Students learn all grammar by memorizing examples first. Then they learn the rules that make each example work.
From the very first week, students watch and understand narrated stories and answer questions in Latin about them.
Picta Dicta Latin Primer is a first introduction to reading Latin suitable for either elementary or secondary students. 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. This course does introduce grammatical terminology, but slowly--students learn one concept at a time and practice it to mastery.
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.
Picta Dicta Latin Primer is divided into two volumes, each normally to be completed over the course of a year. In the first volume, students learn about 200 Latin words, the basic uses of the five major noun cases, the noun endings of the 1st and 2nd declensions, and 3rd-person verbs of all four conjugations. In the second volume, students learn an additional 200 words, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th declensions, additional uses of the cases, adjective matching, and passive forms of verbs.
In-class lessons in the Teacher Guide and worksheets make it easy for teachers to introduce all three persons of the present indicative as well as imperative verbs through classroom chants and drills. These exercises lead teacher and students into basic conversational Latin around the classroom.
Elementary 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 children deeply and get them to love Latin like we do. It is true that we have chosen material that is lighthearted and palatable for children; however, with every choice we made, we had helping your children 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 1,000 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. Children 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.
Children 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? In this course, your child will learn to use Latin as a language and will love it.
"Picta Dicta is a godsend. This past academic year, I was asked to teach 3rd and 4th grade Latin, having only taken two years of Latin in high school (15 years ago). With some trepidation, I accepted, wanting to serve my school but feeling unqualified.
Fortunately, my fears were unfounded, as my school implemented the Picta Dicta Latin Primer curriculum for grades 3-5. The summer before, I (and my wife) had a blast going through the campaigns, learning nouns, verbs, prepositions, cases, and verbs. The lessons synesthetically blend seeing, speaking, and writing to reinforce what is learned. It was exciting (and legitimately fun!) to be able to compose Latin sentences almost immediately, and learning to translate not English to Latin, but pictures to Latin, effectively learning to “think” in Latin.
When the school year started, I was thrilled to see that the students responded well to the comic-like characters and scenes used in the lessons, and were equally as excited to get to write and speak real Latin sentences. Homeroom teachers and teachers’ assistants kept coming up to me saying that they overheard students speaking Latin sentences to each other at brunch, lunch, and recess. Students were disappointed when Latin class was over. Parents were writing me and telling me how much their students enjoyed their Latin homework.
And because Picta Dicta stresses mastery of grammatical concepts before moving on, I felt comfortable teaching material that I had just encountered weeks or months prior. The breaking up of the material into bite-size campaigns makes it easy to construct my short-term and long-term lesson plans. Multiple worksheets and quizzes are available to be used for extra practice if necessary.
I highly endorse Picta Dicta!"
"Latin Primer has awakened a sense of delight and curiosity in our school’s youngest students of Latin! Its multi-sensory and interactive approach gives students the opportunity to see, hear, read, write, and speak Latin, all of which have greatly enhanced their learning.
The technology-based practice provides young students with the repetition necessary to learn the language without overburdening them with large amounts of writing and endless memorization, and yet the written component asks students to compose sentences, keep track of vocabulary and rules learned, all of which lay the groundwork for future study. It is demanding, but the students don’t realize it. The supplementary materials provided for classroom teachers are superb, and the program is flexible and customizable to many learning situations.
As a collaborative school, our students work at home two days a week and the online component has greatly increased the effectiveness of at-home Latin study, which gives our parents confidence and peace of mind. In addition, the support provided has been stellar! All in all, Latin Primer is the perfect combination of story, speaking, grammar, and fun. My students don’t want Latin class to end!"
For schools and large centralized co-ops, we work to keep costs affordable. Click here to receive a quote for your group or make an order.
For homeschooling families and small co-ops, we have all the materials you need to make your Latin education successful. You can order our Homeschooling Bundle from our partners at Roman Roads.