Monday, October 26, 2020

Sanjay's Super Team - Movie Talk

Here is one more Movie Talk which I would like to share with you: Sanjay's Super Team! It is now one of my all-time favorite animated shorts. Sanjay's Super Team is a Pixar short from 2015, and quite honestly, I do not remember this one at all when it came out (it was paired with Pixar's The Good Dinosaur in the theaters in 2015, and quite honestly, I do not remember that Pixar film at all either). Anyhow, I needed to preview a number of religious-related vocabulary words, such as pray to, worship, divinities, and temples (again, very specific upper-level Latin themes), so I was so glad to come upon this Pixar short.

However, a downside of this particular Movie Talk is that Sanjay's Super Team is only available on Disney + for now (it is not currently on YouTube in its entirety). Essentially, the plot is about a boy named Sanjay who loves watching superheroes on TV, but his father says that it is time to take part in a Hindu worship ceremony. Sanjay half-heartedly takes part in the worship ceremony to these divinities, but he really would rather watch superheroes on telelvision. That is where the action ensues! 

Targeted Words

colere - to worship

precari - to pray to

pupam - action figure/doll

veretur - is afraid

numina/numen - divinity

miratur - is amazed

servat - saves/rescues

ingens/ingentia - huge

templum - temple

English script

Latin script


  1. What a great multicultural animated short! Most students had not seen this Pixar short, so it was nice to be able to introduce this to them. 
  2. Once again, this movie short naturally lends itself to lots of vocabulary repetitions.
If you have Disney +, there are a lot of Pixar shorts there in its catalog which were new to me, and I am already looking for ways to use them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Sand Castle - Movie Talk

Once again, like my previous blog post, this may only relate to the teachers in the Latin community, but I hope that other language teachers may find it useful.

So like I stated in my previous blog post, in teaching upper level Latin, we find ourselves having to address some very specific vocabulary, especially words related to war, empire, and imperialism. I shared my Royal Madness movie talk with you which introduced a number of war vocabulary words, and here is another one which addresses many of these words: Sand Castle.

Target words
arma - weapons
gens/gentem - nation
imperium - empire
procul - far away
acies - battle line
delere - to destroy
occupare - to occupy
cancer - crab
dux - leader
eques - cavalry man

English script

Latin script


  1. Another great movie talk which lends itself towards lots of vocabulary repetitions.
  2. As a Latin teacher who has to deal with very specific words such as cavalry, battle line, leader, and weapons, finding this animated short was a godsend!

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Royal Madness - Movie Talk

This blog post probably only relates to the Latin teaching community but hopefully other language teachers can use this.

I have been teaching upper level Latin for the past few years, and if you do too, you know that we start to get into some very specific vocabulary themes in the upper levels, such as war, imperialism, Caesar in Gaul, empire, etc. I have also found that there are not a whole lot of school-appropriate movie shorts involving war vocabulary which I can use as movie talks to preview these words - there definitely are a lot of movie shorts out there about war, but they are either overly violent and gory or are WAY too emotional for the classroom (I once did the Robot and the Grandma as a movie talk and was told by students NEVER to do that one again, because it was way too sad!). Finally, however, I was able to find a movie short which I could manipulate to fit those war words which I needed but was still light-hearted: Royal Madness.

Target Words

appropinquat -  approaches              

bellum gerit - wages war

exercitus - army

imperator - emperor

in dolore - in grief

in proelio - in battle

mortua - dead

non iam - no longer

pax - peace

vicit - has conquered

Latin script


  1. This animated short lends itself naturally to TONS of target word repetitions!
  2. This was the first movie talk which I did this school year, and it was done completely in a digital teaching environment (before we went hybrid). Since I had not physically seen students since March and honestly, since I could not say with confidence that students actually "acquired" any Latin during that time of distance learning in the last half of the semester, I approached this particular movie talk very gingerly and assumed that this was completely new material for students. 
In my next blog post, I will share another movie talk which I did following this one which previewed more "war/imperial" vocabulary.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Using Vocabulary Know-It Boards as a Formative - Google Slides Manipulatives

As I continue to embark on this hybrid environment of teaching both digital and in-person students simultaneously, I am learning how important formative assessments and observations are in informing me as the teacher how to proceed when for most students I cannot physically witness their progress. My colleague Rachel Ash introduced me to Google Slide manipulatives, and she has demonstrated a way in which students can let me know how well they know their vocabulary: Vocabulary Know-It Boards (look for the specific activity on the page - you can actually make a copy for yourself from her example).

Essentially, from the list of 25ish provided words, students will drag the word to the quadrant which best describes their knowledge of the word: I Really Know It, I Know It, I Kind of Know It, I Don't Know It.

Student Examples:


  1. This is a really easy way for students to "check-in" with me about what they feel like they know and what they do not know.
  2. The downside of this is that the vocabulary words are presented in isolation, so in some ways, it may be that students actually do know the words when they see them in context but in isolation, they do not.
  3. Using Google Classroom, this is so easy to assign, because I just "Make a Copy for Each Student" and then they can "Turn It In" when finished.
  4. I do manually tally what words are most commonly being placed in the "I Kind of Know" and "I Don't Know" quadrants. These become the words which I target.
  5. I do make this an assignment for students to ensure that I receive feedback from every student, but I also give them a 100 as a completion grade.
  6. I do this assignment every 3-4 weeks to see what students feel like they know and what they feel like they do not know.