Self Directed Reading: My take on Free Voluntary Reading

***Updated 8/10 – In the next 2 weeks as school approaches for me recent titles over the summer will be updated while I think about levels more.  This page will become a reference for materials and information centered around Self Directed Reading specifically to Latin.    ***

Blogs with FVR/SDR/SSR thoughts and resources. 

Mike Peto – Mike’s thoughts on Free VoluntaryReading are universal.  Although a Spanish teacher, his writing style and direction for Free Voluntary Reading unlocked my mind to understand some of the important components to consider to create a successful reading program.

Magister P.  – You can start reading library with Magister Piantaggini’s published novels at an affordable price.  But don’t miss his thoughts on Free Voluntary Reading while you browse the Pisoverse.

Comprehensible Classics – Magister Olimpi is another author who offers an opportunity to build a reading library affordably.  His year in F7 posts offer fantastic insight into the day to day thought process of facilitating CI in a classroom.

John Piazza – A fantastic post about how to create a library and thoughts about the process of a reading program.  John has also put together some pdf readers from textbook sources which are a great way to add some varied reading material early on.  Just be careful as most textbook readings are more difficult than perceived as they do not always shelter vocabulary.

Books about reading

SSR Handbook  – This is the resource to use to start a program.  Research, examples and ideas for reading response activities.  Here are some thoughts about the important ideas to flush out in your mind as you start a reading program.

  • Access to reading materials.  What are creative ways to add reading materials outside of purchasing as many of the book titles listed below?
  • Routine.  It’s important to start students with less reading time than you think they are ready to handle.  It is much easier to work up to more than it is to work down.  Students’ perception of the time is important.  Reading for short amounts of time often is better than reading one big chunk once and awhile.  Students start to develop a reading routine which is a powerful driver of acquisition.
  • Response.  Students want to respond to reading.  But response opportunities should be a formative process.  How can you vary response activities so that all types of students have a chance to interact with their reading and with other people’s thoughts?
  • Report.  Don’t evaluate and grade but it is important to report.  Teacher/student conferences, written responses to student responses and informal conversation all are important ways to report back to students.

My posts about my own Self Directed Reading Program.

Reflections during the 1st semester of my self directed reading program that was sustained.

Library Levels Spreadsheet Link

Example Reading Log – a simple log that I use so that students can monitor their progress.  This is used as evidence toward a student’s proficiency, but mostly in a way that they are engaging in reading.  This falls under an interpersonal rubric I use to score their day to day processing of Latin.

Absence Management Log – Students are expected to replace a small amount of Latin input for the days they miss.  They can read from one of the titles below, read something online, listen to a podcast like quomodo dicitur or watch a Latin video like Magister Craft’s.


Quis me amat?

Quot Animalia

Quid edam?

Quo colore est?

Level A 

De horto zoologico by Michael Hirschler

Familia Mala:  Saturnus et Iuppiter by Andrew Stephan Olimpi

Piso Perturbatus by Lance Piantaggini

Rufus Lulentus

Rufus et Arma Atra

Rufus et Gladiatores

Rufus et Lucia:  Liberi Lutulenti

Taurus Rex

Urusus et Porcus


Ego, Polyphemus

Quid Agis, Achilles?

Arma Virumque Numero (from prima luce)

Passer Catulli (from prima luce)

Level B

Brando Brown Canem Vult

Agrippina: Mater Fortis

Drusilla In subura

Leo Molossus:  one dog’s adventure in the Roman Army

Level C

Lucia Puella Mala

Pluto:  Fabula Amoris

Rena Rhinoceros

Via Periculosa

Drusilla et convivium magarum


Livia Mater Eloquens

Quintus et Nox Horrifica

De Torta Natalicia

Level D

Iter Icari


Clavis Apollonis

Filia Regis et Monstrum Horribile

Templvm Romanvm


Level E

Cloelia Puella Romana

Iter Mirabile Dennis et Debrae

Perseus et Rex Malus

Perseus et Medusa

A New Latin Primer

Piso Ille Poetulus

Fortuna Fortibus Favet:  viae variae patent

Calio:  Fabula Latina

Level F

Fragmenta Pisonis Volumen I

Tres Fabulae Horrificae

Maximus et Caecilia

Itinera Petri: Flammae Ducent

De Claustro Magico

Leonidas:  De Ducibus Graecis I

Fabula de Sciuro Nuciola

Fabula de Petro Cuniculo

Dominus Quixotus:  Eques Ultimus

Level G


Winnie Ille Pu

Alicia in Terra Mirabili

Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis

Harrius Potter et Camera Secretorum


Acta Muciorum

Arbor Alma

Cattus Petasatus

Orbis Pictus Latinus


Level H

Fabulae ab Urbe Condita

Latin Readings for Review

Ritches Fabulae Faciles

Cupid and Pysche

Auctores Latini

Carmina Amoris:  A tiered reader

Social Criticism Through Horace and Martial:  A tiered reader


17 thoughts on “Self Directed Reading: My take on Free Voluntary Reading

  1. Thanks for your thoughts. I will be implementing a reading program in my Spanish classes next school year. I do prefer how you called it: Student Directed Reading. I believe it might take away some excuses of “If it is voluntary, then I do not volunteer to read!”…


  2. Hercules Made Easy SPQR (Kindle book) is really easy and interesting to read (part of Fabulae Faciles
    Tres mures caeci Again Kindle is fun to read.
    Where would you put “Epitome Historiae Sacrae” Lhomond/Carfagni
    Ora Maritima Sonnenschein and Pro Patria Sonnenschein are interesting, but aren’t page turners


  3. New Level A Pisoverse Books by Lance Piantaggini
    Level A
    Familia Mala: Saturnus et Iuppiter
    Rufus Lutulentus (20 words) (year 1)
    Rufus et Lucia Lutulentus (28 words)
    Syra Sola (due 29 Oct 2018)
    Piso Perturbatus (36 words)
    Rufus et Arma Atra (40 words) (year 1)
    Rufus et Gladiatores 49-108 words)
    Taurus Rex
    Urusus et Porcus


    1. Are you sure those are all by Lance? I put titles into the list after I have a copy so I can at least look at the book when questions arise. It looks like I need to purchase Rufus et Lucia and Syra when it is out.


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