Wednesday, June 24, 2009

English from the Roots up...finished!!!

Hurrah! School's out for summer! Although we really keep learning all year round, the official sit-at-the-table-and-do-schoolwork season is over for a couple of months. (and the crowd goes wild)

Here are all the kids with their 100 English From the Roots Up cards. Do they look happy to be done???

We began English from the Roots Up in the fall of 2007. Technically, this class should only take one year to complete. We managed to stretch it out over two full years. However, we had fun doing it and we learned a lot, too. Maybe "slow and steady" really does win the race!

The kids' favorite things about the class: playing Rummy Roots and Root Word Bingo, of course. We all love games.

Their least favorite thing: when I was too lazy to think up an interesting assignment and just assigned them to find 10 words for each rootword studied that day. I can see how that would be boring. I didn't do that all the time, but it was often enough to make the class drag out over two years!

That was the one challenge I had with this program. Creativity. Some days I had it, some days I just didn't. Resources were a bit limited online, too. Apparently I'm not the only one who draws a blank when it comes to creative assignments for every day. If I had more time and faster internet, I would create a blog for Greek and Latin root word activities. That's a big IF. Don't hold your breath waiting for that blog.

Don't get me wrong, there were some really fun assignments which the kids really enjoyed.

  • Lithos: stone -- use a bar of soap as your stone and make a lithograph
  • Zoon: animal -- search for a famous zoo online. Did you know that the San Diego Zoo has webcams where you can watch the elephants live? Very cool.
  • Write a story using demos, urbis, polis, and populus (people and city) as many times as possible.
  • Make up words using the Greek and Latin root cards. Get creative!
As time went on, and as our Spanish improved, we found more and more Latin/Spanish crossovers. Surprise, surprise. I'm not sure whether the Spanish helped with the Latin or vice versa. Either way, by about halfway through the course the kids were all able to discern the meaning of the Latin roots pretty much as soon as I wrote them on the board.

Their final assignment, which is actually due at the beginning of next month, is to write a story using one Greek or Latin root word as many times as possible. I'll post them when I get them. I'm looking forward to grading this assignment!