Latin Flash Cards

I regularly am asked how we make our Latin flash cards. There are a lot of ways, and as always, what works for my child might not work for yours. But I wanted to show you how we make them in our house.

When making Latin flash cards, remember that these get used for more than just memorization and testing of vocabulary. Your child will also use them for completing their homework, and as a reference tool for many years to come. So including as much information as possible on your card will be very helpful.

For our purposes, let’s talk about Latin nouns. Latin nouns get ‘declined’ or conjugated based on the part of speech they represent, and what declension they belong to. For example, let’s look at the Latin word for ‘sailor,’ nauta / nautae.

The word can be represented 5 ways
As the subject of a sentence – the sailor
Possessively – the sailor’s ______
As an indirect object – for the sailor
As the direct object – the sailor
As the object of a preposition – by the sailor

In Latin, these are called ‘Cases’
The Subject is called ‘Nominative’
Possessive is called ‘Genitive’
The Indirect Object is called ‘Dative’
The Direct Object is called ‘Accusative’
The Object of the Preposition is call “Ablative”

You and your child will learn this right away when you study Latin. The important thing to know when making flash cards is that the ending of the word will change depending on how the word is used in the sentence. There are 5 cases (shown above) and there are also 5 separate declensions. Declensions divide all the nouns of the entire language into 5 groups. Each of these declensions can be represented as singular or plural words. Further, each word can be classified by gender – either masculine, feminine, or neutral.

You will write the Latin noun 2 ways on your card: in the singular nominative and singular genitive case.

Here’s an example of the front and back of a Latin flash card

Latin Flash Card

 

Here’s a labeled version, which explains what all of these words mean.

Latin Flash Card with Labels

As you can see, on the front of the card, we write the nominative case, then the genitive case of the Latin word. When possible, we use the singular form, but some nouns can only be represented in a plural form, such as the noun thanks. (While you can say, ‘thank,’ it then becomes a verb.) You and your child will quickly see that you can glean a wealth of knowledge just from seeing the endings ‘a’ and ‘ae’ on the end of ‘naut.’

On the reverse, you will have:
English Translation – In this case, sailor.
Declension – The word nauta is a 1st declension word. It will not be found in any other declension, and marking it on your card will make it easy to quiz your student to see if they can recognize what declension this word belongs in.
English Derivative/s – Words that are similar in English that stem directly from the Latin word. Nauta can be easily associated with nautical, and can help a student work through translating a word.
Lesson # – This can be the lesson number in the text book, for easy reference to the rules that govern the word.
Gender – This could be masculine, feminine or neuter.
You may also choose to include other information on your card. For example, some words, like in English, don’t follow the rules – there are exceptions in Latin, as well! We often mark these exceptions on our cards.

It’s worth noting that some people will choose to put some of this information on the front of the card, namely the declension and lesson number. Because I find that studying with the flash cards is best done by showing my daughter the front of the card, I am a fan of placing all the other info on the reverse, and testing her ability to tell me as much as she can about the word. The choice is up to you!

Latin feels overwhelming when you first begin to study it. Do not be afraid! While this looks very confusing to a newbie, it will soon make much more sense!

Here’s a great link to a very clear noun ending declension chart. Verbs are also included at end!
While the chart refers to curriculum I do not use, I love the clarity of these charts for new Latin learners.


Comments or questions about making Latin flash cards? Let me know!

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  10. Mary
    July 27, 2015 at 5:16 pm (2 years ago)

    Thank you!!! I am a first year Challenge A momma and have been looking for a step by step process of making these LATIN CARDS…AND Voila! here it is. God bless you. I will be watching to see more awesome stuff from you.

    Reply
    • amygarwood
      August 4, 2015 at 4:23 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m so glad it was helpful :)

      Reply
  11. Kim
    July 14, 2015 at 11:12 am (2 years ago)

    Do you have a suggested template for flashcards for other parts of speech?

    Reply
    • amygarwood
      August 4, 2015 at 4:25 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Kim :) I made my other flashcards very similarly. Maybe I’ll do a post soon!

      Reply
  12. Wendy
    April 13, 2015 at 1:40 pm (2 years ago)

    I just have to chime in that I would definitely pay for a set of pre-made Henle flashcards. My daughter is just finishing Challenge A and my son will start next year. Having seen my daughter try to keep up (with limited success), I am quite worried about my son (she is the organized one). I know they are encouraged to write their own, but that is just not the way he learns. Have you ever seen a set for sale anywhere?

    Reply
    • IEHS
      July 28, 2015 at 9:53 pm (2 years ago)

      Try Quizlet.com they have all the Henle vocabulary sets created, and it will format cards in a few different sizes for you to print. You can also quiz online or use the app on any device. It’s my favorite online educational tool and everything is totally free with no spamming etc.

      Reply
      • Wendy
        November 4, 2016 at 7:27 pm (8 months ago)

        I say a psot that you make Henle Latin vocab AND grammar cards. How can I find out more about these?

        Wendy

        Reply
    • Samanth
      June 22, 2016 at 7:14 am (1 year ago)

      I made a set of Henle flashcards on my computer that contain both vocabulary AND grammar rules. They are for CH A-B (lessons 1-25 color coded) I am directing CH B in the fall and showed them to my parents at a Latin Parent Equipping. 10 families wanted to buy them, so I had them professionally printed and cut. Not sure how I would sell them online…

      Reply
  13. Chris Abbott
    February 1, 2015 at 11:59 pm (2 years ago)

    I would so buy a set of cards if you made them. I understand that for some kids it’s better to make their own but not necessarily for all kids.

    Reply
    • amygarwood
      February 6, 2015 at 12:06 am (2 years ago)

      I totally agree with you. I’ve started making a set. They are very time consuming! One day I’ll have them up to sell – it’s a goal I have!

      Reply
  14. Jill
    January 22, 2015 at 10:43 am (2 years ago)

    Thanks! Do you have a specific example on how you make the verb flashcards? TIA!

    Reply
    • amygarwood
      January 23, 2015 at 7:46 am (2 years ago)

      Hm. Well I don’t, but I can certainly make one :) Hopefully I can get around to that this weekend.

      Reply
  15. Lori B.
    August 12, 2014 at 11:24 am (3 years ago)

    We are in Challenge B. Last year the flashcard making didn’t work. I understand the “gold standard” and I also understand what works for us. Let’s just say this, I would pay money for those cards and actually searched everywhere for them last year :-)

    Reply
  16. Rachael
    August 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm (3 years ago)

    Thank you for this post Amy! Love how your flash cards look, and how they are broken down. This is how we will be doing ours. Thanks for the layout! :)

    Reply
    • amygarwood
      August 10, 2014 at 9:46 pm (3 years ago)

      You’re welcome :) I wish mine looked as neat and tidy as the picture! But when tweens have to make hundreds, they start to look a bit disheveled! Good luck with Latin!

      Reply
  17. Mary
    August 9, 2014 at 1:45 pm (3 years ago)

    OOOOOH! I LOVE this! Thank you, Amy!!!

    Reply
    • amygarwood
      August 9, 2014 at 11:54 pm (3 years ago)

      Your welcome :) Thanks for stopping by, Mary! Hope you are well!

      Reply
  18. Geri H
    August 9, 2014 at 1:47 am (3 years ago)

    Just found your site… and Nauta! Your site is great! We are a CC family; my daughter is still in Foundations I loved the way the noun declensions and verb conjugations that we chanted in Cycle 1 and 2 began to actually make sense to my 7-year-old when we began our at-home Latin study this past school year. We didn’t do a “formal curriculum” I used the book “Getting Started with Latin” by Walter Linney and love, love, love it for the simplicity of the lessons and the fact that I was actually ‘getting it’ along with her!

    Reply
    • amygarwood
      August 9, 2014 at 11:20 am (3 years ago)

      It’s great she’ll have a head start for when she hits the Challenge years. It sure can be tough sometimes, but we love how we can see Latin all around us :)

      Reply
  19. Lori B.
    August 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm (3 years ago)

    You should sell cards that look exactly like that for Henle. My son will study them, but he just cannot seem to make/keep up with them. He loses them because he only makes a few at a time. If they were all done and on one ring, we could keep up. I would pay you for a set of Henle I cards. Seriously.

    Reply
    • amygarwood
      August 8, 2014 at 9:13 pm (3 years ago)

      I totally understand the frustration of keeping up. It is a TON of work making flash cards, and we got behind as well last year. Do you do CC? They are firm believers in kids making their own flash cards, and so I try to have my daughter do her own. But I have jumped in and helped her some too! I might take you up on that if I had some extra time :) perhaps I’ll think about it!

      Reply

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