brought us back to his life and to the Impressionist generation.
Imagine a generally solitary, cup-shaped, rounded, old-fashioned pink blooming form that can be used for flower beds and borders, cut flowers, or the garden with semi-gloss medium green foliage, approx. 3.5 ″ flowering
In Friday classes at the start of Halloween weekend, we packed organic treats – Justin’s peanut butter cups, pirate booty, squares of Lake Champlain milk chocolate, organic raisins of Newman’s and pretzels – in large white paper treat bags.
These white paper bags have proven to be useful and have a dual function. As part of one of our first class activities, each student transliterated – from Latin to Greek – their ancient Mediterranean name Persona on scrap paper to practice, then transferred the Greek version to the surface of the bag. of treats.
How beneficial it was to juggle two alphabetic systems, to understand transliteration and to probe it to be sure, each student with another.
As we usually do, two students calculated the date of October 29 to its Roman equivalent, ANTE.DIEM.IV.KALENDAS.NOVEMBRES.
It means four days before the Calends, November 1st. Each day has a value of one, the inclusive count is used, the movement in time is towards the specific fixed point of three possibilities, the Kalends, the Nones and the Ides.
The month of November is a carry over from the original Roman calendar by 10 months, an observation that sparks a lot of information about dating and the measurement of time in other systems.
While the dating activity continues, students with their own clean whiteboard markers translate the names of the different Halloween treats into Latin – “praeda piratae”, pirate’s booty, “quadrata chocolata”, chocolate squares , “uvae sole siccatae”, sun-dried grapes. It’s really fun to translate that way because it’s authentic and based on real experience.
Then the great revelation, Classical Fax, consisted of each student researching an esoteric fact about the origins of Halloween, the Druids, and the Commentarii of Bello Gallico Book VI of Julius Caesar in which are recorded the Gallic and Germanic customs of the era.
We have two Google docs in progress, one for our vertical timeline and ethnography research, and the other for exercises, charts, exercises, vocabulary review, Latin readings, and sententiae antiquae.
For the classic fax, each student had two cells in our class table to insert the esoteric fact and the source. WOW! I was delighted with these facts, all 42 of them.
Ten days earlier, I had given each student one of my nine classic Halloween fax samples, on orange or purple paper, to hang on approved bulletin boards around campus to help build the university community.
In this way, the students shared what we were learning with their friends, teachers and SJU staff.
It is always, always a treat for a teacher to learn something from the students. This is the essence of teaching + learning as a cyclical rotation.
There is no such thing when I exclaim, “I didn’t know that, Hatshepsut!” (this is Clare’s Persona in Latin DO-2) ”And, of course, I always add“ Gratias tibi! to show my appreciation.
The virtual and online school are increasingly criticized these days because of the sedentary hours staring at a screen. What I have learned so far is that many of these interactive and active engagement activities can be explained, modeled, and performed both in the field and online.
Parents, guardians and teachers, we can all adopt, adapt and adapt with and for our children and students.
Remember the Latin Class treat bags were for later – don’t eat or drink in the Saint Joe’s buildings.
It became the fun – patiently filling the bags with treats in class, probing the Greek versions of the students’ Persona names on the bags, then, after a while, outside with friends eating the treats and laughing at the pleasure. to learn.
For me, it’s living the interdisciplinary dream. Next, we select and research favorite myths, resonating in art and music, and slide shows – and Saturnalia in December.
Mary “Magistra” Brown, Adjunct Latin Professor at SJU, has been teaching Latin and mentoring students at Lower Merion and Narberth since 1974. Brown is Founding President of Teen Learning Community, President of the Philadelphia Classical Society, and a member of the committee director of the Lower Merion and Narberth Youth Coalition.