Middle School Curriculum Guide
The Latin program begins in sixth grade. The primary goals for the sixth-grade program are to develop understanding of the elementary structure of the language, leading to facility in reading basic Latin; to expand English vocabulary through the study of Latin derivatives; and to develop appreciation for the world of the ancient Romans, an area that students have already and will continue to explore in social studies courses. Regular reinforcement of previously introduced grammatical concepts and vocabulary words is a part of every class; as students become comfortable with that knowledge, integration of the material into the reading of connected Latin prose becomes a regular feature of class time, as well. The discipline of translation, with its focus on the function of every word, teaches the student as much about the workings of the English language as it does about Latin. The continuing saga of the Roman family, as narrated by the stories in the textbook, gives students a unique perspective on Roman life for young people of the first century AD.
By the end of the sixth grade, Latin students should demonstrate reasonable mastery of the following:
- basic Latin grammar, including identification of subjects, direct objects, predicate nouns and adjectives, verb agreement, noun cases, and prepositions
- reading of basic Latin prose for comprehension and grammatical parsing
- translation of basic Latin prose into accurate and coherent English
- basic Latin prose vocabulary of approximately 200 words, with appropriate derivatives in English
- basic elements of Roman history and culture, and their relationship to the modern world
In seventh grade, the Latin program focuses primarily upon the continued acquisition of fundamental language skills: mastery of vocabulary and forms, grammatical analyses, production of accurate and precise translations from Latin to English, reading passages of Latin prose for comprehension, word derivation, and correct pronunciation of Latin words. Forms, grammatical structures, and vocabulary words are introduced, reinforced through a variety of in-class activities and assignments, and finally assessed in various ways. Vocabulary building develops continually through repetition in reading and through regular memorization. In order to add a contemporary spirit and vitality to an ancient language, Latin is read aloud daily, and composition (translating English into Latin) becomes an emphasis of instruction.
Daily practice in the detailed analysis of Latin sentences and the study of Latin derivations provide skills essential to the understanding of the workings of English and other languages. The discipline of translation, with its concentration on the function of every word, teaches the student as much about English as it does about Latin. Integrated into the program are brief readings in English about Roman history and culture, which form the basis for extended project work on the nature of the Roman world, such as project-based learning about the Trojan War, Greek and Roman gods and goddesses, and mythology.
By the end of the year, seventh-grade students should demonstrate reasonable mastery of the following:
- fundamental concepts that make up the structure of Latin and the application of these to English
- parts of speech and the structure of Latin sentences
- noun endings of the first three declensions
- adjectives of the first two declensions
- noun/adjective agreement
- verbs of all conjugations (including irregulars) in the present, imperfect, and future tenses (active voice), as well as their infinitives and imperatives
- prepositions, and which cases govern them
- comprehension of Latin sentences and passages
- translations of Latin sentences and passages into accurate and coherent English grammatical analyses
- approximately 400 Latin vocabulary words, along with relevant English derivatives
- increasingly detailed elements of Roman history and culture, and their relationship to the modern world
In eighth grade, the Latin program continues the acquisition of language skills begun in Grades 6 and 7. By the end of eighth grade, Latin students have completed Latin I. The course’s primary areas of focus are mastery of grammatical forms and vocabulary/relevant derivatives, grammatical and syntactical analyses, and translation and comprehension skills. Forms, grammatical structures, and vocabulary words are introduced, reinforced through a variety of in-class activities and assignments, and finally assessed in various ways. Vocabulary building develops continually through repetition in reading and through regular memorization. Correct Latin pronunciation is emphasized, and students continue to practice composition (translation of English into Latin) in order to make this ancient language present and vital. The daily practice of translation, with its concentration on the functional equivalent of every word, teaches the student as much about expression in English as it does about expression in Latin. In eighth grade, students begin to see original Latin literature in readings that parallel the regular lessons. There are also regular readings in English about Roman history and culture, which form the basis for extended project work in the nature of the Roman world, such as project-based learning about Roman coins and various historical and mythological courses of study. Through this integrated program, each student gains an understanding of the Latin language within the context of Roman civilization and can make relevant connections to our contemporary world.
Successful completion of eighth-grade Latin enables a student to enter Latin 2 in ninth grade.
By the end of the eighth-grade program, students should demonstrate mastery of the following skills/areas of study:
- all five declensions of nouns and three declensions of adjectives
- all six tenses of verbs in four conjugations, in both active and passive voices, plus five irregular verbs (indicative mood)
- present infinitive and the imperative of verbs of four conjugations and of five irregular verbs
- personal, possessive, reflexive, demonstrative, indefinite, interrogative, and relative pronouns/adjectives
- comprehension of Latin sentences and passages
- translations of Latin sentences and passages into accurate and coherent English
- grammatical analyses
- approximately 750 Latin vocabulary words
- parts of speech and articulate the grammatical and syntactic structure of Latin sentences
- understand the basic concepts of the structure of Latin and the application of these to English
- derivation of English vocabulary from its Latin source
- elements of Greek and Roman history and culture, and their relationships to the modern world