Latin tells the story of an entire civilization through its literature. There are easy online tools for teachers to use; the tools get easier each time you use them. For teachers familiar with any form of computer programming, I’d recommend Twine to have a more in-depth game. For teachers less tech-savvy, I’d recommend Google Forms or inklewriter. Each of these allow the student to pick the course of the story. This can be a cool tool for combining sources. My example with consist of adding the different versions of Hercules’ stories. Hercules Mixtus is a combination of the tragic plays, Hercules Furens and Hercules Oetaeus, by Seneca the Younger, the tragicomedy play, Amphitruo and other Classical literature that would act as sources for these Roman playwrights.
An Evaluation of Twine and inklewriter
The two platforms are very similar to one another in their goal of creating an interactive story, where the reader gets to choose what happens throughout the story. As I mentioned before, Twine is more user friendly for those that know some code. Inklewriter eliminates that hurtle by having the commands as shown tools.
Why Google Forms Differ
Google Form is a very versatile tool. It can be used to make Never Fail Quizzes , or a simply quiz or pre-test to see how your students are understanding the material. Google Forms as a story teller works the same as the NFQ. Using the option to progress based on answer is how you allow the student to choose their own path. Google Forms seems to be the most common platform for creating original stories. Therefore, if you’re not ready to venture to a new platform, stick with what you know.
For this story, I used inklewriter. It seemed the easiest and smoothest to use under the time restraint I had to complete Doceamus. The overall process included reading multiple difference sources that reference Hercules. I focused on the Classical, but mixed in some modern sources to keep the students engaged. While I read a source, I recorded the information in spreadsheet. From that spreadsheet I made my interactive story. Students could go through the story and pick which version of Hercules they would like to follow along with.
Please stay tuned for the final product of Hercules Mixtus.
Application to Your Classroom
I focused on seven sources, five Classical and two modern. There are far more Classical sources revolving around Hercules your students could look at. I see this assignment becoming a collaborative project, with multiple groups of students working towards a common goal.
When I took Latin in high school, I remember Level III focused on the Labor of Hercules. Why not expose the students to the variants in sources, something that applies to research in post secondary education?
There are multiple ways this can be divided. The groups could focus on a specific part of Hercules life, or each group could focus on a specific source. The groups can look at the Latin. After translating they can compile their sources, and cite the line numbers that state “Jupiter informed Amphitruo that Jupiter was the father of Hercules, Am. Plautus, 1135-36.”
After each group has inquired all their differences they can apply them how they wish. The students could also make their own interactive story, or another media form applying the information they have collected.