Making Henle Latin Exercises Work for You and Your Student

Making Henle Latin Work For YOU

If you open the Henle I Latin book, you will find many different types of exercises. Sometimes, you are asked to translate a word, sometimes a phrase, and many times complete sentences. Every once in a while, you are asked to translate from English to Latin. While this is extremely difficult at times, I believe it enhances ones understanding of Latin in ways none of the other exercises can. Don’t die on this hill, but don’t completely pass it over for the sake of ease either.

As we began our year in Henle with my student enrolled in Classical Conversations Challenge A, translating Latin nouns proved simple. He had learned (to some extent) his declensions and conjugations through four years of Foundations. He had learned much about grammar/language structure in Essentials for two years.

But everything went south as we began to diagram sentences. Why? Once there was more than one noun job to assign, or more than one noun case to identify, I noticed more inaccuracies. It was as if he would translate the words correctly, but then would throw the nouns on the paper in random order related to the verb. If you have studied Latin, you know that the noun ending normally identifies the noun job. If more than one ending is matched, such as in the case of the ending -ae, the context of the sentence, including naming other nouns first, will usually help you determine the correct case, or noun job.

After about two months of disagreeing, I determined we needed something concrete to ensure he was doing the necessary “thinking” to identify the correct answer. Similar to showing work in math, I wanted him to show his work in Latin.

Being a non-worksheet fan, I started simple. I typed the sentence on a piece of paper (on the computer of course), and added lines above and below for labeling the necessary pieces of information.

It looked a little something like this.
____     _______       _______
____     _______       _______
____     _______       _______    _______
____     _______       _______    _______
Ducēs     Gallōrum        oppida        mūnīvērunt.

Each blank required a piece of information.

The list for nouns included the following:
Declenstion: 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5
Gender: Masculine, Feminine, or Neuter
Number: Singular or Plural
Case: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, or Ablative

Person: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Number: Singular or Plural

Under the sentence would then be the translation. And while this worked, constantly moving lines around to fit a sentence pretty much drove me up the wall. After several tries, I developed my only little Quid et Quo worksheet. Each week, I type the sentences in. If you have read my post about my “reluctant learner,” you know this helps me ensure he knows exactly what is required of him. Also, if he turns it in without the blanks filled in, all I have to do is hand it right back. One sheet is for individual words or short sentences (saves space), and one is for the longer sentences.

So as not to confuse him, all verbs had two boxes grayed out (when I type in the words), since he only needed to complete two items for verbs, and all conjunctions or similar words had all four boxes grayed out.

Eventually, verbs entered the picture. And this is where we are now.

For verbs, now we list the following:
Conjugation: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th
Number: Singular or Plural
Tense: Present, Imperfect, or Future (as far as we have gone to date)
Person: 1st, 2nd, or 3rd

More will be added later, but we have not made it to mood yet, and I hear voice won’t be for quite a while. So no hurries there. Please note that these are simple worksheets I made for my children. I am neither an expert nor a maker of beautiful worksheets, but useful – I can do that!

I have let up on nouns since he has the majority memorized. On some exercises, I allow him to only write the case, or case and number.

Now that I am working through Henle with my 5th grader, I am working to complete the remainder of the activities in order for future Henle students to have access to a complete line of worksheets. However, there are a few bugs to work out, such as how to fill in adjectives and nouns since “the” technically goes before the adjective in English, but attaches to the noun in Latin. (The long sword – “long the sword” sounds and looks odd.)

I hope this worksheet is of help to you. You certainly can laminate it and use it over and over, or you can print worksheets each day. This worksheet caters to typing in the sentences and using a new one each time based on the size of the blanks. If I was to do this to laminate for continual use, I would enlarge the boxes and have fewer lines on the page.

Let me know if you have any questions, and enjoy!

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    It's the end people. The end of Challenge A (our homeschool community program that we LOVE), and Latin is kicking our tail! It's not necessarily that we can't handle it, but so much has cropped up. I direct Foundations and Essentials, which means Memory Master, last day of CC, and…
    Tags: sentence, case, number, latin, help, noun, henle, long, asked, verbs


  1. KWood

    Thank you for posting your thoughts & including your worksheets as free downloads. I like what you have done & so appreciate the chance to benefit from your experience & labor.

    At first I wondered why create these charts when you could simply use the CC Latin Trivium Table with its Quid et Quo. But on second thought, I realized that while the Trivium Table is a one-use chart (use it & erase it for the next sentence), your charts are helpful for those occasions when you wish your student to do their Latin independently. They can do multiple sentences on the chart & show you their work so that you can then check it. As you say, it is similar to how we do math. Usually my son & I do the exercises together on separate whiteboards, comparing our answers to each other, correcting our work as necessary, & then checking the answer key for immediate feedback. Although he & I prefer doing our work together, your charts will be good for those occasions when we just can’t coordinate our free times which may increasingly be the case.

    • Christy

      You hit the nail on the head – plus I have 3 more behind him. So it will be reusable. I also have a student who will say “I did it” even though he didn’t. I was listening to Andrew Kern today at the Great Homeschool Convention, and he talked about trusting your middle schooler. I do feel like this allows me to give him space to work without saying “I don’t trust you are doing the work,” even though he has shown that he doesn’t always do it. He knows that missing blanks give it away. We do some exercises orally, and I do offer “noun” breaks now that we are on verbs. So in adjusting it. Thank you for your comments!

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