Read, Draw, and Discuss


Read, Draw, and Discuss

The following post is courtesy of Keith Toda. He teaches Latin at Parkview High School, a public school in Lilburn, GA. He teaches with four other Latin teachers in one of the largest Latin programs in the nation (USA). I highly recommend that you bookmark his blog and come back to it. There is truly so much great information and so many ideas there! (And it is applicable to all languages!)

Keith Toda’s Blog:

The following post was originally posted on Keith Toda’s blog (here) and is re-posted here with his permission.

NOTE: I saw Keith do this at the CI Summit Conference in Savannah, GA. After I saw him demonstrate this, I knew I had to try it with my class. After trying it with my classes, I knew I had to incorporate this more often in all levels of my classes. It is simply fantastic! It is fun, effective, and engaging. My students love this activity! (And, the results and level of creativity are impressive!)

Read, Draw, and Discuss

This is an activity which I had done often in the past to introduce a new reading but had forgotten about during the Covid hybrid interim. However, returning to a post-Covid classroom, my colleague Rachel Ash did this with our Latin 2 classes, and I saw that this was an excellent way to introduce students to a new reading with lots of scaffolded support while addressing various modalities. The activity is exactly what the name says: read, draw, and discuss.

After the 2nd full week of class with my Latin 3’s, I did a vocabulary ranking survey where students let me know digitally what new targeted vocabulary they really knew, knew, kind of knew, and did not know at all using a Google Slide sorting activity. Using those results of the top 5 words which students felt that they kind of knew and did not know, I created a story which furthered the Pullo et Vorenus story but deliberately targeted those words with which students had informed me that they did not possess much familiarity. Essentially, the reading “circled the plane” a bit in terms of story but got in lots of repetitions in new ways in order to keep the reading novel.


  1. I created 6 Google Slides which had the new reading on them. On these slides, I underlined those words from the survey and glossed them at the bottom of each slide. 

During Class

  1. Students had a whiteboard, marker, and rag.
  2. I projected the first slide and read the Latin aloud to the class as they followed along. 
  3. I asked if there were any words which they did not know in order to establish meaning. If students had questions, I would translate that particular word for them and re-read that Latin sentence but translate the word in English when I came to that word.
  4. Following this, we did a choral reading of that particular slide in order to establish additional meaning. 
  5. After this, I gave students three minutes to illustrate that paragraph/sentences on their whiteboards.
  6. Once the three minutes were up, I told the class to show at least one other person their whiteboard picture and to tell in Latin what they had drawn or point to specific parts of the picture and to use the Latin from the projected reading. If they wanted, they could also write the Latin on their picture with arrows pointing at the specifics.
  7. I then have students show me their pictures. I looked at their whiteboard pictures as a comprehension check and then picked three pictures to show the class. I have a document camera which allows me to project the pictures onto my screen.
  8. Using their pictures, I asked circling questions, processing questions, and PQA’s based on the pictures.
  9. I then repeated the process again with the next slide.
  10. This activity took 2 days.


  1. This activity got in “a lot of bang for its buck,” i.e., I felt that students really acquired much from doing this. Although it took two days to complete, I was able to get in lots of necessary repetitions with a variety of activities embedded into it which appealed to so many different modalities.
  2. Projecting the pictures gave students novelty in seeing what others drew and that I might choose their drawings.
  3. After this, I felt that students felt much more comfortable with those words which they had told me that they kind of knew and did not know. That does not mean that all students acquired all those words, but they still received lots of comprehensible input, exposure, and repetitions. 

Note: Here are some of the pictures from my students!
It was a story about “Bruno”. Bruno was in Florida and decided to jump in the ocean and swim to Germany. However, he wasn’t a good swimmer. So, “Julia” jumped in and helped him swim to Germany. But, there was a problem. As they were swimming, they saw a shark – and Julia decided to swim away (faster than Bruno). What happened afterwards, is left to the imagination.


  1. Keith Toda on September 10, 2023 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks so much for the shout out here – so glad that you were able to use this and that your students enjoyed it!

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