A Complete Lectio, IV

salvēte iterum, amīcissimī. As promised, today we’ll look at the post-reading activities, from comprehension questions to additional story possibilities to the continuing virtual seminar.

As you’ll recall, in our last post we looked at the ways that Lectiō Secunda will present and practice the new grammatical concepts: genitive case nouns and declension patterns. We also looked at a story, which I’ll repeat here so you don’t have to go clicking about for it! 🙂

in domō Valeriī est cavus parvus. in cavō habitat mūs callidus, Rīdiculus nōmine. in cavō quoque habitat secunda mūs, Impigra nōmine. Rīdiculus est marītus Impigrae, et Impigra est uxor Rīdiculī.

Impigra est laeta, quod cavus est optimus. Rīdiculus tamen nōn est laetus. “uxor!” exclāmat Rīdiculus mūs, “hoc cēnāculum est, nōn cavus! hoc est cēnāculum optimum! cavus enim est parvus et sordidus! in cavō habitat ursus vel leō! in cavo habitat serpēns vel aper! in cavō habitat mustēla vel formica! hoc est cēnāculum optimum, nōn cavus! hoc est cēnaculum Rīdiculī mūris!”

Impigra est mūs callida. Impigra rīdet, sed nihil respondet.

in cavō habitat tertius mūs, Rapidus nōmine. Rapidus est fīlius Rīdiculī, et Rīdiculus est pater Rapidī. Rapidus est fīlius Impigrae, et Impigra est māter Rapidī. “mī Rapide,” exclāmat Rīdiculus, “hoc est cēnāculum Rapidī! hoc est cēnāculum Rīdiculī et Impigrae – nōn cavus.” Rapidus est mūs callidus. Rapidus rīdet, sed nihil respondet.

in cavō quoque habitat quārta mūs, Rapida nōmine. Rapida est fīlia Rīdiculī, et Rīdiculus est pater Rapidae. Rapida est fīlia Impigrae, et Impigra est māter Rapidae. Rapidus est frāter Rapidae, et Rapida est soror Rapidī.

“mea Rapida,” exclāmat Rīdiculus, “hoc est cēnāculum Rapidae! hoc est cēnāculum Rīdiculī et Impigrae – nōn cavus.” Rapida quoque est mūs callida. Rapida rīdet, sed nihil respondet. Rīdiculus ē cavō laetus exit.

Impigra clam rīdet. Impigra est mūs callida. Impigra susurrat, “minimē! hoc nōn est cēnāculum – est cavus Rīdiculī et Impigrae! est cavus Rapidī et Rapidae! Rapidus marītus optimus, nōn mūs callidus est. hoc tamen est vērum: Impigra est uxor Rīdiculī, et Rīdiculus est rīdiculus mūs!”

Today we’ll look at comprehension and composition exercises based on the story, beginning with comprehension.

Of course, the story is illustrated … or let’s be truthful and say it will be illustrated, as soon as the illustrations are finished. Imagine an illustration for each paragraph. And, of course, the story has (or will have) an audio version. You can click to listen as many times as you want.

When you’re done, the first thing you’ll see is this:

On a scale from 1-5, where 1 is “not at all” and 5 is “quite well,” how well do you think you understood this story?

Then, if you chose 4 or 5, you’ll see

Would you like to check your comprehension with some Quaestiōnēs?

If not, you’ll proceed. If so, you’ll get the Quaestiōnēs below.

If you chose 1, 2, or 3, you’ll see

Let’s check your comprehension with some Quaestiōnēs.

Would you prefer English or Latin questions?

Then, out of a large bank of questions, you’ll get 5 or 6 chosen at random.

The Latin options include:

  • in cuius domō est cavus parvus?
  • quis in cavō habitat?
  • cuius marītus est Rīdiculus?
  • cuius uxor est Impigra?

And the English questions include:

  • What is Ridiculus’ wife’s name?
  • How does Impigra feel about the hole?
  • What does Ridiculus want to call the hole – instead of a hole?
  • At the end of the story, what does Impigra say about Ridiculus?

With all these questions, of course, you’ll also have the opportunity to see (and hear, if you click on the audio link) the relevant portions of the text.  I suspect that you’ll also have a choice of multiple-choice or free-response questions, as well.  In any case, the purpose of the Quaestiōnēs may be a bit different from the purpose of “teacher questions” and “class discussions” in a lot of factory-model schools.  There, of course, the unstated purpose of comprehension check activities is often either “to make sure they actually did the reading” or “to accumulate some points because I have to turn in grades pretty soon.”  By contrast, in the Tres Columnae system, the purpose of comprehension checks is … to check comprehension!  So, if you have trouble, the system will give you some extra practice (or at least suggest some extra practice you might undertake).  And, if you’d like, you can repeat the comprehension check until you feel like you do have an adequate understanding of the story.  Regardless of your choice, you, the learner, are in control of the learning process here.  You own it, and you also own the results … good or bad … that you’ve acheived.

Anyway, after reading the story, and checking your comprehension, you have a number of options to follow up on it.  The goal, of course, is to gain further ownership of the “new things” (in this case, genitive noun forms and some new vocabulary) by using them to create something yourself.  To help you a bit, we’ll provide you with a link called

Arca Verbōrum

As you create stories, you may want to refer to this complete list of words and phrases we know:

There will eventually be a complete Arca for each Lectiō, including the new words from that Lectiō as well as the familiar words from previous Lectiōnēs.  Since we now know how to make nouns, given standard dictionary information, the nouns will be listed that way.  Verbs and adjectives will still be listed in an unconventional way until we know how to use their dictionary listings. Soon enough, though, Tres Columnae participants will have sufficient ownership of Latin dictionary listings that they can (at least attempt to) find words for themselves in a tool like Glossa or the Lewis & Short English-to-Latin dictionary available through Perseus.

Anyway, to follow up on a Tres Columnae story, you the participant will normally have a set of standard options and some unique story-starters.  The standard options are:

  • Create and upload an audio version of the story, with appropriate sound effects.
  • Create and upload new, improved illustrations for the story – or for any scene in it.
  • Create and upload a video version of the story.
  • Create some new questions about the story – and their answers.
  • Create some new forms-analysis questions (or other exercises) about the story – and answer them.

The point, as you can see, is to give you, the learner, several options to delve more deeply into the story – to re-read it with more careful eyes and ears.  Of course, you’ll also have the option to create your own type of response and submit that.  But you can also choose from creative prompts like these:

  • Valerius also has a dog named Ferox, whose mate is named Medusa. They live in peristyliō, but might want to live in other parts of the house. Imagine their conversation. Scribe Latīnē. Remember to include at least one nōmen cāsūs genitīvī.
  • Valerius’ neighbor, a very wealthy man named Flavius Caeso, has a pet weasel (mustēla) named Sabīna. She lives in cubiculō but (like most weasels in the fable tradition) has no mate. Imagine her conversation with Ferox or Medusa.
  • Lots of animals live on Caelius’ farm, and on the nearby mountain. They include
    • Fortunata the bōs, and her mate Maximus the taurus, in stabulō
    • Primus the asinus, and his mate Prima, in stabulō
    • Lupus the wolf, and his mate Lupa, in cavō in monte Vesuviō
  • Choose one or more pairs and write their conversation … about something!

In these cases, as you can see, the emphasis is on communication and creativity.  You, the learner, get to decide what the story is about; you get to create it; and you get to make any corrections that need to be made.  Of course, the editing functions are one big reason that we’ll have to charge an access fee for participants who want to do content creation this way; another reason is that, as our multimedia content grows, our hosting costs probably will too.

quid putātis, amīcissimī?

  • How do you like the way we’ve moved from story to comprehension to creation in this Lectiō?
  • What do you think of the questions?  Do you want to see more of them (including some multiple-choice responses and distractors)?
  • Do you think we should include English questions at this early phase, or should we assume our participants should be capable of Latin responses?
  • And what do you think of the possible writing prompts?

Next time we’ll look at a possible rubric for scoring the participant-created writing, and we’ll also consider possible Continuing Virtual Seminar topics. And then I’ll have a hugely important question about Verbs!

Tune in next time … and in the meantime, please keep those comments and e-mails coming.


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