Story Work Choices

Inspired by a posting by Martina Bex and few other teachers’ practices, I adapted a variety of activities for my classroom under the umbrella title “story work choices.” The idea is that students will interact with a story or reading, on their own terms, at their own pace. This is good for a sub day, or when you need to meet with students one-on-one, or if you are present but unable to teach as you normally would.

It is important that you do not have students do an activity that is new to them. If you have not taken them through a guided version of any of the activities on this list, you should remove it from the options. Once you have taken students through an activity once or twice successfully, then you can be relatively confident that they can do it more independently. We want to set students up for success, and not cause confusion.

You can project or hand out this summary of the activity and choices. Here is what I use:

Story Work Choices
(12-18 min per activity, please complete 2 activities today):

  1. 4-frame write-draw (quick sketch, no additional time), with Latin captions from the story
  2. Ask/answer questions about the story in written Latin (see handout)
  3. Write a Latin summary of the story, timed write-style (50 words, approx)
  4. Write a polished English translation of a large chunk of the story
  5. Map out the story in timeline form, using Latin sentences and small illustrations.
  6. Write a verum/falsum quiz, 10 statements, with answers.
  7. Describe or explain important grammar features or new forms that occur in the story.
  8. Draw a picture dictionary of at least 7 words. Focus on new vocabulary.
  9. Write a list of Latin words in the story which have English derivatives. Use a dictionary to help you (5 words min).
  10. (fast finishers) read something new and challenging in Latin, and keep a log of what you read: title and page numbers, new words, forms, grammar, etc.


  • You might want to specify group options, or make it entirely individual. But even in that case, you can have students collaborate and help each other. In addition to these instructions, I may make some and/or all of the following materials available to students:
  • 4- or 6-frame storyboard pages,
  • lined paper, printer paper,
  • colored pencils,
  • Glue sticks, scissors

Also, I have other textbooks and books on Roman culture and myth on the bookshelf, in addition to my Latin FVR library.

Whenever I assign this project, (especially when I’m out), I am always pleasantly surprised that, not only do things run smoothly with any sub, but I find some amazing work that I find easy to grade and deal with, and much of which can be recycled into future activities and assessments.

Related pages:

Miriam Patrick and Rachel Ash’s Google 80/20% project.

Martina Bex’s multi-level class approach (also linked above)