Self Directed Reading: My take on Free Voluntary Reading

***Updated 3/23 – My hope is to publish numerous reviews of titles during this time.  Also, see my thoughts on a reading program for Level 1-3 students’ whose goal is to be successful with the AP Latin course. ***

Blogs with FVR/SDR/SSR thoughts and resources. 

Mike Peto – Mike’s thoughts on Free Voluntary Reading 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.  See more at the following posts.

  • 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? by Bolchazy-Carducci

Quot Animalia

Quid edam?

Quo colore est?

Level A 

De horto zoologico by Michael Hirschler

Piso Perturbatus by Lance Piantaggini at Magister P

Rufus et Arma Atra by Lance Piantaggini at Magister P

Rufus Lulentus by Lance Piantaggini at Magister P

Syra Sola by Lance Piantaggini at Magister P

Arma Virumque Numero (from prima luce)

Passer Catulli (from prima luce)

Quid Agis, Achilles?

Rena Rhinoceros

Rufus et Gladiatores

Rufus et Lucia:  Liberi Lutulenti

Taurus Rex

Urusus et Porcus

Level B

Agrippina: Mater Fortis by Lance Piantaggini at Magister P

Brando Brown Canem Vult by Fluency Matters

Ego, Polyphemus by Andrew Stephan Olimpi at Comprehensible Classics

Familia Mala:  Saturnus et Iuppiter by Andrew Stephan Olimpi at Comprehensible Classics

Leo Molossus
Leo Molossus by Jocelyn Demuth

Drusilla In subura

Familia Mala:  Duo Fratres


Quintus et Nox Horrifica

Level C

Lucia Puella Mala by Arianne Belzer

Pluto:  Fabula Amoris by Stepping into CI

Sacri Pulli by Emma Vanderpool

De Torta Natalicia

Drusilla et convivium magarum

Livia Mater Eloquens

Pandora:  Familia Mala Volumen III

Via Periculosa

Level D

Charybdis:  capellus valde esuriens by Laura Shaw

Eurydice by Miriam Patrick and Rachel Ash

Iter Icari by William J Simpson

Tiberius et Gallisena Ultima by Lance Piantaggini

Clavis Apollonis

Filia Regis et Monstrum Horribile

Lucia Heros

Piso Ille Poetulus

Romulus et Rex:  a prehistoric legend

Templvm Romanvm

Level E

Perseus et Rex Malus by Andrew Stephan Olimpi at Comprehensible Classics

A New Latin Primer

Bellovesus in Gallia



Fortuna Fortibus Favet:  viae variae patent

In Vineto

Maximus et Caecilia

Perseus et Medusa

Level F

Itinera Petri: Flammae Ducent by  Stepping into CI

Iter Mirabile Dennis et Debrae by Christopher Buczek

Calio:  Fabula Latina

Cloelia Puella Romana

Cupido et Pysche :  A Latin Novella by Rachel Beth Cunning at Bombax Press

De Claustro Magico

Fabula de Sciuro Nuciola

Fabula de Petro Cuniculo

Fragmenta Pisonis Volumen I

Ira Veneris

Itinera Liviae et Amicorum

Kandake Amanirenas:  Regina Nubiae

Leonidas:  De Ducibus Graecis I

Medea et Peregrinus Pulcherrimus

Tres Fabulae Horrificae

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


Fabulae Divales:  Fairy Tales in Latin

Fabulae Mirabiles:  Fairy Tales in Latin

Odyssea Magistri Craft

Dominus Quixotus:  Eques Ultimus

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

Daedalus et Icarus:  a tiered Latin reader

Reckless Love

Villians from Vergil, Livy and Sallust

Seneca’s Letters to Lucilius


  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.


    1. Fiona Cantrix was Lance’s first stab at a novella, in draft form, and I had printed a few copies as a test run. I still have a few copies for sententimental reasons (takes place at my school!), but I don’t think he would want it circulating now, given all the excellent novellas he has produced since.


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