Greetings from the Latin class at Lower Lab!
It continues to be a pleasure to work with such talented and enthusiastic students.
This past month we learned many things, continuing on our path of understanding the classical roots of the English language and modern science.
— vocabulary building with Latin and Greek roots
— learning grammar and sentence structure through comparison of Latin and English
— the classical and mythological roots of modern science
Here are some highlights:
— In honor of Thanksgiving, we learned that the Latin name for the turkey is gallopavo (“rooster peacock”). Can you guess why European scientists in the Renaissance gave this name to an unfamiliar creature?
— The Latin name for the proboscis monkey is Nasalis larvatus (“enchanted nose”). Our students came up with many theories, with consensus leaning toward the idea that this monkey had been the victim of a witch.
— Speaking of “enchanted”, we discussed the musical roots of this word (CHANT = song) and learned the story of the Sirens as well as why the modern invention atop ambulances was named after them.
— We studied the mythological monsters Medusa, Chimera and Echidna, each of which has bequeathed a term to modern science .
Medusa = the adult stage of a jellyfish
Chimera = an organism whose genetic structure consists of two distinct sets of genes
Echidna = a spiked monotreme (an egg-laying mammal like the platypus)
A chimeric mouse displaying a pattern of optical heterochromy.
— 4th and 5th graders have begun to study the indirect statement and indirect question with very impressive results.
For those of you who have studied Latin, you’ll recognize how impressive an accomplishment this is. Our students are working with 2 tenses of the subjunctive and 2 tenses of the infinitive simultaneously!
For those unfamiliar with Latin, here’s a point of reference: most college students studying Latin don’t learn these structures until late in their first year.
— 3rd graders are continuing to learn vocabulary using the online system I developed (Wordcraft). Several 3rd graders have already learned more than 1000 new words.
Well done Lower Lab students!
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