Minimus: Starting Out in Latin Student
The Minimus Latin program for younger children takes a very similar approach as is found in Cambridge Latin (please see description for more details). Students are introduced to basic Latin vocabulary and culture as they follow the adventures of Minimus the mouse throughout the texts. In the Minimus: Starting Out in Latin text, students will meet Minimus and an actual Roman family that lived in Vindolanda in ancient Britain. Each lesson begins with a full-color, illustrated cartoon with Latin dialogue in speech balloons. A short vocabulary list of the Latin words used in the cartoon follows, with English translations so students begin the program able to read the cartoons. A "Grasp the Grammar" section explains the simple Latin grammar used in the dialogue section. The Latin vocabulary taught is also reflected in root-based exercises, where students identify the Latin word they have learned in the lesson within a familiar English word. At this point another Latin cartoon story is included along with accompanying vocabulary, so there are two cartoon stories per chapter. Chapters are rounded out with tidbits of Roman culture in a "Roman Report" and classic Roman myths or stories to enjoy (in English). Most fascinating, however, are the photos of artifacts related to the Roman family that is featured in the text. This almost brings a little archaeology into the classroom too! At the end of each chapter, vocabulary is reviewed. In short, the chapters are constructed very similarly to Cambridge Latin stages but at a much lower level.
While the text is the centerpiece of the program, there are also audio CDs and teacher's resources available. The audio CDs contain performances of the two cartoon dialogues from each lesson, which is helpful in learning the correct pronunciation. If you, as the teacher, have never studied Latin, the Teacher's Resource Guide should be of great help. For each lesson, the teacher's guide includes the English translations of the cartoon stories, background information on the story and Roman subjects of the story, answers or teaching helps for the grammar section, Latin root exercises answers, and suggested cross-curricular extension activities. Each lesson also refers to specific activity sheets, which are included at the back of the teacher's resource. These may be photocopied for the students. A complete glossary of Latin words and a completion certificate are also included in the teacher's resource. Designed as a gentle and entertaining introduction to Latin, this course should be enjoyable for you and your student even if neither of you has any prior experience with Latin. - Jess