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Latin Memory Work for Classical Conversations

I apologize to my loyal readers….it has been awhile since I have posted. My family was assaulted by Influenza B. For over two weeks, we have been dealing with fevers, vomiting, uncontrollable coughing, and many other lovely symptoms. (I will spare you the details, friends.) But, we are back to the land of the living and we are ready to begin the second half of our school year! Are you?

First on the agenda for 2013? Memorize our Latin before we return to our Classical Conversations Community. We have already memorized all of the songs for the Latin Noun Endings, but we had one hang up. While we knew each song during the week we were learning it, we were having a hard time when we put them all together. Which song do we sing? What is the first part of that one? We were a bit of a jumbled mess. What had seemed so easy over the last few months had turned incredibly difficult all of a sudden. We needed a game plan.

What to do? I emailed one of my tutors and explained our situation. We knew the songs individually, but we needed a memory trick to help us remember which one was which. You see, Tabatha, who is my son’s tutor, had given her class memory tricks for this purpose. I remember. I sat in her class while she taught it. But….I didn’t write it down.  :(   Thankfully, she didn’t hold it against me! She emailed me five stories to help us with our Latin memory work.

Sidenote: This is just one of the reasons I love being in a Classical Conversations community! My group is full of helpful, amazing mamas that are always “at the ready” to assist one another in homeschooling. I love my friends!

So, most of these Latin stories are not my own. I must give credit to my tutor, Tabatha, for creating these memory tricks. You may thank her. (I have adapted some of the stories a bit, but they are still mostly hers!)

Memorizing the Latin Memory Work for Classical Conversations

Step 1: Supplies

You will need:

  • The Classical Conversations Latin Memory Work for Cycle 1  (available in the Foundations guide
  • access to the Latin songs for the Latin Noun Endings
  • Optional :   Print a document off CC Connected that provides visuals for the correct pronunciation of each of the Latin sounds. (pictured above)
    •  This document is optional, but I highly recommend it!   It helps the kids have a picture in their mind to attach to each Latin sound.  It is a treasure!  
    • If you are on CC Connected here are instructions for finding the document.  Type the following items into the search buttons.   You should pull up twelve documents.  The one that I use the most is titled “C1 Latin Noun Declensions Picture Pronunciation Guide.”  The flashcards look helpful, also.   
      • Week:  all
      • Cycle:  1
      • Category:  Latin
      • Uploaded by:  NoGreaterJoy5


Step 2:  The Process

  1. Familiarize your child with the original children’s song.  One of the declensions is sung to the song “A Sailor Went to Sea.”   My kids hadn’t heard that song before.  So, the first step?   Sing children’s songs.   How easy is that? (I have attached videos of each of the songs.  Just press play!) 
  2. Once your child can sing the original words to each one of the children’s songs, then you are ready to tackle the songs with the Latin.
  3. Choose one declension.  Focus on one at at time.   
  4. Listen to the song in Latin.  If necessary, help the child hear that the Latin song is the same tune as the children’s song. 
  5. Optional:  Discuss the pictures in the Latin puncutation guide.  Help the child learn how to pronounce each sound using the pictures cues.  
  6. Memorize the Latin noun endings using memory tricks
  7. Once the child has the Latin songs memorized, it is time to give them a trick to help them remember which one is which.  Teach the child a story that incorporates the number of the declension, the song, the first sound in the singular, and the first sound in the plural.  This story reminds them what to sing….and when.
  8. Have the child tell you the story several times throughout the day.  Optional: Using the Latin Pronunciation Guide, I have my kids point to each component as they tell the story.  When they say “second” in the story, they point to the word “second” at the top of the page.  When they say “tree” in the story, they point to the picture of the tree.
  9. Continue quizzing your child.  After he seems confident in all of the songs individually, mix them up.  Start with third declension.  Then, move to fifth….then first.   If he forgets which song to sing, have him tell you the story.  This should remind him of what comes next.  If it doesn’t, then you need to go back and review the stories again.   Also, you can ask him reminder questions.   ”What was the weather like when the cat walked to school?”   ”What grade was he in?”  ”What did he learn when he got to school?”    

The Latin Noun Endings- Aids for Memorizing 

Note:  Due to copyright laws, I will not be sharing the complete Latin memory work or the actual Latin songs published by Classical Conversations.  Please visit the Classical Conversations bookstore for information on purchasing a Foundations guide and a Memory Work Audio CD.     


1st Declension Noun Endings

Children’s Song: Skip to my Lou

The Video: 

The Story:   I was so scared when I began first grade that I looked at my Mom and said, “Uh….I don’t think I can do it!  I am going to skip it!”   But, when I started doing my work, I said, “Oh….I can do this!” 

  • Think…….
    • First=I will be doing the first declension.
    • Uh=  When you are confused you say “Uh.”  I didn’t know how to do the work in first grade, so I was confused.   I didn’t know the answer, so I said “Uh.”  “Uh” is the first pronunciation in the singular first declension. 
    • Skip=I will sing the Latin song to the tune of “Skip to my Lou.”   I am going to sing a few words of Skip to my Lou to myself before I start singing it in Latin. 
    • I= I know I can do it!  “I” is the pronunciation for the first sound in the plural first declension.  When I get to plural first declension, I will start with the sound “I.”


2nd Declension Noun Endings

Song: Jingle Bells (Dashing through the snow portion only)

The Video: 

The Story:

In the middle of a snowstorm, my puss decided to go to second grade.   When he got to school, he learned how to climb a tree.  

  • Think…..
    • Snow=Dashing through the snow…..This is part first part of the song, “Jingle Bells.”  My puss will be dashing through the snow to get to school.  This will remind me to sing my Latin song to the tune of “Dashing Through the Snow.”   I will sing a few words from that song before I sing it in Latin. 
    • Puss=A puss is a cat.  My cat is going to school.   The first sound in the singular 2nd declension is “us” as in puss.  
    • Second=My puss will be going to second grade.  Second will remind me that I will be singing the Latin noun endings for second declension. 
    • Tree=While at school, my puss will learn to climb a tree.  Tree reminds me that the first sound for plural second declension is “ee” as in tree. 


3rd Declension Noun Endings

Song: B-I-N-G-O

The Video: 

The Story:  My dog, Bingo, decided to go to third grade.  When he got there, he thought it was very, very fun!   He had so much fun, that he was sure that he was going to ace it!  

  • Think…….
    • Bing0=My dog’s name is Bingo.  This will remind me to sing the song B-I-N-G-O when I get to third declension.  I will sing a few words from that song before I sing the song in Latin. 
    • Third=My dog is going to go to third grade.  Third will remind me that I am singing the third declension noun endings. 
    • Very, very=   My dog thought school was very, very fun.  Very reminds me that the first sound in singular 3rd declension is “various.”  When I hear “very, very” I will remember to begin with “various.” 
    • Ace=  My dog is going to ace third grade.   “Ace” will remind me that “ace” is the first sound for the plural third declension noun endings.  


4th Declension Noun Endings

Song: Here We Go Looby Loo

The Video:  

The Story:  My puss has decided to go back to school.  This time he will be in the fourth grade.  When he gets to class, he become great friends with a moose named Lou

  • Think……
    • Puss= Puss stands for “us” as in puss.  When I hear puss, I will remember that the first sound for singular 4th declension is “us” as in puss. 
    • fourth= My puss will be going to fourth grade.  This will remind me that I am singing the fourth declension noun endings.
    • Moose=My cat will become friends with a moose.   This will remind me that the first sound in the plural 4th declension is “oos” as in moose. 
    • Lou=The moose is named “Lou.”  This will remind me that I will be singing the fourth declension noun endings to the tune of ”Here We Go Looby Loo.” 


5th Declension Noun Endings

Song: A Sailor Went to Sea

The Video:

The Story:  By the time I get to fifth grade, I will have aced my Latin noun endings more than eighty times!   When I ace Latin, I will do a rumba dance to celebrate! 

  • Think…..
    • Fifth=In this story, I am in fifth grade.  This will remind me that I am singing the fifth declension noun endings. 
    • Aced=This will remind me that the first sound in singular 5th declension is “ace.” 
    • eighty=  The second sound in the singular 5th declension is “a”-”e”  as in “eighty” minus the “t.”
    • Ace=I will say ace again to remind me that the plural fifth declension starts with “ace” as well.  
    • A Rumba=I dance ”A  rumba” dance to remind me that the second sound of the plural fifth declension is “a” plus  “rum” as in rumba.   


What are your tricks for memorizing Latin?


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