Latin Class Builds on Vocabulary Lessons

When learning Latin this year with Mrs. Linda Colas, foreign language teacher, students have been building on vocabulary lessons by constructing scale models of Roman-style architecture just as the Romans did.

Freshmen and sophomores in Colas's period 5  Latin I class worked in pairs and individually to build miniature versions of ancient Roman dwellings, designing both the interior and exterior of urban, rural and wartime buildings. Students were then challenged to demonstrate their knowledge by labeling the structures and rooms, and presenting their creation in class.

“Working on this project helped me understand the placement of rooms in the houses and their significance,” said Faith White, a freshman.

White and fellow freshman Laura Springman partnered to build an ancient Roman villa, or country house, using paper and cardboard materials. The pair incorporated period specific details, including Roman columns, an indoor garden and a slanted roof to catch fresh rain water.

“The students get to see how many of the innovations we have in our homes today came directly from the ancient Romans,” Colas said. “It shows them how the past is present.”

Classmates Vaughn Martin, a sophomore, and freshman Pearse Scudder each chose Lego bricks to lay the foundations of their Roman farm houses known as villa rusticas. While completing the project, Scudder said he gained an appreciation for the ancient culture’s vast influence on modern architecture.

“To learn that back then the buildings were so technologically advanced was surprising,” he said. Most surprising, added Scudder, were innovations like indoor plumbing and underground systems used to heat and cool homes.

According to Scudder, Springman and White, the scale model project took about one and a half to two weeks to complete. The Roman structures are now on display in Mrs. Colas room (334.)