Picta Dicta Latin Grammar is a hybrid digital-print introduction to Latin designed for the secondary level or beyond. Students first learn vocabulary, morphology, and syntax through thousands of illustrated cartoons. Then, they practice simple Latin composition, grammatical analysis, and reading in a physical workbook. The readings in this course are all original compositions that are simultaneously humorous and foundational for students preparing to read harder and more serious Latin texts.
Although it is titled Volume 3, Latin Grammar 3 is the first installment of this series. Students with no prior experience of Latin may use it as their first Latin course. However, students who have completed the preparatory course, Picta Dicta Latin Primer 1 & 2, will be well prepared for this course and will find the first 10 lessons mostly review.
Picta Dicta Latin Grammar is perfect for the secondary student beginning or continuing their Latin studies. It is a multimedia course, not only with readings and workbook exercises—but videos and app-based exercises as well. Students learn through all four language pathways (reading, writing, speaking, and hearing), which makes it both more enjoyable for them to learn and easier to retain.
The approach to teaching is hybrid, incorporating elements from both the reading method (which emphasizes examples) and the grammatical method (which emphasizes rules). Students begin each lesson by memorizing Latin words, phrases, or sentences for illustrated examples. These examples are carefully chosen to demonstrate the grammatical concept taught in the lesson.
After mastering examples, students watch a short video that explains the grammatical rule being taught. Students then revisit the examples they have memorized and analyze the forms used in each. Since the Latin Grammar series is designed for secondary students, it introduces grammatical terminology, but it relates it to what students already know with examples from English grammar.
Latin Grammar 3 also uses powerful ending recognition exercises which force students to pay attention to endings and read for grammar, a skill which will be essential for reading original works in Latin.
At the end of each lesson, students watch an illustrated story using vocabulary and grammar they learned in the lesson. Students are delighted to discover that they can listen to and watch a story presented in an ancient language and understand it. After the story, students retell it or answer questions about it.
Latin Grammar 3 is usually completed over one or two years. In 30 lessons, the book covers all five noun declensions, all adjectives, the present verb system (including passive verbs), pronouns, and demonstratives.
Lessons in the Teacher Guide and hundreds of exercises in the workbook make it easy to master concepts such as noun cases, adjective matching, stem changes, and verbs persons. These exercises prepare students to use Latin meaningfully and grammatically in engaging compositions and readings. The readings are not just random sentences or a simplification of a classical story—they are original compositions that are fun for the students to read as they see new grammar and vocabulary in action. The stories for Lessons 16 - 30 form a lengthy sustained narrative that is perfect for discussion in class.
Latin curricula often leave children burned-out after a year or two. This course is different. We love Latin, and it shows. We have designed every aspect of our curriculum to engage students deeply and get them to love Latin like we do. The material we have chosen is lighthearted and palatable for students; however, with every choice we made, we had helping them towards excellence in mind. Here are a few ways that we do it:
Picta Dicta’s unique platform can be used on a projector in front of a classroom or on individual devices. Either way, it gives students more practice and feedback than is possible in a print-only textbook. Over the course of each volume, a student sees almost 2,000 illustrated examples; he or she hears thousands of Latin words, phrases, and examples pronounced correctly every time; he or she receives immediate feedback for all answers given and has the opportunity to make corrections. This immediate feedback-correction loop builds skills quickly and reliably.
This course introduces students to the forms and concepts that are most practical for reading Latin, allowing them to begin understanding simple Latin stories after even the first lesson. Students using this curriculum do not wonder what the forms they are learning are for. Every form is always connected to its function--they see each one used in concrete and intelligible ways over and over again.
Students using this course spend most of their time speaking or writing actual Latin--not English. This helps them learn it much more deeply, and (not insignificantly) gives them the thrill of speaking and writing in a different (and ancient) language. Why would anyone want to spend so much time and effort learning a language and still be unable to use it? That said, English explanations are accessible to explain any part of our courses for a student who is confused. In this course, your student will learn to use Latin as a real language and will learn to love it.
I’m enjoying teaching with this curriculum. It’s pedagogically so engaging and sound. I’m seeing far more comprehension than with other curricula I’ve used, and I don’t think the caliber of my students is the primary reason!
Latin Grammar 3 has not only been very user-friendly for me as a teacher, but also accessible to students across a broad age range (from middle school to high school). It's easy to pace it out based on the student. The readings at the end of each lesson are enjoyable as literature, not dry exercises. The accompanying online videos are engaging and clear, and the exercises approach vocab and grammar concepts from every direction possible, so it works well for both auditory and visual learners. Most of my teaching is online, and the curriculum is great even for long-distance learners when I can’t be as present to help them!