National Centre for Early Music

[Skip navigation]
Navigation Menu

Activity 2.4: Learning Latin 'Restoration-style'

When they left petty school, some boys were able to go to grammar school.  Nearly all of the time at grammar school was taken up with learning to read and speak Latin.  Often the teaching methods involved huge amounts of rote learning, and were not very inspiring!   If boys were lucky, they might have the chance to begin learning Latin from Orbis Pictus.  This was a book by the Czech educationalist, Comenius.  It was translated into English by Charles Hoole and published in 1659.  This book tried to make learning Latin more interesting and productive, by associating Latin words and phrases with pictures.

  1. Explain that you are going to learn some Latin sentences, as children would have done in the seventeenth century.  Display the reconstructed pages below from Orbis Pictus on the interactive whiteboard.  Click on the pictures to display bigger versions.
  1. Look at the pictures and read the English text.  You will see that each sentence describes a sound, and that each sound begins with, or uses a different letter of the alphabet.  All the sounds are shown in alphabetical order.
  1. Read some of the Latin and English phrases aloud as a class, making the different sounds as appropriate!

Return to Activity Pack 2: School life in Restoration England

Return to Venus and Adonis main page