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Review: eToga Trek – Free Video Series

EToga Trek is a free video series from Ascanius Youth Classics Institute. The five videos cover areas of Roman life and culture, and we have thoroughly enjoyed them all. You may remember that we have reviewed a few of the other products they publish, Leap into Latin, Vocabula Pictura, and Alpha is for Anthropos. They’re all valuable (and affordable) additions to the study of ancient Greek and Latin.

The eToga Trek series is geared towards elementary blog-etoga-bullaestudents, and we love how they include language along with culture. It’s a great way to add depth and meaning to our studies.

The videos give an insight into ancient Roman culture and language through activities that stay with students. The videos need little explanation, and my 10-year-old twins were able to follow along to do the activities independently with ease, and they have loved to tell about what they have learned.

The videos start by discussing the Roman family, and the bullae that their children wore until adulthood or marriage. In each video, the kids have an activity to complete, the first video has students make a Roman family tree and a bulla. We made ours from leather, because I always seem to have extra leather lying around, but felt seems to be harder to come by. They turned out beautifully and the boys like to wear them as lucky charms now.

eToga Trek Roman clothingThe series goes on from there, covering architecture, mosaics, clothing, and games. Each eToga Trek video has links to additional resources, and we have learned more Latin in talking about the weather, family, colors, and typical greetings and questions. It’s been a great opportunity to include it in our daily life. Even though the boys groaned about dressing up a stuffed animal like a Roman for the clothing video, I gave that assignment to them as I left to teach my violin students. When I came home, they had done it beautifully, taken a picture of their animals with their new outfits, and could explain the difference between a toga and a tunica. I’m not surprised they ignored the women’s clothes – they are boys after all!

Students are asked to keep a journal, where they write notes, ideas and answers to questions posed in the eToga Trek videos. They compare their modern lives to how the Romans might have lived, what made things different, and what was similar.

I think the games video (#5) was their favorite, eToga Trek Rota game and talibecause they have a couple of new games to play now. Go figure, kids like games, and have always liked games! We were fascinated to learn that the Romans used something that looked very much like the dice we use today, only made out of bones, called Tali. We made ours out of polymer clay, like Sculpey {aff link}, because I knew that they would want to be able to keep them and they’re sort of hard on things.

We have enjoyed the videos, and learning about the culture of ancient Rome, and our conversation skills received a boost! They’re a great set of videos, and they’re free. Ascanius Youth Classics Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to introducing kids to the classics, and offer a membership that helps defray the cost of what they do for the community.

Enjoy the videos!