We consider nine parts of speech;
- noun family
- verb family
- joining words
- The interjection or exclamation
- The pronoun
In Casa the symbols are given to show the patterns in language, the words change but the patterns of the function remain the same.
The symbols are used to make concrete that which is abstract, in order to help the child discover the function of words and classify them. They are able to discover their function spontaneously with a simple introduction. This indirect preparation provides a strong base, to which further discoveries are added, at Elementary to bring these discoveries to a new point of consciousness. Here we use psycho-grammar.
Symbols and Impressionistic Charts
We introduce solid symbols, images from the universe. These help in regard to the impressionist approach to language, which appeals to the imagination and facilitates understanding.
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The black pyramid, basic, rigid and each face has the least amount of lines to make a shape. It recalls Ancient Egypt, an ancient civilisation with a role in the constriction of writing and ancient architecture, nouns build sentences. It’s blackness indicates coal, a very basic, common, strong fuel for sentences. It is heavy to give an impression of the solidity.
Chart of Noun family – shows that the adjective is independent, like an elementary child but the article depends on the noun, like a baby and it’s mother.
The red ball on a base to give an impression of the constant activity of the verb. It represents the sun which gives life, light and heat,
Chart of the Verb – it shows how verbs gives energy to the sentence and animates the noun family.
The study of grammar brings a clarity to the language which is not reached in other ways, bringing conscious attention to the ways we use language intuitively. It is suited to the psychology of the Elementary child, aiding her developing intelligence. The Grammar materials could be compared to the sensorial materials, giving an opportunity to order, classify and organise the intelligence around that which has been previously taken in. After experience working with and abstracting each part of speech, language is given, enabling the millions of words to be classified according to nine terms.
The materials were not designed to teach grammar but to explore language in a concrete way. Giving ‘Keys’ to the composition of language. The opportunity to study each part of speech in isolation, making the exploration easier, as each difficulty can be mastered separately. The materials are not designed to replace grammatically designed studies of books, but to let the child access grammar books with ease. In the 6-9 and 9 -12 classes children should be able to use those parts of grammar books which interest them, rather than depend on them.
At Elementary the international colour coding changes in the Grammar Box, apart from the noun and verb, to avoid too much dependancy on mechanical exercises. The article is not studied by itself, but in conjunction with the noun. Each compartment has the name for the part of speech and the part being introduced is kept covered. The grammar boxes are kept empty on the shelf with the box with the cards for working, in the order in which they are introduced. The number of numerals relates to the number of compartments, the capital letters relate to the number of filler boxes in the set. All the cards in the box are coded according to the filler boxes. The code facilitates the child’s independence.
The filler boxes contain
- long cards which are the same colour as the outside of the box
- little cards coded for the parts of speech
Each of the Grammar Boxes has similar material requirements. Each of the filler boxes explore a different characteristic of the particular part of speech. There are charts that accompany the adjective, verb, and pronoun grammar boxes that should be included in your notes. Grammar boxes with command cards include: adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, pronoun, conjunction
Notes for using the Grammar Boxes
- These contain printed command cards, colour coded on loose plastic cards in plastic folders, which provide an extension to the boxes.
- The child must be able to read mechanically and this equipment gives further opportunities to practice reading.
- The children work the earlier boxes first, but they do not have to complete all the work with each part of speech before they move on to a new one.
- Use the boxes to explore the history of language, e.g. story of the noun and verb and give interesting facts, like ‘fox and ‘vixen’, both used to begin with a ‘f’
- When introducing a new part of speech use examples in which only that part of speech changes.
- The noun box is a little different, it also contains the article and does not follow the pattern below.
Order to giving each Part of Speech
Begin by re-caping previous work, give oral introduction to that part of speech without naming it if the child doesn’t know it. Do it playing active games with the child, as in the Casa, using that part of speech. If the child have very poor oral language an oral introduction can be given for each part.
Individual work, with the Grammar Box itself, with filler box A – this sets the pattern, the child work by herself. The child does not have to work with each box of a part of speech before moving on to the next, though ‘weaker’ children can.
Show the impressionistic charts.
Later groups of children are given the printed command cards, at first for reading and later for classification,
Work on paper, this is given after the parts of speech, immediately before abstraction. In a group, one child either takes a sentence from a book or writes her own and then analyses it. The words are underlined with the colour corresponding to the Grammar Box, with any part of speech they do not know left uncoloured for now.
Each of the Grammar Boxes has similar material requirements. Each of the filler boxes explore a different characteristic of the particular part of speech. There are charts that accompany the adjective, verb, and pronoun grammar boxes that should be included in your notes.
Grammar boxes with command cards include: adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, pronoun, conjunction