Ancient Greek Pictionary

Learning foreign language vocabulary can be done through rote memorization, but it isn’t very fun and at times it can be quite tedious.  We’ve had success learning individual words by association.  For instance the word for farmer in ancient Greek is αὐτουργός which sounds like owe – tore- gose. We remembered the word by creating an association that the farmer chases ghosts out of his field.  This method has been highly effective for us. I decided to try something a little different recently.  
Once a week we focus on Greek vocabulary learning through games.  I wrote down all the vocabulary words in the first three chapters of Athenaze on a poster board.  I also wrote each Greek word on an individual card with the English meaning on the back. 
For pictionary I cut the deck without looking and we take turns picking a card.  There are usually three of us playing- my two boys and I.    Then, in turn, we draw some sort of picture so the non-drawers can guess the right vocabulary word.  The only catch is that the answer has to be in Greek and not in English.

We also use the same materials to play charades.


  1. Whoops, I thought I had done the first 3 chapters in Athenaze, but I only did the first three half chapter sections 1A, 1B, and 2A. My son moved onto 2B today and I realized I didn’t add those so I’ll be adding another posterboard for 2B, 3A, and 3B.

  2. I think we have spent a bulk of our time learning how to read and write the different languages (Arabic, Mandarin, Greek). As we progress, more of the time will be spent on vocabulary acquisition. Well, with Mandarin we will be continuing to spend a lot of time learning how to read and write. Also, French (started in 5th grade) has gone much, much quicker! We focused on pronunciation for a couple months and then moved right into vocabulary and grammar. Reading and writing French is quite simple in comparison. At least that has been our experience thus far.

  3. That’s definitely understandable, especially with so many languages! We haven’t done any kind of memory work before and I’m not really sure how much to expect from my kids so it’s really helpful to have something to compare. 🙂

  4. Each week? If I measured by each week the amount would be very little. We are learning quite slowly, but steadily. I work toward mastery so that list of vocab on the poster will probably last all year. We are also learning grammar to go along with the vocabulary. If they don’t retain it then we stay put until they do know it. As a result, we make slow progress.

  5. I’m planning to begin more serious foreign language study with my kids in the fall.

    How much vocabulary would you say your kids learn each week? How much do they retain?

    I think you’re doing a wonderful job and I love hearing about your adventures. 🙂

Leave a Reply to Eclectic Homeschooling Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge