Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Picture Talk - Family Member Vocabulary

Here is a Picture Talk idea which I have been doing for years, and quite honestly, I began doing this long before I embraced Comprehensible Input and was teaching solely the reading method out of the Cambridge Latin Course. Since the very first stage of the Cambridge Latin Course introduces the family around which the readings revolve, here is how I introduced family member vocabulary.

The following script is in Latin, but it should be quite comprehensible and can be adapted into any language.

Target words for this Picture Talk (write these words on the board with their English meaning)
pater (father), mater (mother), filius (son), filia (daughter), infans (baby), canis (dog), liberi (children), est (is), sunt (are), -ne (?), quis (who - masculine form), quae (who - feminine form), quot (how many)

Haec (this) est Simpson familia. In Simpson familia est Homer. (point to Homer) Homer est pater. Homer est pater in Simpson familia. When I said, “Homer est pater in Simpson familia,” what did that mean? Yes, Homer is the father in the Simpson family. Homer est pater in Simpson familia, et Marge est mater.

(point to Marge). Estne Marge mater? Estne Marge mater an pater? Estne Marge pater? Quis est pater? Estne Homer mater? Quae est mater? Homer est pater, et Marge est mater in Simpson famila.

Sed (but) Bart (point to Bart) non est pater. Bart non est mater. Bart est filius. When I say “Bart est filius,” what am I saying in English? Estne Bart mater? Estne Bart mater an filius? Estne Bart filius? Estne Bart pater? Quis est pater? Quae est Marge - mater an filius? Homer est pater, Marge est mater, et Bart est filius.

(point to Lisa) Haec (this) est Lisa. Lisa non est pater, non est mater, et non est filius. Lisa est filia. Estne Lisa filius and filia? Look at the words “filius” and “filia” - what is the difference between the words in Latin? Quis est filius? Quae est filia? Quis est pater? Quae est mater?

(point to Maggie) Haec (his) est Maggie. Maggie non est mater, non est pater, non est filius, sed Maggie est filia. Maggie est infans. When I said "Maggie est infans," what did I say in English? Maggie est infans. Estne Lisa infans? Quae est Lisa? Estne Bart infans? Quis est Bart?

(point to dog) Santa’s Little Helper non est mater, non est pater, non est filius, et non est filia. Santa’s Little Helper est canis. What is a “canis” in English? What word in English do we get from “canis”? Estne Santa's Little Helper? Estne Snoopy canis? Estne Snoopy and Winnie the Pooh canis? Estne Winnie the Pooh canis?

In Simpson familia sunt tres liberi (count to three and point to each of the children in the picture as you do it) - unus, duo, tres. When I said "In Simpson familia sunt tres liberi," what did I mean in English? Tres liberi sunt in Simpson familia. Suntne duo liberi in Simpson familia? Suntne quattuor liberi in Simpson familia? Quot canes sunt in Simpson familia?

(You can introduce Snowball the Cat if you want, and circle that word).

(Now do the same for the following families - you will find that you will not need to circle as much for the second and third pictures, because students are very familiar with the vocabulary. For the fourth and fifth pictures, now ask students who is who in each of the families. "In the Griffin family, quis est canis? quae est mater? Estne infans in Griffin familia? Quis est infans? Quot liberi sunt in Griffin familia?")





Observations
  1. Because this activity involves very limited vocabulary, meaning is established, and vocabulary is presented in a meaningful context with LOTS of repeated exposure, students acquire these words quickly.
  2. Because we are dealing with tv show families, the activity is compelling for students.
  3. One of the drawbacks of this picture is that students are not familiar with every tv show family. I used to do the Brady Bunch, but students no longer know they are (I weep for this generation). I do not watch Family Guy, so I am very honest with students and tell them, "I don't who this family is. Can you tell me about them in Latin?"

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