My Big Plan for 2011 is to start to offer Minimus Mouse Courses on Hadrian's Wall - both at local schools and from our B&B. (Yes...I know our website is not finished yet...but completing it is part of the big plan!)
I'm a qualified Minimus Mouse Teacher (my blog post about going to Dulwich in 2008 to meet with Barbara Bell, the Minimus' author, and her colleagues is here). I'm starting to go to local primary schools to introduce the children to Minimus mouse.
It's a passion of mine and I wholeheartedly believe in the courses - Minimus and Minimus Secundus.
For those of you perpetually scarred by your schoolboy and schoolgirl Latin lessons please take note...this course is all about FUN!!!!! Here are a few facts about the course:
• Comic Strip Cartoon and Stories of Latin Mouse and Family. The story is based on a real Roman family who lived at Vindolanda, a Roman Fort in the area near Hadrian’s Wall, at the beginning of second century AD.
• Main Characters are: Flavius Cerialis (Dad and Fort Commander), Lepidina (Mum), Flavia (aged 16), Iulius (aged 13), Rufus (aged 3), Minimus (Mini Mouse) the mouse and Vibrissa (Whiskers) the cat. Also featuring Corinthus, Candidus and Pandora.
• The story is based on real archaeological finds found at Vindolanda (where archaeologists have been digging since the 1930’s and full time from 1970’s onwards).
• The Vindolanda Writing Tablets are Britain’s Top Treasure as voted by experts at the British Museum, have been found at Vindolanda - 1973 and onwards. The course draws upon the history and stories yielded by the writing tablets.
• Subjects covered include: the famous Birthday Party Writing Tablet, archaeological finds, music, design, drawing, geography, history, drama and acting, recipes, travel, roads, maps, Hadrian’s Wall information re – Vindolanda and other historical sites, Roman York, Greek myths, English poetry, chemical symbols, medicine, games, writing, jewellery making, weaving, shopping, learning about British tribes, the Roman army, bath times, Greek and Roman gods (to name but a few things!).
• Interactive learning: pronunciation of Latin words, Latin derivatives forming English words, syllabus supports learning of modern European languages and Key Stage 2 History (for children) and general background history for adults, helps with English vocabulary and grammar. Helps to refresh the Latin of children and adults who have already studied Latin.
• Guided visits by me (Hadriana) to the site and the museum to see where the family actually lived; what they did and what they used. (Vindolanda's Chesterholm Museum and The Roman Army Museum will be re-opened to great fanfare after their complete renovation this March 2011.)
• Written by Barbara Bell, MBE, and illustrated by Helen Forte
• Over 100,000 books sold: at least 10% of British Primary Schools are using this course.
• Internationally popular: Minimus is taught in Europe, USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand
• Two stage course (Minimus and Minimus Secundus) with full colour cartoon stories, grammar and Greek myths published by Cambridge University Press Student books, teacher resource books, CDs and audiocassettes, DVD of Minimus the musical, further mini books as extension readers. Interactive website: http://www.minimus.com/
• Accessible to learners of all ages and abilities:
• “Minimus has introduced thousands of children to one of the great treasures of the British Museum. The delicate Vindolanda letters paint a vivid picture of everyday life in Roman Britain describing everything from birthday parties to knitted socks. Minimus takes this enthralling material and uses it well, bringing Latin and Roman Britain to life for its readers.” Neil McGregor, Director of the British Museum
• “Minimus flies off the Vindolanda Museum bookshelves as devotees indulge in the joyous adventures of this endearing Latin mouse. This is a wonderful way to introduce the Latin language to young people and it remains a firm favourite with children and parents alike.” Patricia Birley, MBE, Director of the Vindolanda Trust
• “When you finish the lesson Minimus makes you want to stay there forever.” Enthralled Minimus pupil
It's designed for 7-13 year olds but I know that people of all ages will get a lot of enjoyment out of studying it. (I'm teaching it to some adults as well who agree with me!) I'm also combining it with my guiding at Vindolanda (the fort) and The Roman Army Museum both of which are just down the road from here.
Ta da! That's what I am up to. Will keep you posted as I go along.....I'll also explain a few Latin bits and bobs as I go along too....
vale! valete! - Goodbye! (singular and plural forms of goodbye!) for now........Hadriana :)