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2012-2013 Latin 2 CP Course Description

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2012-2013 Latin 2 CP Course Description. Latin 2 College Prep  2012-2013 Contact info: Dr. Donal McGay Radnor High School Email : (preferred) Phone : 610-293-0855 ext. 3660. Curriculum Vitae. B.A. in Greek and Latin, cum laude , Gettysburg College

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2012-2013 Latin 2 CP

Course Description


Latin 2 College Prep  2012-2013

Contact info:

Dr. Donal McGay

Radnor High School

Email: (preferred)

Phone: 610-293-0855 ext. 3660

curriculum vitae
Curriculum Vitae
  • B.A. in Greek and Latin, cum laude, Gettysburg College
  • M.A. and Ph.D. in Classics, Fordham University.
  • Dissertation: The Manuscript Tradition of Demosthenes: Oration 54, Against Conon.
  • Researched in many European libraries, incl. The Vatican Library
  • Lived in Rome for one year (2000)– visited all major architectural sites and collected a digital photo library of 4, 000 + images
  • 2 for 1: Wife is also a professor of Classics at Villanova Univ.
  • Summer of 1998: studied at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens
  • Used to be live-in caretaker and docent of historic house museum in The Bronx, NY. The Valentine-Varian House.

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Welcome back to school and, more importantly, welcome to Latin 2! The following guidelines will ensure that you begin the year on the right foot. Please read the syllabus and course expectations carefully and share them with your parents. Please also sign the end of the document.

Latin 2 offers a more in-depth study of the language, history, myths and culture of the Romans. After a review of Latin 1, we will continue reading Latin right away as we follow a typical, yet fictitious, Roman family called the Cornelii who lived in the first century AD. Through each of their episodes, we will learn about the ancient Roman way of life while picking up the language. Moreover, on “NLE days,” we will explore the history, myths and culture of the Romans.


Books, workbooks and materials

  • Required:
  • Ecce Romani IB and IIA- This is a state book that you will sign out at the beginning of the year, COVER, and return at the end of the year.
  • A composition book (preferably college-ruled) for all written homework, classnotes, and observation lists.
  • A 3 ring binder with a Latin section to organize notes and handouts. (Students will receive many handouts.) Suggestion: (1) get a 1½ inch binder with college-ruled paper (Students could divide the binders by: vocab handouts, grammar handouts, or by chapters, etc.);
  • (2) Plastic sheet protectors for handouts that are referred to often.
  • lots of #2pencils and/or blue or black pens & colored pens (for corrections-green, red, pink, purple, etc.)

lots of 3” x 5” index cards for vocabulary and derivatives (get a brick of cards and keep them at home)

  • **Failure to bring necessary materials to class means you learn less AND reduces your class participation grade- so bring everything EVERY DAY!
  • Recommended Materials and websites:
  • A grammar insert or quick reference guide: Spark Notes Latin Grammar, or “Graphic Latin Grammar.”
  • Latin- English dictionary: Harper Collins, Bantam, Larousse and Oxford are all good editions.
  • is also a great online Latin/English dictionary.
  • is a wonderful resource for vocabulary and Greek and Latin derivatives.
  • See my website for other great links.

If a student needs help outside of class he/she should see me ASAP to schedule a meeting.

  • For updated information and practice opportunities throughout the year, check out the class website, under Dr. McGay-Latin 2. Navigate to this from via the “Schools” tab, then RHS, then Teacher Web Pages.
  • *Honor Code*: In addition to observing the honor code for quizzes, tests and all assigned work outside of class, I will refuse to write a college recommendation for any student found cheating or cutting a Latin class. Initial on the document.


  • If you miss class for any reason other than illness/accident, you are expected to be prepared, with homework complete, on the next class day. I expect you to email me the reason for your absence no later than the day of the absence. Field trips and other planned absences do not excuse you from homework and test preparation. Please notify me inadvance if you plan to miss class so that I can give you the work ahead of time.
  • Work missed due to an excused absence must be made up in a timely fashion. (Please see homework policy in the student handbook.) The student is responsible to come speak with me to make the necessary arrangements – although you may think I live under my desk, I don’t and I will not seek you out. 

Quarterly Schedule

First Quarter:

Review of Latin 1

Unit IV: chapters 18-21

begin Unit V: chapters 22-23

Project: Ancient Dress-Up Day

Second Quarter:

Unit V: chapter 24

Unit VI: chapters 25-27

Project: TBD, but get started on the PCS project.

Midterm Examination


Third Quarter:

Unit VII: chapters 28-33

National Latin Exam

+ Medusa Myth Exam

Project: Annual Philadelphia Classical Society Competition

Fourth Quarter:

Unit VIII: chapters 34-37

Unit IX: chapters 38-39, time permitting

Project: TBD

Final Examination


Grade Distribution

  • Each Quarter:
  • 35% - “Assessments” : Grammar/Translation Quizzes and Tests, + Projects/Presentations (Wednesdays)
  • 30% - “Vocabulary” : Vocabulary Cards and Vocabulary Quizzes/Tests (Wednesdays)
  • 20% - Homework
  • 15% - Class Participation

Assessments: On HAC, the “Assessment” category includes assessments of grammatical concepts, forms, reading comprehension passages, translations, projects (see below) and may also include culture sections. There will be a test per each unit, following the completion of each review chapter in the textbook. Every Block Day we will have an assessment.

Projects &Presentations: Time permitting, one project or presentation will be assigned each quarter. These will include a Dress-Up As an Ancient Day, the annual Philadelphia Classical Society Project, poster projects, models, PowerPoints, and others.


Vocabulary: On HAC, the “Vocabulary” category includes vocabulary and derivative assessments ONLY, i.e., vocabulary quizzes, vocabulary tests, vocabulary puzzles, and vocabulary cards (see below). So, there will be approximately 2 quizzes for each chapter in the textbook given on Thursdays. Remember, grammar sections will be scored in the “Assessment” category in HAC. By isolating distinct vocabulary and grammar grades, the teacher (and parents and students) can better see areas of need.

  • Vocabulary Cards: For each chapter, you must make vocabulary cards from the prepared lists ON-LINE as per the instructions on the vocabulary card info sheet. Grades for vocabulary cards will be counted in the “Vocabulary” category. If you score an A on a vocab quiz, you are exempt from making cards for the next chapter.


Homework is a necessary tool for reinforcing language concepts, and for preparing for assessments. Think of HW as practicing Latin, much in the same way you would practice a musical instrument or practice drills in sports. HW is never busy work! All HW should be written in the composition book, unless otherwise stated. HW that should be in the composition book, but isn’t may be subject to a penalty.

Scoring: Each student will start with 100 points total for each quarter. (Yeah! You already have an A!!!  )

 No credit will be given for missed, late, unexcused or not properly done homework.

“Properly” done HW means [1] the HW is ready on time at the beginning of class, [2] all of the HW was attempted conscientiously. No late HW will be accepted. And again, if you don’t remember what the assignment is, check the Latin 2 HW page on the web!!!

homework webpage
Homework Webpage

Your class Homework Page on my Website  you have a special HW page dedicated to your class.

There should never be any blank stares, mouths agape, protests or other displays of confusion over what the assigned HW is. You should never be at a loss since we have this page !!! Ignorance is not an excuse.



All students are expected to behave like good citizens and participate actively in class. This includes appropriate student behavior: e.g., arriving to class on time, sitting in your assigned seat, being eager to stay in class (instead of looking for reasons to leave), volunteering answers (always by raising a hand), volunteering answers (always by raising a hand), asking questions, giving examples, and voicing concerns or uncertainty.



No character Assassination…It’s OK to be brilliant, and it’s also OK to need clarification during a lesson, but it is not OK to keep silent when something doesn’t make sense. Remember, if you do not understand something, there is a strong possibility that someone else in the class also does not understand (there are no “dumb” questions!). We will have an encouraging and fruitful class environment in which students will not be afraid to contribute and ask questions.


ClassParticipation (continued):

Scoring: All students will start with a 100% participation record, and will have to maintain that 100% by behaving like good citizens and participating actively in class. A value of 5 points will be deducted for every incident of inappropriate or disruptive action or speech.

  Minimize the times you need to leave the classroom to go to the bathroom, locker, nurse, etc. You should not need to excuse yourself more than four times per quarter. Sign out on list. No food or drink in class, especially disposable plastic bottles. Let’s save the environment!

cell phones
Cell phones

 Cell phone use during instructional time is a distraction and means you are not giving your full, undivided attention to the study of Latin. It also means you are not participating in class. Ergo, cell phone use is prohibited in class and will incur the following consequences: loss of 2 percentage points from your participation grade for each infraction.


NLE Days

The last ¼ of Block Days or NLE days, we will discuss Roman mythology, legends, history, culture, and other non-grammar topics. We will also use these days to prepare for the National Latin Exam and the Medusa Mythology Exam which are given in the spring. The other days of the week we will concentrate on learning the Latin language.

NB: I will put two or three questions from the information discussed during NLE days on the weekly quizzes.


A Typical Bi-weekly schedule

  • (approximate and subject to change as necessary)
phrase of the day
Phrase of the Day

Latin: Carpe diem!

English: Seize the day!

Authorship: Quintus HoratiusFlaccus, aka “Horace” (65 bce – 6 bce) – famous Augustan Age poet and Epicurean

Derivatives: carpal, carpal tunnel syndrome, metacarpal; diary, quotidian, diurnal, per diem

Your Interpretation: Carpe really means “to pluck” a flower or piece of fruit off a tree, so Horace suggests that we should make the most out of the day as if we were enjoying the smell of a flower or the sweet taste of a fresh fruit.