Upper School Latin Novella Reading Club (Intermediate)

Term: Summer 2021
Target Grade: Grades 9th–12th
Schedule: 2x / week, 60 min.
Price: $150.00

Course Sections
Section 1
, July 5–August 9 (11 sessions): M/W 2:00 p.m. ET with Reagan Israel

This reading club seeks to introduce students to reading neo-Latin texts and discussing them in Latin. Through the use of short, simple Latin novellas, students will gradually learn to read fluently for comprehension without first translating into English. These novellas are written by experienced Latin teachers specifically for this purpose and use a limited vocabulary to facilitate reading.

This course is suitable for low-intermediate to intermediate students who have completed about 2 years of Latin grammar or 1 year of Spoken Latin. At least a little previous exposure to speaking Latin is preferred. Please see the required skills list below and email the instructor with any placement questions.

Required Skills for Intermediate Club

  • Students coming from Classical Academy Press Latin curriculum should have completed Latin Alive 2 or Spoken Latin 1. Motivated students who have completed Latin Alive 1 or Latin for Children C with a high grade AND have had some experience with speaking/active Latin are also welcome.
  • Any student who completed the beginner novella course with me last summer is welcome to join this course.
  • Students coming from another curriculum should be at a Latin 2+ level (i.e. have studied most of Wheelock or Henle) and be prepared to deal with at least 85% of the following:
    • Nouns: all 5 declensions, case uses
    • Verbs: all 4 conjugations, present system + perfect tense, common irregular verbs (sum esse, eo ire, volo velle, possum posse), infinitive, imperative, passive voice, present subjunctive, present active & perfect passive participles
    • Adjectives: comparatives, ordinal numbers
    • Pronouns: personal, possessive, demonstrative (hic, ille), relative (qui quae quod), reflexive (sē)
    • Other: question words, accusative + infinitive, relative clauses, ablative absolute, purpose clauses with ut

This course teaches grammar only incidentally. This is not a translation course. The reading level should be “below” the student’s peak translation abilities so that we can aim for direct comprehension.

At least a little previous experience speaking Latin is preferred, as we will be diving into our novellas on day one. Students with little or no experience speaking Latin should be prepared to expend some extra energy in the first week to shift into an active Latin environment. During our first week, meetings will focus on solidifying basic conversational and reading skills, after which we will increase the amount of time spent in Latin in each class period. Our class will cultivate a supportive and non-perfectionistic environment in which students should be willing to participate frequently and make mistakes.

The intermediate Latin novella reading club is geared toward rising 8th–12th graders. When considering whether this course is a good fit for your student, please keep in mind that in addition to readiness for the course content, students should be developmentally prepared to engage in a 8th-12th grade corporate learning environment as well as the online classroom dynamic.

Students should be prepared to spend 20-30 minutes on independent work for each class meeting.

If your student is outside the target grade range for this class, or if you have further questions about placement, please email the instructor.

Course Syllabus

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Required Texts*

  • Surus: Fabula Belli et Elephanti by Emma Vanderpool (ISBN: 979-8648057418)
    Historical fiction following an elephant and his mahout during Hannibal’s transalpine expedition in the 2nd Punic War
  • Vox in Tenebris by Andrew Olimpi (ISBN: 979-8620196357)
    A ghost story adapted from Apuleius’ Metamorphoses

*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.

Reagan Israel has a BS in psychology and is currently in graduate school, studying ancient Greek and Hebrew in Jerusalem. A Texas native, Ms. Israel taught Latin and ancient humanities at a classical school in Houston for 4 years. During her time there, she was introduced to “active Latin” pedagogy through a series of workshops and began to apply these methods in her classroom. In a past life, Ms. Israel was a professional ballet dancer and for 7 years has stayed connected to the art through teaching and choreographing. In both the studio and the academic classroom, she enjoys working with middle schoolers and being a part of their lives as they grow from childhood into adolescence. Ms. Israel is married to a musician and mobile app designer; they currently make their home in Jerusalem, where they enjoy reading widely, drinking Turkish coffee, and fumbling through Hebrew conversations. r.israel.scholeacademy@gmail.com

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be a much better solution, as such devices enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:


  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.


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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.


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