How to Teach SAT Vocabulary

Always keep moving - even in Latin lessons

Learning and movement - movement and learning

Movement and learning go well. This is not only emphasized by Spiegel in its issue “Fast in the head - How movement improves thinking” (32/15). The sporting goods manufacturer ASICS also lets us understand through its company name that mind and body can inspire each other. If you dissolve the acronym, the following sentence appears: A.nima S.ana I.n C.orpore S.ano. This variation of the juvenile quote "Orandum est, ut sit mens sana in corpore sano“(Juvenal, sat. X 356) sums it up, even if it must be clear to everyone that he does not automatically mutate into a“ lightning bolt ”as soon as he has Asics shoes on his feet. However, it becomes clear that the body should be healthy in order to bring the mind to peak performance. Movement naturally plays a major role in ensuring that the body can be permanently strong and resistant.

Movement in class - impossible?

With the exception of physical education, exercise for our students only consists of going to the blackboard or catching up on the toilet that they forgot during the break. Most of the lesson time, our students sit on the bottoms of their trousers, mostly on rather uncomfortable and ergonomically unfavorable wooden chairs. And that almost five hours a day at school.

Movement in class - possible and feasible!

If you take a look at your pool of methods for vocabulary work and try to associate these methods with the term “movement”, you will see relatively easily that they go well together. In the following I would like to introduce a perhaps rather unknown method that is supposed to show how movement and vocabulary work can be combined in Latin lessons.

Example 1: memory

The well-known children's game “Memory” is ideally suited as a method for working on vocabulary in foreign language lessons. Maps are created with Latin vocabulary in the basic form and their corresponding meanings.



The cards are shuffled face down and dealt, then the usual rules are followed. If one of the players finds a pair that matches, he may continue searching until he can no longer find a pair.

This basic idea can be transferred very easily to a movement game. The class is divided into two teams, and the tables and chairs are moved to the edge of the classroom. Now put the memory cards (preferably with magnets) on the two backs of the board and off you go. A team member starts running and reveals two cards. If they match, he or she discards the cards and reveals two more. If the Latin vocabulary and the German meaning do not match, it is another team member's turn. During the waiting time, the pupils will eagerly discuss which cards can be found where and are thus also busy during their “break”.

Of course, it would also be possible to pin the cards face up on the board. This would be useful for new or difficult vocabulary. But it's more of the narrow-gauge variant and is probably only half as much fun ...


  • short Latin phrases (e.g. iter facere - march)
  • Synonyms (cedere - ire)
  • Antonyms (magnus - parvus)
  • Subjects and predicates (servi - laboratory technician)
  • (…)

Example 2: vocabulary run

This method is particularly suitable for the tough hours in the afternoon. This can be used to counteract the lack of motivation in the class as well as to take advantage of the fact that the school house is mostly orphaned at this time.

Vocabulary cards are laid out on the whole floor (or even in the whole school building). The flash cards are labeled like index cards: Latin basic form on the front, learning forms and German meaning (s) on the back.





The young people have a blank list in front of them that has to be filled out. When given a command, they run off in small teams (max. 2-3 people) and look for the vocabulary cards that have been laid out. Once you have found one, you have to memorize all the information on the card (preferably using a donkey bridge, with the help of a short story or by talking to your classmates) and walk back to the classroom. The vocabulary card remains where it was found for the other teams. In the classroom everything is added to the list and the next stage begins. The team that has found all the vocabulary first and entered it correctly wins.

Of course, numerous variants can also be found for this method.

Learning and exercise as homework

Finally, I would like to show you a little possibility of how domestic vocabulary work and exercise can be combined with one another. The students are given the homework to go for a walk with the index cards. You should pay special attention to the vocabulary of the current lesson (no more than 5-7) and, as you walk, try to link each individual vocabulary to a place on your way. This can be B. be the ice cream parlor, an old oak tree, the swing in the playground, the bell tower of the church, etc. In this way connections can be made that can serve to store the vocabulary deep in the long-term memory. Of course, it won't work without repeated changes in the classroom, that's clear.

Even more reading material on the topic:


Featured image: Fotolia # 115985883 | Author: Traumbild

About Dennis Gressel

Dennis Gressel is born and bred from Baden and has been teaching Latin, sport and ethics at the traditional Bismarck grammar school in Karlsruhe since 2006. He is also active in continuing education for teachers and would like to contribute his ideas for modern and motivating Latin lessons.

Keywords:Latin, games, learning vocabulary, vocabulary work