Catullus, Martial and Latin Haiku
for the Secondary Classroom

Barbara L. Merry

(Millburn High School)

This paper will consider the problem of driving home the importance of noun-adjective agreement. for lower-level students, using a Level 2 Latin class as a focus group.  Typically this group understands the concept, or is aware of its existence in Latin, but may not yet appreciate the importance of learning the gender of nouns as they are introduced.  In a content-based approach, the student is motivated beyond the simple necessity of learning because the teacher said to do it.

This study will use the context of poems by Catullus and Martial.  Since noun adjective pairs in poetry typically do not appear side by side, the students will need to be aware of gender in order to properly understand the texts.  The paper will present a short unit, user-friendly, ready for use by the Latin teacher at large.  Activities for writing poetry will also be presented, based on the Latin Haiku book, and the "diamond poem" format. The presenter will share poems written by her students.  Time permitting, participants may write and share their own poems with the other participants. 

Information about the author:  Barbara Merry teaches Latin and French at Millburn High School in Millburn, NJ.  She has a Ph.D. in French Literature from Cornell University, with a minor in Classics.  She published a book entitled Menippean Elements in Scarron's Roman Comique.

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