Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Martia Dementia in the Classroom

Martia Dementia in the Classroom

The excitement of Martia Dementia has stirred up a considerable amount of internet buzz in the classics community. Our Facebook, Twitter, and BlogSpot have all seen a lively amount of activity. Now the brackets are live (and already coming in!) and the surveys ready for launch next week. Still, one question sits like an elephant in the room: How can Martia Dementia serve not just as a rewarding competition but also as something rewarding in the classroom?
An image of the BC Bracket, now
available on Twitter and our blog.

Teachers should see Martia Dementia as an opportunity for students to learn about authors they may not normally cover, or even hear about, in the standard Latin or Greek classroom. One way is for teachers to have students take a look at the bracket and pick an author they would like to present, by themselves or in groups. Depending on time, this could be a one-minute activity, where students give two important facts and one "fun" fact about the author (the "fun fact perhaps resembling something I attempted with the survey, which you will see in due time). To save time, I have already created a document so students do not have to dig up the information themselves. If allotted more time to present, students will have the opportunity to present a more expansive biography of the authors to the class.

Another way to turn Martia Dementia into a fun classroom activity is to play "Two Truths and a Lie." This option serves as a chance for students to get creative and have fun while still learning. Teachers may choose to assign authors to individuals or perhaps groups of three, or allow them to pick their own. Then the goal is for students to find and generate two truths and one lie about each author. As a group, two students can pose as truths and one as the lie and have the class guess which is posing as the lie. This task can take the form of simple presentations or can also serve as a competition where students aim to find he most ridiculous truths and make their lies so believable that they stump the classroom.

Seize the opportunity to have fun with Martia Dementia! Have you started to already? Do you have other ideas as to how you might use this in your classroom? We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

-Connor Hart