Elementa: Tools for Teaching Elementary Latin in the New Year

Allegra Forbes |

New Digital Resources for Any Setting




 Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis…

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis…

The times change, and we change with them.

The unique challenges of the 2020–21 school year will put a strain on teachers and students. Does your curriculum have enough digital resources for students to learn without their teachers? Do you have a curriculum that can be implemented easily by a substitute Latin teacher? Are you a parent that needs an enrichment curriculum focusing on the Latin and Greek roots of English literacy that is both fun and effective? Consider Elementa. Elementa isn’t just a student textbook; it’s a whole curriculum package that runs the gamut with a variety of resources, teacher support manuals, and supplements that have been designed by teachers for teachers. It is because of this that the Elementa curriculum can uniquely face the challenges that educators are presented with this fall, when so many are beginning to teach in new settings. It was designed for teachers in the digital age, with maximum versatility in mind. Its upcoming digital resources are perfectly suited for any setting, and any teacher, so that building a curriculum can be simple no matter what.

From the jump, we wanted to make Elementa easy for ANY teacher or parent to pick up and use — regardless of their background in Latin. We are aware that some teachers may not have a background in Classics, and certainly that many parents newly facing homeschooling might not either. The Elementa Teacher’s Manual includes a script for every lesson, so whether you are learning with your own child, or you are an experienced Latin teacher looking for an easy lesson to adapt to your own style, the lesson plan is ready to go. The Elementa Teacher’s Materials includes all the cards, images, and handouts that you need for games and activities, so you don’t need to spend time making index cards or researching the right visual aids.



 Left: Video still from Elementa’s rendition of Baucis and Philemon. Right: A preview of the upcoming slide-editing function.
Left: Video still from Elementa’s rendition of Baucis and Philemon. Right: A preview of the upcoming slide-editing function.


Therefore, we plan to launch an even more robust version of our digital resources this fall to give teachers and parents even more flexibility, and to give students a more independent learning experience. Here are a few features we are adding:


  • Individual student accounts.
  • The ability to assign lessons, exercises, and quizzes to students with automated grading and tracking.
  • Personalization of slides and the ability to supplement a lesson with your own material.
  • Mini-quizzes for each lesson.
  • Class discussion boards for all those FAQs.
  • And more!


We think these resources could help just about anyone looking to either supplement what they have in the classroom, or to start a new curriculum from scratch. In particular, we think you will love the new and improved Elementa if any of the following scenarios apply to you:


Synchronous Virtual Classroom


If you find yourself leading online lesson sessions in real time, you can present lessons from the digital resources. Whether you are just doing core lessons once a week, or picking and choosing from the extension lesson options for daily classes, each of our tailored slide decks are ready to go. In the new system, you can also rearrange the slides however you like, or add additional content of your own! Students can follow along and fill in guided notes in their workbooks, and then complete mini-quizzes on the content. Their scores are automatically graded and sent to the instructor.


Synchronous In-Person Classrooms


Present lessons using the prepared slide decks, then use the Teacher’s Manual and Materials to choose an activity or game to play. Games are designed for anywhere between 5 to 25 students, with suggestions in the teacher’s manual for how to adapt the game depending on class size.


Asynchronous Virtual Lessons


Arrange and assign specific lessons to students. Lessons may include a slide deck presentation for students to view at their own pace, videos, mini-quizzes, or other exercises. You can use the pre-made content, or adapt the content to fit your class needs and interests.


Hybrid or Blended Learning Classrooms


It’s increasingly possible that half an instructor’s students attend class in person and the other half are virtual. Or maybe the plan is to be online for the first quarter, then come back to a full in-person model. This is quite the challenge, but it is all well within the scope of Elementa. Combine any of the above methods to fit your needs, thanks to the wide variety of resources.


Homeschooling, No Matter Your Background or The Subject


Even with little to no Latin experience, the Teacher’s Manual provides the material you need to lead a lesson with confidence, which means that not only is it a great resource for parents teaching a second language to their children at home, it can also serve as a fantastic supplement for any subject in the humanities, like English and History. Forego the screen time and use the Elementa Interactive Workbook and craft ideas to make an engaging, hands-on lesson. Or, you can depend entirely on the digital resources for a virtual and independent learning experience.





This suite of materials, digital and paper, teaches literacy with Latin and Latin with literacy. The Elementa curriculum focuses on the connections, not only in Latin and English, but with other languages, and encourages students to think critically about how words evolve and create comparisons with the grammar between languages. The curriculum aims to be flexible for teachers with different goals, active for students with engaging games, and seaworthy for whatever wind might come its way. Elementa explores the larger context of classical antiquity across the world, no matter the setting, no matter the challenge.
Explore the universe of the Elementa Curriculum on our website and see in depth previews of all our curriculum materials.

Jamel Daugherty is the Paideia Institute’s Curriculum Design Manager. After teaching 5th grade Latin at Washington Latin Public Charter School, she developed materials for the Aequora program, served as a subject matter expert for the Institute’s Summer Humanities Internship in 2017, and joined as a full time curriculum designer for 2018. She holds degrees in Classics and Letters from the University of Oklahoma and is pursuing a M.A. in Educational Technology Leadership from George Washington University.


Sign up to receive email updates about new articles

Allegra Forbes

In Medias Res is the online magazine for lovers of Latin and Greek, published by the Paideia Institute.


Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.