Amazing Race: Mediterranean Edition
As a teacher, my addiction for classroom transformations grew from the first time I tried one. If it gives me joy as a teacher, challenges while engaging my students, then it should be done as frequently as possible. When I began the 2018-2019 school year, I knew that I wanted to dive into classroom transformations that didn’t only cover Latin grammar (such as my candyland classroom transformation to review classroom procedures). My school teaches Latin not just for grammatical understanding but also cultural knowledge and appreciation. We begin in 6th grade with a basic understanding of Roman history and mythology, and I realized my students would benefit from a classroom period activity that reviewed 5 locations around the Mediterranean which we discuss frequently in Latin class. And so, Amazing Race: Ancient Mediterranean Edition was born. The students worked in groups through packets of learning for the 5 locations and raced for an edible treat. I will definitely do this again next year!
Luckily for me, there are more Pinterest pins about Amazing Race birthday party ideas than one would know what to do with. It was Pinterest that convinced me that I really needed the special envelopes for each challenge as well. (Trust me, you don’t. You will drive yourself mad going to every nearby FedEx to grab a few free peel-n-stick envelopes daily just so your students can use them once).
At any rate, Pinterest is great for inspiring my wow factors, and this classroom transformation was no exception. My wow factors included:
Amazing Race envelopes (do not try at home)
Passports (found on Amazon, and had my students record their answers in them— highly recommend)
Cupcakes in fun map liners for the winning team
Map Banners for my room (I end up using these for most classroom transformations, so this turned out to be a great investment for me
Bandanas color coordinated for each team (this was my first time having an accessory for teams during a classroom transformation, and it ended up being one of the students’ favorite parts— I now implement wearable accouterments anytime it fits a theme!)
For my Amazing Race challenges, I knew I wanted to concentrate on the basics of geography that my Latin students would need to know throughout the year.
Stop #1 of my Amazing Race Challenges: Rome
The basics of Roman history are essential knowledge for Latin students. Government structures, key dates, and major leaders are included in this article.
Stop #2 of my Amazing Race Challenges: Greece
Greece. Mythology is a major reason many of my students sign up for Latin, and we need to talk about Greek Mythology to understand Roman Mythology.
Stop #3 of my Amazing Race Challenges: Troy
Troy. Each year of our Latin program discusses the Trojan War in some capacity, and it’s always disheartening to hear in May “Which side won again?” (spoiler alert: the side that still exists today, kids).
Stop #4 of my Amazing Race Challenges: Gaul
Gaul. In 6th grade we discuss Caesar at length and Caesar’s Gallic campaigns are a huge part of our discussion. I want them thinking about questions such as “Why did Caesar invade Gaul?” “How did Caesar’s Gallic campaigns affect his political status?”
Stop #5 of my Amazing Race Challenges: Carthage
We discuss Carthage’s role in two major points of Roman history: Dido and Aeneas and Hannibal’s elephants in the Punic Wars.