Thursday, March 8, 2007

Classical Education Ideas: Rewriting Aesop

We've been enjoying Dorothy Maclaren's Esopus Hodie and using it both as a Latin reader and regular Language Arts. For each Aesop's fable, there's a poem version to read in English, then a Latin version in prose. An exact English translation is on the following page, as well as vocabulary and short questions which about the fable that a student can answer in Latin. For example, for The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg, here's the first stanza from the poem:

"A goose called Anserella
lived a happy, quiet life
in a nest by a brook,
and her master too
her eggs each day to his wife"

This is followed by: "Olim (Once upon a time) agricola prosperus anserum feminam possedit. Anserella Aesopius Aurifabra (a goldsmith) ab amici appellata est..." The poems, drawings, and the translations are funny and cute.

This has now become a fun Friday tradition with us; we leave the harder grammar Latin for other days. Because we've been studying different poetic forms (iamb, anapest, etc.), we've also taken it as an opportunity to write a poem in a specific style.

Here's our son's Goose poem:

There was a farmer of old
Who once found an egg of gold
Said the farmer, "Oh my!"
"How lucky am I!"
"I'm rich as the stars in the sky!"

He took the egg to his wife.
They'd be rich for the rest of their life-
She stopped him altho',
And spoke to him low
More than one will we need 'til we crow-

"Let's think a little bit more,"
"How can we increase our score?"
"One egg is not much..."
"A trifle as such..."
"'Twould be clever to fill a whole hutch!"

"I think a plan have I now..."
"A way to better endow..."
"Let's cut up the bird,"
"Without saying a word,"
"And we'll be richer than anyone's heard!"

The goose, poor soul, she was slain,
But the farmer saw to his pain,
No gold was inside
They moaned and they cried!
"'Twould been better if we'd never had tried!"

Stumped for a rhyme? Here's a neat free online Rhyming Dictionary. Rhymes are organized according to end rhymes, beginning rhymes, etc. Other useful links: AesopFables.com and a site for Aesop's Fables in Latin and English: BestLatin.net. Here's a site for Meter in Children's Poetry

We're going to be traveling for an Educators Conference in Pasco. We'll be back in the middle of next week, and post on Classical Education in the New Millennium, or why a Classical Education is a Ideal Preparation for a Flat World.

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5 comments:

desert mom said...

Fernette,

I enjoyed reading your blog and particularly this post; _Esopus Hodie_ looks like a great book. Thank you for sharing this resource. I look forward to hearing about the conference you attended.

Melissa (class-ed)

The Educational Tour Marm said...

Yes, these are charming and a lot of fun, but wait until you get to the Martial Epigrams!

One of my favorites was 1.47:

Nuper erat medicus, nunc est vespillo Diaulus: quod vespillo facit, fecerat et medicus.

Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide said...

I just found Martial a few days ago! What a hoot!

My Latin is primordial, so I cheated and put your phrase into Google...(for other newbies, it's: "Diaulus used to be a doctor, now he's an undertaker. His clients end up in the same state.") It looks like two Martial epigram sites are here and here.

The Tour Marm said...

Salve!

Well, I would have translated it more freely as:
Diaulus was a doctor, now he is an undertaker; he's doing what he did!

Most of Martial's epigrams them are not meant for the young and tender as they can be quite graphic. I imagine that there is some sort of family-friendly book available containing selections suitable for children.

I have designed classical tours of Washington, DC and New York.

You might be interested in a couple of my posts on the Ides of March tie-in to Washington, DC and Virginia, my post on Poetry: For School and Soul. and Bringing Cemeteries to life (I addded a bit of Pericles' funeral oration in!)

I'd like to ling to you, if that is acceptable.

Pax

Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide said...

Hi tour marm, and what a wonderful idea leading classical tours. Thank you for the caveat re: Martial...I did find that there were poems of his that were not appropriate, and his life was far from exemplary.

He reminds me a little of Diogenes who could come up with a clever insight or zinger, but was not a model for living.

Sharing links would be fine -

Previous Latin Sayings of the Week

"Soli deo gloria." - For the glory of God alone.


Christus resurrexit! Vere resurrexit! - Christ is Risen! He is risen, indeed!



"Lex malla, lex nulla." - St. Thomas Aquinas
(A bad law is no law.)


"Cantantes licet usque (minus via laedit) eamus. " - Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.


"Caelitus mihi vires." - My strength is from heaven.

"Magnificat anima mea Dominum, et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo Salvatore meo" - My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior (Luke 1:45)

In Omnibus Ipse Primatum Tenens “That in all things He (Christ) might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:16-18)


"Qui bene cantat bis orat." - He who sings well, prays twice - (St Augustine)

"Nos fecisti ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te." -
Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee. (St Augustine)

"Caelitus mihi vires
." - My strength is from heaven.

"Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est." - Where there is charity and love, God is there.

"Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis ."

Unless you will have believed, you will not understand. - St Augustine

"Deo vindice" - With God as Protector


"Credite amori vera dicenti." - Believe love speaking the truth. (St. Jerome)


De vitiis nostris scalam nobis facimus, si vitia ipsa calcamus." - If we tread our vices under feet, we make them a ladder to rise to higher things. (St. Augustine)

Dei gratia - By the grace of God

Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum. - The Word of the Lord Endures Forever.

"Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides; cuius fidei merces est videre quod credis." - Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. (St. Augustine)

"Deo iuvante" - with God's help

"Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus." - That God may be glorified in all things

"Pax vobiscum." Peace be with you.

"Jubilate Deo." Be joyful in the Lord.

"Ille vir, haud magna cum re, sed plenus fidei." He is a man, not of ample means, but full of good faith.

"Facit enim mihi magna qui potens est." - For He that is mighty does to me great things.

"Oremus semper pro invicem." - Let us ever pray for each other.

"Distrahit animum librorum multitudo." - Seneca
A multitude of books distracts the mind.

"Nullam est nunc dictum, quod sit non dictum prius." - Terence
There is nothing said now, that has not been said before.

"Nosce te ipsum." - Plato
Know thyself.

"Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis" - Not for you, not for me, but for us.

"Primum non nocere." - First, do no harm (Hippocrates)

"Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides; cuius fidei merces est videre quod credis." - Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. (St. Augustine)

"Deo iuvante" - with God's help

"Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus." - That God may be glorified in all things

"Pax vobiscum." Peace be with you.

"Jubilate Deo." Be joyful in the Lord.

"Ille vir, haud magna cum re, sed plenus fidei." He is a man, not of ample means, but full of good faith.

"Facit enim mihi magna qui potens est." - For He that is mighty does to me great things.

"Oremus semper pro invicem." - Let us ever pray for each other.

"Distrahit animum librorum multitudo." - Seneca
A multitude of books distracts the mind.

"Nullam est nunc dictum, quod sit non dictum prius." - Terence
There is nothing said now, that has not been said before.

"Nosce te ipsum." - Plato
Know thyself.

"Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis" - Not for you, not for me, but for us.

"Primum non nocere." - First, do no harm (Hippocrates)

"Dei plena sunt omnia." - Cicero (All things are full of God.)