Sunday, October 28, 2007

Even Volcanoes Have Official Websites!

It seems there's an official website for just about everything now. This evening I came across the Official Vesuvius National Park site. There are some nice slide shows and photographs as well as some good information for students who might be getting ready to visit Pompeii and Herculeanum, or simply doing a research project.

A few other excellent sites to visit for anyone interested in Vesuvius -- especially those of you using the Cambridge Latin Course -- include:

  • Earth Observatory Maintained by NASA. Be sure to use their search option because there are quite a few images of the volcano available, as well as informative articles.
  • Volcano World Hosted by the University of North Dakota, this wonderful educational site has information about volcanoes worldwide, including a page devoted to Vesuvius. Of course, you'll find instructions on building your own volcano too! Pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about volcanoes can be found here!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Latin for Dyslexic and Blind Students

Do you have a Latin student who is blind or dyslexic who would benefit from having a digitally recorded textbook? Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic is a national, non-profit organization that provides educational materials to students with severe vision impairments (such as blindness or dyslexia). Subscribers to RFB&D must have a documented disability in order to use their library. Details are on their site.

You'll be happy to know that they have several popular Latin textbooks in their library, including the Cambridge Latin Course, Ecce Romani, and Jenney's Latin.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween Ideas!

Visit veteran Latin teacher Rose William's site for a free downloadable handout entitled "Holidays for Latin Class." Included are ideas for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day! Included is a story "Pliny's Haunted House" for intermediate Latin students.

Project Gutenberg has a downloadable version of the Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories, which includes an English language version of the aforementioned haunted house story. There's another translation at Bartleby, which was originally published in the Harvard Classics series.

VRoma has an excerpt from the original Latin text along with an English version available.

The Kentucky Educational Television Latin Course site has a version of the story with interactive vocabulary hints for readers.

If you'd prefer that your students would write their own scary stories, KET also has a lesson plan with lots of scary Latin vocabulary words!

Long Lost Masterpieces May be Recovered

Classicists may soon have some "new" scrolls to read. The Times (UK) reports that archaeologists have resumed working on excavating a villa located in the ancient city of Herculaneum (destroyed by a volcanic eruption over 2000 years ago in 79 A.D.) which they believe may hold some lost papyri.

Catullus Summer Latin Workshop at Dickinson College

Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania is hosting a Summer Latin Workshop focusing on the works of Catullus from July 13-19, 2008. The daily schedule will involve group translation and discussion of the entire extant works of Catullus.

The application deadline is May 1, 2008.

Tuition for the course is $300 (due June 4, 2008) and includes housing (single or double accommodations in college-owned houses), all meals, and access to Dickinson facilities, including library and gym. Participants are responsible for their own travel and book expenses.

The workshop faculty includes Christopher Francese, Associate Professor of Classics, Dickinson College and Meghan Reedy, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classical Studies, Dickinson College.

(Nota Bene: Those of you who listen to the Latin Poetry Podcast undoubtedly recognize Professor Francese's name!)

The Dickinson Department of Classical Studies is an approved provider of
professional development opportunities under Pennsylvania Act 48. Those who complete the workshop will receive approximately 35 hours of Act 48 credit.

For more information, or to apply, please contact Mrs. Barbara McDonald at

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pompeii: Tales from an Eruption

Those of you who live in Birmingham, Alabama (or nearby) have a unique opportunity. The Birmingham Museum of Art is currently featuring an exhibit of 500 works of art and artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum, the ancient Italian cities destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD.

To help visitors to the exhibit prepare, the curators have designed an impressive Pompeii Birmingham website. For those of us who can't go, the site is still quite impressive and worth browsing. If you're teaching a unit on Pompeii you'll find the site particularly useful. Students can read eyewitness accounts of Pliny the Younger and view actual artifacts from the show. see how the art from Pompeii has influenced modern interior designers. Teachers will especially like the printable lesson plans. and suggested reading lists.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Olivia The Essential Latin Edition

Amy High was a Virginia Latin teacher who had great vision and an amazing imagination but sadly passed away in 2003 at the young age of 39. A true loss for her family and also for the Latin teaching community as well. Realizing Latin teachers needed fun materials and incentives for their classrooms, she started her own company, Lumina, creating and distributing innovative stickers and activities to Latin teachers who couldn't find these items anywhere else. She also appeared in the ingenious Forum Romanum series, bringing spoken Latin into classrooms across the United States. Her innovative classroom technique drew the attention of Time Magazine in 2000.

Amy's legacy continues to live on through the Amy High Scholarship for aspiring and current Latin teachers as well as the Alexandria Academy of Fine Arts and Science.

Now Latin teachers have more of Amy's legacy to share with their students with the publication of her Latin translation of the beloved children's story Olivia, originally written by Ian Falconer.