Creative Classical Curriculum
Innovative tools for exceptional teachers of the Classics

The Tools

All Latin teachers have their own tools and tricks that make their approaches and teaching styles very unique.  CCC aims to provide additional tools that will simplify many aspects of teaching, and bring to the forefront the specific skills and techniques that students must develop in order to become proficient at Latin.

The Latin trifecta, in CCC parlance, includes (1) vocabulary, (2) forms & grammar, and (3) reading & translation.  In order to master the language itself, students must master each element of the trifecta and learn to apply all of them together when reading a Latin text.

At CCC, we believe that the primary goal of studying the Classical languages is to read the authors in the original.  Our material aims to support that goal by creating a fusion between the reading approach and the "grammar/translation" approach.   No matter how the teacher prefers to handle the initial study of Latin - students ultimately need to understand that the form of the word determines its meaning - it is not enough to know vocabulary or to produce charts of endings.  It is also important for students to understand how and why a given ending limits or determines a word's meaning.   Finally, students must apply reading skills such as sorting out the basic structure of a sentence or a clause.

THE CCC TOOLBOX (tools increase in complexity in higher levels of Latin study)
1.  Vocabulary
  • The Magic List - A running vocabulary list of ALL words in a passage in the order that they appear, every time
  • Vocabulary - Illustrating meanings of words (if they can draw it, they know its meaning)
  • Etymology - students create derivatives of Latin words which complete English sentences, given a word bank of eligible Latin root words

2.  Forms & Grammar
  • Color Coded Texts - the different parts of speech are printed in different colors and fonts, giving     students immediate visual cues about the function of the words they need to read

  • Recognition vs. Creation - When students learn new forms and grammar, they should be able to recognize AND create the form, and apply the correct translation when they see that form.  CCC activities on new forms teach students from BOTH perspectives, and emphasize the connection between form and meaning.
  • Recycling Bins - CCC expects that students will require reinforcement of basic concepts throughout their study of Latin.  Systematic, deliberate review of endings, forms and subordinate clauses is embedded into our units of Latin - from Latin 1 to Advanced Placement.
  • Sentence Architecture & Clauses - being able to see how the syntax of a Latin sentence is structured helps students to deconstruct the sentence into its component parts.  By breaking the job down into smaller, more manageable pieces, students feel more in control of the Latin and their confidence grows along with their reading ability.  CCC emphasizes recognition of the basic sentence kernel (S-V, S-V-DO or S-LV-C) from the beginning, along with clause identification and comprehension of sentence architecture.

3.  Reading & Translation
  • Prereading - A chunk of new Latin text can be intimidating, even scary, for a student to deal with.  At CCC, we believe that building the students' prior knowledge of the story helps them to create expectations of what the story will be about and what they can expect to see in that text.   Prereading activities require the students to consider a picture connected to the story (either one from the textbook or one that illustrates the passage), the title or subtitle given to the story and the new vocabulary words presented with the story.  In upper levels of Latin, prereadings can include forms review as well.
  • The Reading Coach - Usually, when we read original Latin with our students, we assign them a passage, they translate it for homework and we go over it together in class the next day, focusing on forms and clauses if they were translated incorrectly.  The Reading Coach flips this paradigm around and gives the students the questions they should be asking themselves (what case is this, what modifies it, what tense is the verb, what kind of clause is this, etc.) as a guide to use WHILE preparing a translation.  The goal of the Reading Coach is to take the processes associated with reading Latin and pull them out into the foreground so that the techniques students use in reading become very visible.  Eventually, they begin to include these questions in their own mental processes and their reliance on the Reading Coach begins to shrink.  Class time spent working through the questions on a Reading Coach is also very productive.  Reading Coaches will be available through CCC for all levels of Latin study, including Advanced Placement. 

At CCC, we believe that all students deserve a chance to shine on their tests and quizzes, if they choose to do so.  We write all assessments to be tightly connected to the curriculum.  A vocabulary quiz will include pictures to draw, etymology word banks and a matching section for definitions not included in the first two sections.  Study Guides are included for multi-chapter tests.  Assessments can be delivered to you in print form or as a web page where students can take the test and their answers and results are emailed to you.   If you use Quia, we can design custom Quia tests and activities for you.

Infusion of Myth & Culture Topics
Most students don't sign up for Latin from a burning desire to conjugate verbs.  Usually, they have learned something of Roman history or culture, or most commonly, have a deep interest in mythology.  CCC has developed a myth & culture resource to accompany the Ecce Romani series as well as the Fabulae Romanae textbook.  The Reading Myth Latin 3 course includes in-depth readings of poetry relevant to a particular myth as well as mini-units on cultural topics like sacrifice and religion.   Myth and culture assignments are usually critical thinking responses - students research a topic on a pre-selected set of web pages and answer 10-15 analytical questions that require them to make connections and compare & contrast. 

Students today are not only technologically literate, their brains are hard-wired so that they can use technology as a learning tool.  Websites like Quia or tools like Hot Potatoes allow teachers to tap into a rich resource that maximizes student learning in the format of online games, which make the process fun.   CCC recognizes the importance of integrating technology throughout the Latin program and offers links to various games and activities throughout the curriculum.  In the academic year 2008-2009, subscriptions to online companion workbooks for all levels of Latin instruction will be offerred, along with online assessments that correlate to the workbooks.

Tools in the Toolbox
CCC Links