10 Ways to Practice Latin Vocabulary

Latin vocabulary is the bear that you don't want to hibernate over summer. Just like any muscle, if you don't use it, you will lose it. So, taking some time to keep that vocabulary refreshed over school breaks will be one of the most fruitful endeavors you can pursue. Here are 10 ways to keep it fun and fresh:

Latin vocabulary

1 - Flashcards

Flashcards are a simple yet effective method for review. If you just focus on 10-15 flashcards over the 10 weeks of your summer break, you can have anywhere from 100-150 vocabulary words fresh for the school year to start back up again.

Latin vocabulary

You can make your own flashcards, or download and print the Latin with Andy flashcards (included in a membership).

If you've been studying Latin for a while, take this time to focus on the vocabulary that you struggle with the most. It will really pay off when you're back into translations again.

2 - Flashcard Videos

Latin with Andy has videos on YouTube that walk through the Henle 1 Vocabulary cards. Watch a video each day to keep the vocabulary fresh and learn tips and tricks for how to remember the words.

If you're a Minecraft fan, Andy also has a series using the same mnemonics from the flashcard videos, but he and his sister develop their own little Minecraft world while learning and reviewing vocabulary. Having something to watch while listening to the memory work is a great way to stay engaged with the material and add an extra anchor for memory through the Minecraft scenarios.

3 - Memory Matching

There are other ways to use flashcards to help you practice. Print them off single-sided, cut them out, and play that old fun matching game with them!

Latin vocabulary

4 - Hangman

Classic games like hangman work well because they involve attention to spelling as well as a vocabulary review. You can play hangman by choosing any of the possible forms of nouns or verbs. This expands your gameplay by having to sort through all of the possible endings they know.

5 - Spoons

Spoons is a fast-paced card game that requires players to pass cards around in a circle until they have four that match. When they get those four matching cards, they try to subtly grab a spoon as the others keep searching for four cards. Once someone grabs a spoon, the other players can grab one even if they don't have four matching cards. The one who is last is out.

You can play this game with Latin vocabulary with those same one-sided vocabulary cards you used for memory matching. Just grab some friends/family and start looking for two complete sets of vocabulary words like this:

I don't like the idea of getting out of the game because that means that you'd stop practicing vocabulary, so I usually just have the same number of spoons as players, and the spoon grabbing just livens up the vocabulary review!

When one person finds matches, they grab their spoon, then lay down their vocabulary words to announce their success. Then they draw four more cards, and everyone else keeps playing with the same cards they had.

6 - Pictionary

Another fast-paced and playful Latin vocabulary review game is Pictionary. Students can draw one of their vocabulary words, see if their friends can guess it, and then translate it into Latin.

7 - Word Pictures

Sometimes the Latin vocabulary word is just a little more challenging to memorize, so drawing pictures to help them remember the forms of verbs or the Latin word for a particular noun can be a great way to review vocabulary.

8 - Vocab Quizzes

A quick way to get in a little review is to offer a vocabulary quiz. Focus on one lesson at a time and have your student take the same quiz every day. They can complete as many as they know and then use the answers to add two or three more answers to their list.

As time passes, they will get faster at taking the quiz and eventually master it. At that point, you can move on to the next lesson. Every once in a while, you can bring the old lessons back as a review.

9 - Make a Dictionary

One of my favorite ways to really practice the forms of your Latin vocabulary is make your own personal Latin Dictionary. This isn't so much for actually looking up words when you're translating, even though you could definitely use it that way.

The beauty of copying all of these forms and translations over and over is that you build muscle memory. As the forms become familiar, it makes translation work faster. Here's a free one to get you started tracking your nouns and verbs!

Free Latin Dictionary Printable

I’ll send you the templates for each part of speech to build your own personal Latin vocabulary dictionary.

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    10 - Word of the Week

    If all of these vocabulary review ideas just feel like too much work, you'd be surprised at how many words you can really internalize by just focusing on a word of the week. Write it on the family chalkboard, or post it on the fridge to get it out in front of your family. Make it a point to bring attention to it throughout the week.

    If you can find ways to keep Latin vocabulary fun, it will make it easier to keep reviewing. The rewards of your efforts will be worth it!

    More Latin Resources

    All of the resources mentioned in this post are included in a Latin with Andy membership. Grab all the printables you need, or enjoy access to over 700 videos of Latin content, with helps for students ranging from 5th to 10th grade. Come be a part of the Latin-learning community!

    Need help learning Latin at home?

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    1. Branwyn Bailey on September 2, 2020 at 9:51 am

      I noticed in the Henle 1, Lesson 1, Part 1 vocab video that the cards have a ‘slip’ punch in them. Not sure what it is called. Can you tell me what that punch is? or a link to purchase it?

    2. Liza Grimstead on September 8, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      I am a first year Challenge A Director and I just want to thank you for this webpage. It has been such an amazing blessing.

    3. Melissa Wienke on May 28, 2021 at 3:06 pm

      Do you have a printable for Latin dictionary pages?

    4. Erica Aust on February 28, 2022 at 8:12 am

      where can I find the printables for the vocab cards for the Latin spoons game?

      • Betsy on April 4, 2022 at 2:10 pm

        There are vocab flashcards for every unit included with the membership. You can also purchase all of Henle 1 flashcards separately here: https://www.e-junkie.com/i/x6vp?card. I hope that helps!

    5. Latin Freak on September 27, 2022 at 1:55 am

      Really Helpful

    6. M Adr on May 19, 2023 at 12:30 pm

      It’s a non-essential, but in #2 above you might want to change “pneumonics” to “mnemonics.”

      • Jason Strauss on June 2, 2023 at 7:06 pm

        Thank you!

    7. Elisabeth Griset on March 20, 2024 at 4:26 pm

      Hello, my name is Betty Griset and I am teaching my grandson, Jack (11), latin. We started using a diffent latin text last year, but then Jack found the Latin with Andy videos. We have been using the videos, but then I signed up this month for the 3 month trial.

      I understand that the membership includes vocabulary cards and other helps. How do I access these items.

      I would like help in accessing the items that come with the membership.
      Thank you for your response.
      God bless you & yours!

      On my own I had made flash cards from our text and the Latin with Andy Minecraft videos. I would like the quizes, the answer keys and see the flash cards as well.

      • Jason Strauss on March 25, 2024 at 8:51 am

        That’s exciting! After you sign in, you can find all the vocabulary cards and all other helps under the tab called Printables.

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