Sunday, August 24, 2008

Got Latin?

I'm working on a lesson plan for my 7th and 8th graders, in which they will design a school seal and a school money. It is to be a contest, and the winners will receive prizes.

To help my kids along, I'm coming up with some ideas. This project stems out of a discussion we had last week about the Great Seal of the United States, and the symbolism in the unfinished pyramid (with 13 steps), the Eye of Horus, the eagle, and why it has an olive branch (signifying peace) in one foot and thirteen arrows (signifying war) in the other. Thirteen comes up a lot, because of the original thirteen colonies. We also discussed the meaning of the Latin phrases used in the seal, specifically e pluribus unum, meaning "out of many, one." I asked how many of my students were born outside of the United States (a majority, actually) and explained that like their families, for hundreds of years now, people have been coming from many different places to live in and create one country. I think they got it.

Anyway, for their seals, I want them to have a motto of some kind, and I thought it might be fun to have those mottos in Latin. Fire up Google! I typed "Latin generator" into the field and came up with a very handy page for generating Latin mottos.

Fun! Now I've got a bunch of ideas for my kids to use, like "Knowledge and Friendship," "Through knowledge, life," and many others.