This lesson allows students to make connections between Latin, astronomy terminology, and Greco-Roman art. Students will be introduced to the Greco-Roman myth of Phaeton and how he created the Milky Way galaxy by critically analyzing The Fall of Phaeton by Rubens. The lesson provides a detailed background that explains the artwork, guiding questions that help transition from the art to a discussion of the constellations and astronomy, step-by-step activity instructions, and an optional extension. Middle school and High School Latin students should add to this assignment by creating a list of astronomy-related words that are influenced by Latin.
This Latin activity introduces students to the differences between reading in Latin and reading in English while emulating how Latin students learned to read text. It offers two samples of familiar English texts printed in a fashion similar to ancient Latin. The first is a segment of "Cat in the Hat" as well as a segment from "To Kill a Mockingbird." As students read these selections they look for differences and similarities between the reading process in Latin and English. The link suggests that students finish the activity by looking at a sample of Virgil's Aeneid to discuss learning to read in ancient times versus modern times.
This learning activity is created to follow Social Studies and Language Arts standards however, the content makes a perfect connection to the Latin literary figures addressed in the Latin standards for the state of Alabama. The activities are in English but provide insight into "The Metamorphoses" by Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid). It includes guiding questions, background information, an essay-based assessment, and multiple extensions that allow students to compare "The Metamorphoses" with later works of art and modern poetry.