Reading advances vocabulary acquisition more than other activities. One can find multiple examples of this even outside of Krashen’s research. If you haven’t already started a Self Directed Reading program or another form of a classroom reading program, make sure you do soon. But for those who have, as we build our libraries we can start to create programs within our reading program. As students develop reading habits and procedures, some may start to create goals for where their reading might take them. Many students with Latin want to take the AP Latin course. Below as an attempt to prioritize titles from our Latin reading library that will lead students to exposure to themes in Classical literature and on the AP reading syllabus. I will add titles as I read and review them. All thoughts about how each title fits into a pre-AP reading program are my own that are connected to my observations of students reading and progressing through our Latin program.
Rufus et Arma Atra – A title that can be read early on in a Latin learner’s journey. Offers a narrative centered around weapons and the city of Rome. Appropriate for a learner after a small amount of direct instruction as the title shelters vocabulary to create a true novice reader.
Familia Mala: Saturnus et Iuppiter – I’ve watched many Latin 1 students read this title late in the year. It introduces the story of Jupiter and appeals to students who are interested in mythology. In turn, the title introduces the early reader to how the gods interacted, which happens often in the Aeneid.
Ego, Polyphemus – We read this title as a class novel in Latin 2. Some Latin 1 students enjoy it as they read the Odyssey in their Language Arts classes. Vocabulary is sheltered but expanded to tell Polyphemus’ story. There are obvious connections to the Aeneid. This title seems most suitable for a Latin 1 or 2 student who has read a few easier titles from level A in the Self Directed Reading section.
Pluto: Fabula Amoris – This title fits Latin 2 well in my situation as we look at individual characters of the gods with specific stories and activities. Most Latin 2 students will handle this story well which does change time frames quite often. The introduction to the underworld offers the student a chance to connect to the Roman underworld before the complex readings of book 6 of the Aeneid during the AP Latin year.
Eurydice – Written by the same author as Pluto: Fabula Amoris, this title leads the reader into more depth in respect to the underworld. We also see humans interacting with the gods in ways that relate to Aeneas, especially in his quest to make it to the underworld in book 6 of the Aeneid.
Sacri Pulli – Although this title doesn’t cover the historical period during Julius Caesar’s time, it does offer the student a readable story line connect to Roman history. Also, it offers a connection to the great city of Carthage, a common underlying theme within the Aeneid. Many Latin 2 students have gravitated to this title. The change in perspectives and timeframes may confuse the novice learner not yet ready to emerge into the intermediate level.
Charybdis: capellus valde esuriens – This title seems a silly story with a household goat at the center. But it offers an experience of a gurges which beautifully connects the idea to a Latin reader who is at least emerging into the intermediate level.
Tiberius et Gallisena Ultima – Magister P created a simple story that brings much for the Caesar portion of the AP reading syllabus. Some of Caesar’s description of Gaul, a mysterious Druid and wandering in an unknown land all in a story that is readable for students who have emerged into the intermediate level.
Itinera Petri: Flammae Ducent – Itinera Petri is suitable for readers who have demonstrated understanding of intermediate level language for awhile. Although this title centers around a story of fantasy there are numerous connections to themes in Classical literature. Peter goes on a journey with recognizable connections to Aeneas’ journey after the Trojan War.