Title Snakes & Ladders
Level 1 - 5 (supplied set is '1')
Number of Students Any
Organization Pairs or Groups
Length 20 minutes
Materials 1 board and set of cards per group

Download Board (2mb) and Cards (500k)

This game practices translation. Students take turns reading Latin sentences to their fellows for them to translate. The sample provided contains sentences from Cambridge Latin Course Stage 1. I've used variations of this game with all levels and ages (elementary to adult).


  1. Make groups of up to 4 students.
  2. Give each group a Snakes and Ladders board and set of cards.
  3. Each student puts a marker on the board (erasers work well)
  4. Groups decide who goes first. (In Japan we use 'Rock, Scissors, Paper')
  5. Play moves in a Clockwise direction.
  6. The student before the person who is 'it' takes a card and reads the Latin.
  7. The person who is 'it' translates it into English.
    The reader checks the translation. (provided on the card)
  8. If the translation is correct, they can move the number indicated on the bottom of the card.
    (my students usually prompt and help everyone translate the sentences)
  9. If a marker lands on the bottom of a ladder, the marker may advance up. If it lands on the head of a snake, it must slide down.
  10. The student who was 'it' now takes a card and reads the Latin to the next person.
  11. Play continues until one marker reaches the goal.
  12. If all the cards are used, shuffle them and reuse.

Students who finish early can put the sentences in order.

Note on making the cards.
I used AppleWorks' spreadsheet and database program.

  1. In the spreadsheet program I typed in the list of (a) sentences (b) translations and (c) the number of spaces to move.
  2. In the Database program I made a new database and with the appropriate fields and dragged and dropped the sentences.
  3. Then I changed the layout (you can use one of the Avery Labels).
  4. You can edit the layout by pressing command + 'L' and paste a picture.
  5. You can vary the speed of the game by adjusting the 'number of spaces to move'. The supplied cards may move a bit slowly. There are no 5's or 6's.

I'm sure this can be done on a Windows machine as well.

N.B. Printing the cards on variety of colored paper helps organize them.