The 7th grade Latin class is putting to rest, once and for all, the incorrect statement that “Latin is a dead language”. This year, in addition to grammar and history study, the students have been listening to the classic young adult novel, The Eagle of the Ninth. This story tells the tale of a young centurion, Marcus Flavius Aquila, who must leave the legions after he is seriously injured in the heroic rescue of his fort. Alone in the strange and wild world of Roman-Briton, Marcus must build a new life for himself. He finds peace and purpose in the quest to regain his family’s honor by finding the lost eagle of Ninth Legion. Marcus goes on his quest nearly 2,000 years ago; with the help of Mr. Crofton, the 7th graders have prepared their own quests for the modern day.
The students researched five towns in the British countryside that have Roman ruins. In addition to the Roman features, they found other interesting sites in the towns as well. Using Scribble Maps for planning and taking notes and then Google My Maps, the students made annotated maps of their selected cities. Their maps are peppered with “push pins” explaining the particular sites and featuring pictures of the features. Next, they added driving directions to their maps resulting in an easy-to-follow perfect itinerary for a family trip.
As a young teen, I read The Eagle of the Ninth and its sequels, The Silver Branch and The Lantern Bearers. When I graduated from college, my parents gave me a trip to England. Where did I go? To Calleva and Colchester, to visit the world of Marcus Aquila. I hope that these Latin students will someday walk in the footsteps of this centurion as well.
Ms. Reedy, Latin Teacher
A selection of students maps are embedded below – click on the larger map icon in the top right hand corner for more details of each tour: