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Volume 17, Issue 1 Newsletter for the Excellence Through Classics (ETC), a standing committee of the American Classical League (ACL)

2012 Petrino Award winner, Zoë Cloud (left) and her Latin teacher, Melissa Cannata (right).

SIXTH-GRADER ZOË CLOUD FINDS MINERVA AS HER MUSE Cloud awarded one of two prestigious 2012 Julia K. Petrino awards. Teacher notes Cloud’s longtime interest, enthusiasm has blossomed in the classroom with her first-year undertaking of Latin, Classical Studies. Zoë Cloud was one of two recipients of the 2012 Julia K. Petrino book

In her nomination letter to the Excellence Through Classics (ETC) award


committee, Cannata relayed that “Cloud’s scripts and illustrations are

Blaise Millman from the Classical Homeschool Academy of

Princeton of Princeton, NJ was also selected for this honor.

remarkably creative and spirited by the stories that inspire her writing.”

Cloud received flawless scores on subject tests of Greco-Roman

Cloud stated, “I’m really interested in creative writing, and a lot of my

mythology, Iliad and Norse mythology. Cloud’s teacher, Melissa Cannata,

inspiration comes from Greek, Norse and sometimes Native American

relayed that Zoë is overjoyed that her dedication in the field of Classics

mythology. I have created my own pantheon in my stories.”

has been merited. In more recent years, Cloud has written a number of short stories in Latin, Cloud is currently in the sixth grade at Science & Arts Academy, a private

including a more feminist rendition of the women’s lives in the textbook

school for gifted learners in Des Plaines, IL. Although Cloud has just

series Ecce Romanī.

begun taking classes in Latin last year, her interest in mythology and Classics goes back to Kindergarten, when she created a series called

Cloud said that she thinks Classics “helps us understand the modern

“Athena and Pals.”

world. It’s true when they say that the past is the key to the future.”

“Her story was about the daily life of the young goddess of wisdom, her

Cloud has already finished reading the Odyssey (Lattimore translation) in

annoying younger brother Ares, her best friend Artemis and other

its entirety and began reading the Iliad in preparation for her NME test

members of the Greek pantheon,” Cannata relayed.

last year. Story continues on page 7



PRIMA Nos morituri te salutamus — A view from Rome’s famous Colosseum.

ASCANIUS, ETC AWARD GRANT-PAGE 5 Third grade teacher April Buckmaster from Elkton, VA, participates in grant to attend an Ascanius Roman Explorer’s workshop.




Princeton, NJ student Blaise Millman’s zeal for mythology leads to 2012 Julia K. Petrino Memorial Book Award.

Nancy Boudreau, a World Language peer, distills class tips gleaned from 26+ years of teaching.

From the Chair: Focus on outreach, social media things and the importance of the work that ETC does. To that end, it is my sincere hope that this newsletter serves to inform and inspire you. Second, I am proud to follow Rachel Ash in steering the ETC ship. She has led well and I hope to continue the fantastic momentum we have going. Michelle Ramahlo is moving into the position of Vice Chair (while welcoming a little one to her family), and Christine Hahn is coming on as our new secretary. And with a productive spring and summer behind us, including the fabulous 65th American Classical League Institute in Las Vegas, NV, the committee is hard at work on some exciting things, both new and old. ETC’s newly-minted chair, K.C. Kless, is a Latin and Leadership Teacher at Indian Hill Middle and High Schools in Cincinnati, OH.

As you may have noted, ETC’s redesigned website is running well and looking good. Hopefully it works for you as nicely as it does for us.

Salvēte Omnēs!

If you find anything missing or difficult to find, don’t hesitate to contact me. At the First off, thank you for picking up a copy s a m e t i m e , i f y o u fi n d a n y t h i n g of PRIMA. particularly useful or well-done, get in touch about those items as well. It demonstrates your strong interest in the Excellence Through Classics Also, this year the Classics Club Committee (ETC), the Classics, the field program, or ‘little’ Junior Classical of education and the young people who League (JCL), for grades 2-6, is being are about to make the future theirs. piloted. Its aim is to bring the enthusiasm for the Classics and club camaraderie It also means that you may understand found in JCL to younger students. and even share my passion for those



If you would like your students to get involved with Classics Clubs, check out our Classics Club web-page and complete an interest survey, or simply get in touch with Classics Club chair Zee Ann Poerio. And I continue to be excited about ETC’s outreach in the world of social media of Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps it was even a connection there that led to you to read this issue of PRIMA. Please follow us on Twitter @etclassics or like us on Facebook to get updates on things ETC and ACL, connect with friends of ETC like Ascanius Youth Classics Institute and Roman Mysteries’ author Caroline Lawrence, and generally interesting Classics/education news from around the internet. In the coming months, I hope to be sharing more exciting news about the programs ETC is developing, both through those social media outlets, as well more traditionally on our website. And in the meantime, enjoy this issue of PRIMA, skillfully edited by the extraordinary Micheal Posey, and best of luck inspiring the leaders of tomorrow with the wisdom of the past. Cura ut valeas,


To keep up with ETC news, check out our site



K.C. Kless Chair, ETC



From the Editor:

FL peers to the rescue! As a teacher of both modern and classical languages, I’m always intrigued by how distant some of my colleagues who teach the Classics are from their world language peers. In attending professional conferences on both sides of the linguistic aisle, I’ve discovered a myriad of activities and information that benefit both of my academic pursuits — that go-to game of Jeopardy works equally as well in my Spanish class as it does for chapter review for my Latin classes. Everyone loves a little competition and a change from the mundane.

Thus, I was thrilled when Nancy Boudreau, a German teacher and World Language chair at Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City, OK, agreed to share her 26+ years of sage experience with our readers in this issue of PRIMA. Her wonderful literary offering gives invaluable tips that will benefit any teacher’s toolbox. Who knew that there is a place for tennis balls! I challenge you to incorporate some of Boudreau’s games in your lesson plans and sit back and watch the energy they create.

Iliad by Dr. Cliff Broeniman, a teacher of the Classics at the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies in Richmond, VA, and a report from a grant participant, April Buckmaster, a third-grade teacher at Elkton Elementary School in Elkton, VA.

In addition to learning from a World Language peer, PRIMA hopes to make thinking about and planning the second half of your academic year easier. We have a great bevy of articles from colleagues in this fall/winter issue.

Finally, I thank all of you for everything that you do to promote the Classics. Keep up the good work. All the best!

I would like to personally thank all that have contributed to this issue and those who volunteer their time, energy and efforts to pen articles for PRIMA.

Micheal A. Posey Editor, PRIMA

This issue highlights our two 2012 Julia K. Petrino Memorial Book Award winners, a review of a recent translation of the


Buckmaster Granted Opp to Review Testing Benchmarks Roman Explorers Program Brings History to Life for Third Graders

Third grade teacher, April Buckmaster (above) participated in a grant sponsored by the Ascanius Youth Classics Institute and Excellence Through Classics to attend a Roman Explorers Program.

Through a grant from the Ascanius Y o u t h C l a s s i c s Institute and Excellence T h r o u g h C l a s s i c s (ETC), the third graders at E l k t o n Elementary School in E l k t o n , VA , were given the opportunity to be immersed in the culture of ancient Rome for the day this past May.

pictures that belonged to their god or goddess! The Roman culture sessions were the favorites of the students, however. The children enjoyed using food to create edible mosaics and roads! As the day came to an end, the program concluded with an authentic Roman banquet. Students were thrilled to be dressed in togas to sample cheese, olives, and grape juice. The Roman Explorers outreach program helped to bring our history curriculum to life. It was enjoyable for our third graders, and it gave me a wealth of new ideas for teaching my ancient Rome unit for next year!

Linda Doherty, the challenge teacher at Elkton Elementary school was awarded the grant and chose to have the school’s third grade participate.

According to the Ascanius’ website, “elementary school students delve into the Latin language, Roman culture, ancient mythology, and English word study based on Latin roots” during the Roman Explorer’s workshop.

This was both an interesting introduction to Latin and a review of Virginia’s History Standards of Learning for the ancient civilization of Rome. Third grade is a state testing year for the Standards of Learning.

“Experienced and award-winning faculty who have spearheaded the drive to incorporate Classics in the elementary grades serve as the instructors, working with a tried-and-true curriculum.

During the Roman Explorers outreach program, our nine-year-olds first were give instruction in basic conversational Latin.

[The Roman Explorer’s] workshop helps to strengthen academic knowledge and better prepare students to meet standards and to succeed on assessments.”

The students enjoyed learning how to ask and respond to “How are you?” In fact, “Quid agis?” became a commonly heard phrase throughout the remainder of the school year! Next, students learned about Roman gods and goddesses. How excited they were to hunt through the room for symbols and

Contact Ms. Buckmaster at

Contact the Ascanius Youth Classics Institute at


“This was both an interesting introduction to Latin and a review of Virginia’s History Standards of Learning for the ancient civilization of Rome.”

“I As the day came to an end, the program concluded with an authentic Roman banquet. Students were thrilled to be dressed in togas to sample cheese, olives, and grape juice.”

Reviewer Lends Insights into Recent Iliad Translation Stephen Mitchell has rendered a gracefully flowing and splendidly sounding translation of Homer’s Iliad (Free Press, 2011) complete with introduction and appendices to help new and experienced readers. Mitchell’s translation deserves praise for its rhythmical fluency which results from “minimally” a 5 beat iambic line. Priam asks Helen about the identities of the warriors:

I concur. Mitchell has not produced a line by line translation. The length of the translation, book by book, mostly falls “Tell me now, what is the name of that within 60 lines of the splendid man / who is standing down Greek. there, so powerful and so tall.” Mitchell’s introduction Mitchell writes that [this line] “has from reveals his passion for 12 to 14 syllables…the extra syllables the epic, and focuses give it something of the sound of Greek on major themes like honor, fate, and major verse. characters. His overview is insightful and reveals the Iliad’s complex humanity. Appendices cover Iliad 10, introductory sections, translation, Greek text and pronunciation. There are no endnote marks Stephen Mitchell’s recent translation of Homer’s Iliad has been heralded by the Wall Street Journal as “a daring new version of the epic poem.” to prompt readers. This 560-page tome was published by Free Press in August 2012.

Our book reviewer, Dr. Cliff Broeniman (above), teaches Classics at the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School for Government and International Studies in Richmond, VA.

Mitchell follows Martin West’s edition of the Iliad which If you wish to read a gracefully modern results in the omission of suspected translation of Homer’s Iliad after its slight diet, you will thoroughly enjoy passages. Mitchell’s Iliad.

About 1000 verses have been omitted which includes Book 10 (S. Butler’s A review copy of Stephen Mitchell’s prosaic translation (1898) is located in Iliad was provided by the book’s publisher, Free Press. I have also worked at keeping the the appendix). rhythms from becoming too regular and have varied them so that no two A translator should err on the side of Contact Mr. Broeniman at consecutive lines have the identical inclusion, not exclusion. rhythm.…I have tried to sound natural… n e i t h e r t o o f o r m a l n o r t o o Mitchell’s liberal omission or changes of colloquial” (lix). patronymics and stock epithets disguise the language of Homer.



Continued from page 1 When asked why Classics inspires her, Cloud Aside from Classical literature, Zoë is mostly said, “Greek mythology entices me. When you interested in science-fiction and fantasy. “I’m think of a god, you think of someone all- generally more interested in the less realistic powerful. In the Classics, the gods seem really reaches of fiction,” she explained. human. It helps me make sense of things.” Cannata relayed in Cloud’s recommendation that Cloud’s interest has been evident in her Latin and Classical Studies classroom. Not only has she advanced through the Ecce Romani I textbook independently, but Cloud has worked on outside Latin written projects using the Minimus Latin series.

2012: Zoe Cloud from Science and Arts Academy; teacher Melissa Cannata

Last year, Cloud worked on a class project in

2012: Blaise Millman from Classical Homeschool Academy; teacher Amy Mandelker

composition in Latin, a challenging task for any

which she wrote a script in the voice of the Roman poet Vergil. While most students wrote their scripts in English, Cloud chose to write her fifth-grader. Cloud would like to grow up to become an author and biologist.

2011: Anna Schoeck from Master's Academy; teacher Sherrie Madden 2011: Ariel Silver from Crossroads Academy; teacher Jessica Lahey 2010: Divya Ramakrishnan from the Meadows School; teacher Kimberly Kemtes 2009: Vickie Williams from The Wilson School; teacher Joana OcrosRitter 2009: Evan Robert Draim from St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School; nominator Ian Hochberg 2008: Lucy Cabell Ross from Aletheum School; teacher Elizabeth Pyle Ross 2008: Brandon Chawner from The Chawner Academy; teacher Robyn Chawner

Information provided by Melissa Cannata,

Cloud (above), dresses as Vergil for a Roman banquet.

Science and Arts Academy, Des Plaines, IL.

Millman Earns Accolades as 2012 Julia K. Petrino Memorial Book Award Winner Blaise Millman, an 8th grader at the Classical Homeschool Academy of Princeton in Princeton, NJ, was also selected as a 2012 Julia K. Petrino Memorial Book Award Winner. His nominator, Dr. Amy Mandelker noted Millman’s passion in his study of mythology in her nominating letter to ETC. “Millman has, since second grade, been so passionate about mythology, and over the years has built such extensive, even prodigious knowledge of his subject, that the other member of [his] Junior Classical League chapter felt it necessary to create a special office for [him]: OracleMythographer.” Also in 2012, Millman won First Place in the National mythology essay contest sponsored by the MEDUSA Mythology Exam for his story about the Lernean Hydra. Although Blaise entered the contest as an 8th grader,


his perfect score on the MEDUSA Mythology exam and his essay garnered him the top prize nationally, winning over High School entrants. The Minerva Achievement Award includes a cash prize of $750 which Millman will use to buy more mythology books. In addition to Millman’s zeal for all things classical. Mandelker noted that he is involved in his county’s Youth Leadership program and participates regularly in community project through his church. The recipients of the Petrino award are selected based on their performance on the NME and other activities in the field of Classics. Applications for consideration for the Petrino award can be downloaded here: Information provided by Dr. Amy Mandelker, Faculty Sponsor, JCL Chapter, Classical Homeschool Academy of Princeton, Princeton, NJ.

GERMAN TEACHER, WORLD LANGUAGE CHAIR, BOUDREAU, UNVEILS TIPS, TRICKS FOR ANY LANGUAGE CLASSROOM Teaching is easier if the students are organized, focused and motivated.

Meet the Teacher: Nancy Boudreau is a German teacher and World Language chair at Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma City, OK. !!!!!!!

Here are just ten ideas to help you get your students in the right frame of mind to learn. Organizational Ideas To keep students focused and involved, have assigned seats that change at the start of every chapter or unit. The teacher can eliminate problems, create better groups and best of all, no more whining. Seating Chart: Keep student names arranged on Post-it Notes inside a sleeve protector to make rearranging easier. Tennis balls on the legs of chairs enable them to be moved around quickly and QUIETLY. Bell Ringers keep students busy at the beginning of class for 5 minutes or less so that the teacher can take role, count homework or just deal with whatever requires attention.



A 26+ year veteran in the classroom, she has a myriad of classroom materials and ideas. She encourages teachers to contact her with questions. She teaches German 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

The Verb-of-the-day requires students to conjugate a verb per day using the tenses they know. To choose a leader for group activities: On the count of 3, everyone in the group points to one person. That person stands and points at the group leader. Group roles: Leader – keeps people on task, Secretary – takes notes and reads back, Timekeeper – keeps track of how long to end of task, Gofer – goes and gets anything needed by group Ring a bell (Pavlov) or a timer to signal the end of an activity. Story continues on page 9



“Teaching is easier if the students are organized, focused and motivated.”

Change seating at the start of every chapter or unit!

Include a bell-ringer activity to allow time to deal with classroom obligations.

[8] is an Internet resource for language students to conjugate a verb a day.

ETC honors Diana Nixon with Callliope Award Excellence Through Classics (ETC) is proud to honor Diana Nixon with this year’s Calliope Award. Nixon, who teaches ancient history at Wichita Collegiate School in Wichita, KS, has served in several leadership positions on ETC and has been a tireless worker for the advancement of classics both inside and outside of the classroom. During her career Diana has served ETC in the positions of secretary (twice), vice-chair, and chair, and created the Julia K. Petrino and Calliope Awards to honor both students and teachers who go above and beyond in the Classics. In addition, Nixon has been part of the National Mythology Exam (NME) committee for over twenty years. Her

service on the NME committee includes serving as chair. Nixon also envisioned the development, creation and distribution of NME activity packets, the official teaching materials for the exam. Dixon has served as secretary of the American Classical League (ACL) and as a member of its Finance Committee. Additionally, Nixon has been a frequent presenter at ACL Summer Institutes. Naming Nixon as this year’s Calliope Award recipient was a means to laud her for her tireless dedication to the cause of the Classics.

Nixon (left) receives her award from National Mythology Exam Chair, Allison Feigel (right).

Awarded every two years by ETC, The Calliope Award is designed to recognize individuals who have

demonstrated long-term commitment to the promotion and advancement of Classical studies in elementary and middle schools.

Boudreau offers vocabulary activities to spice up any class Continued from page 8

Vocabulary Activities

One student from each team sits in chairs with HANDS IN THE LAP. Teacher says WORD BINGO: Students make a 5 x 5 grid. word or asks question. Student who grabs toy They put the words (in target language only – first is allowed to answer. NO ENGLISH) one to a box, in the center is free. Drawing pictures is optional. If correct, point for the team. If wrong, point subtracted and other person may answer. To play: Teacher says the word in English, they mark the board. When they get 5 in a If right, point for team. If wrong, point row, say “Bingo.” They read back in target subtracted. Next person from the team takes language. When verified, they become “the each seat. Continue. teacher.” POISON OR PRESENT? — Have four Lotto is the same but just 4 x 4 grid. Can do prepared cards with presents (a piece of 3 x 4 grid, but then no diagonal wins. candy, one bonus point) or poison (sing a song, count from 1-30, describe someone in TIC TAC TOE – Play with a partner; play the room). multiple games - as finish one, go on to new grid. Student A puts marker on grid. Teacher Randomly pick a card and put it in a box with says a word (or asks a question or gives a a ribbon on it. Set timer for 2 minutes. verb…). Ask students in turn a question (or have them Student A WHISPERS answer to B. Teacher illustrate a grammar point). If they answer says correct answer. correctly, they pass the box to the next student. If A was right, gets to mark the spot. If not, then don’t. Student B repeats process. If they make an error, they hold the box until someone else makes an error and then passes SEIZE THE DOG — Can be used with the box to them. (S)He with the box at the vocabulary words or questions on content or end of 2 minutes opens it and gets a “present who said that or who lives where or … two or poison.” student desks are put “nose to nose.” Stuffed toy is in the middle. Contact Ms. Boudreau at


WORD BINGO: Students make a 5 x 5 grid. They put the words (in target language only – NO ENGLISH) one to a box, in the center is free. Drawing pictures is optional.

POISON OR PRESENT? — Have four prepared cards with presents (a piece of candy, one bonus point) or poison (sing a song, count from 1-30, describe someone in the room).

Henry Advocates How to Foster Numeracy Skills in the Latin Classroom1 With the advent of the Common Core State Standards2 and continued emphasis on standardized tests, there is increasing pressure on teachers of all subjects to clarify the contributions their course curricula make to improving literacy and numeracy skills. In Latin classrooms, the connections to language arts standards are plain, but the associations with mathematics standards may be less immediately apparent. The inclusion of numeracy building exercises in the language classroom need not be forced with such activities as tedious mathematical word problems (at best tenuously related to our subject), but rather requires that we acknowledge and augment the precision, reasoning, and argumentation skills that are already integral to many Latin curricula.

estimate the length of time it would take on foot, on horseback, or on sea. Explore how the time taken changes if a winter storm reduces ship speed by 25%, or highway robbers make off with the horses halfway along. Use online mapping sites to determine modern-day travel times for the same trips and calculate the percent increase in speed. The distance and percentage calculations align well with learning objectives in algebra I and geometry. Every Word Counts

The challenge for Latin teachers is twofold: first, to identify what elements of existing instruction foster mathematical thought, and second, to create additional opportunities for students to cultivate their quantitative reasoning skills.

Statistics students who are studying Latin literature will find many occasions for data collection and analysis with regard to scansion and word choice. Compare the relative frequencies of dactyls or spondees and consult, for instance, the word frequency tools at the Perseus Digital Library4 or the concordances in the Vergil Project5 and have students analyze the effects that an author’s metrical and lexical choices have on the overall feel of a work.

Numbers, Hours, and Coins, Oh My!

Literature about Math

Units on Roman numerals, time-telling, and currency lend themselves well to arithmetic activities and symbolic representations of quantities.

My favorite “mathematical” Latin activity is to assign reading passages with mathematical content. For several centuries Latin was the lingua franca of mathematicians.

Exploration into relative values of one coin against another can be especially helpful in reinforcing addition, subtraction, and multiplication of fractions. Liven up pecuniary studies by having students exchange coins as part of a (shortened) game of Monopoly or (where permitted) as bets on a rousing game of Latin Scrabble (tiles may be printed or ordered online3). Hit the Road Map-reading affords another opportunity for discussions of quantity. Take any travel story (Catullus in Carmen 101, Aeneas and company in the Aeneid, a character in your textbook, etc.) and have students research the distances between each destination along the journey and

Our author, Ms. Kelly Henry (above), teaches Latin and math at Holyoke Catholic High School in Chicopee, MA. As an undergraduate, Henry attended Kenyon College where she majored in both mathematics and Classics. Henry also has a master’s degree in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto.

In general, keep an eye out for any appearance of numbers, amounts, or measurements already present in your Latin lessons. The inclusion of mathematical thought adds yet another layer of richness to our subject. 1Gratias

Students may be surprised to find that the text they are reading turns out to be a description of Fibonacci’s sequence6, Boethius’ treatise on arithmetic7 or a Vitruvian how-to manual for building siege engines. For more hands-on approaches, combine forces with a geometry teacher to turn a traditional mosaic project into a study of symmetries, transformations, and surface tiling. If assigning a model project on a famous monument, require it to be a scale representation. Bring Roman engineering to life by applying geometric concepts to a class reconstruction of an aqueduct. The possibilities are endless.


to Laura Higley whose query on the Latinteach listserv provided the impetus for this article. 2


3 4 5 6 h t t p : / / w w w. r o s e r w i l l i a m s . c o m /




Contact Ms. Henry at

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed the National Mythology Exam on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2010-2011.

National Mythology Exam and the Exploratory Latin Exam sponsored by the

American Classical League Excellence Through Classics Committee


ETC Executive Committee K.C. Kless Chair

Christine Hahn Secretary

Michelle Ramahlo Vice Chair

Rachel Ash Immediate Past Chair

Allison Fiegel NME Chair

Courtney Shaw ELE Chair

Andrew Carroll Exam Activity Packet Editor

Geri Dutra Administrative Secretary

Zee Ann Poerio Classics Club Chair

Micheal A. Posey PRIMA editor

Deadline for 2013 PRIMA SUMMER submissions is May 15! ETC is now on Facebook (search for Excellence Through Classics). Like us now! Follow us on Twitter (search for etclassics).

The American Classical League Excellence Through Classics for Elementary and Middle Levels Miami University 422 Wells Mill Drive Oxford, OH 45056

PRIMA-Winter 2013  

Newsletter sponsored by Excellence Through Classics (ETC), a standing organization of the American Classical League (ACL).

PRIMA-Winter 2013  

Newsletter sponsored by Excellence Through Classics (ETC), a standing organization of the American Classical League (ACL).