|Language - Grammar|
|Materials||a few objects that differ only by color|
two objects that differ only by length
writing tray (pencil, red pencil, slips of paper, scissors)
Grammar Symbol set
In this activity the child is introduced to the concept of adjectives.
In this example, the objects used are different colored rocks, and a short and a long stick. Just about any objects could be used (see the #Materials section below).
- Take the material to a mat or table. (The Grammar Symbol set can be fetched later in the lesson if you wish.)
- "I'd like you to get something for me. I'll write a message to show you what I want."
Write 'the rock' on a slip of paper and give it to the child.
- The child should get one of the rocks from the basket. Set it on the table with the label underneath.
Say, "Thank you. That is a rock, but it's not the rock I was thinking of."
- "I'll write another word to add to the message."
Write the color word of one of the other rocks on a slip of paper in red pencil and give it to the child.
- The child should get the green rock.
Set it on the table with the labels underneath.
"This is the rock I was looking for, but this doesn't sound quite right, does it? 'The rock green.'"
- "How about this?" Move the adjective to the beginning. Let the child try moving the words around.
- "Wait, I have an idea."
Cut apart the words 'the' and 'rock'.
- "Try it now."
Let the child put the words in order. Give them time to try things out if they need it.
- "Let's do another one. I'll write a message for you."
Write 'the stick' on a slip of paper.
- The child should get a stick from the basket.
"That is a stick, but it wasn't the one I was thinking of."
- Write the word 'long' (or 'short', whichever is the other one) on a slip of paper.
- See if you can get the child to prompt you to cut the words apart on the paper as was done before (or they may wish to cut them apart) so the adjective can go in the middle.
- "These words are called adjectives. They describe nouns so we know which one we mean."
- "Let's get the grammar symbols box and I'll show you the symbol for adjectives."
Get the grammar symbols box, mark the nouns, then the articles, reminding the child about these word types.
"This is the symbol for adjectives."
Mark the adjective with the symbols.
- The labels can be put in the basket for the child to work with independently later. You will want to make extra adjective labels so there is one for each of the colors, and be sure to have both 'short' and 'long'.
It is important to include two example like this because otherwise many children get the idea that adjectives are just color words.
Points of Interest
Control of Error
Variations and Extensions
You will need a group of objects that differ only by color. Possibilities include:
- rocks, buttons, beads, animal figurines, fabric squares, yarn, plastic cubes, plastic Easter eggs, dice, socks
You will also need two objects that differ only by length (short/long), or size (big/small). Possibilities include:
- sticks, pencils, spoons, safety pins, ribbons, socks
Make Your Own
Free printable Grammar Symbols (black outlines, print on the appropriate color of cardstock and cut out):
Grammar symbols could be cut out of card-stock, craft foam, or plastic (maybe from plastic lids).
Where to Buy
Prices and links last checked: 25 May 2020
Basic Grammar Symbols Box
Absorbent Montessori $25.00
Affordable Montessori $39.00
E & O $37.00
ETC Montessori $30.00 (no box?)
Kid Advance $22.99
Leader Joy $24.95
Materials Company of Boston $65.00 (small)
Materials Company of Boston $65.00
Materials Company of Boston $75.00
Montessori Concepts $25.00
Montessori Outlet $9.95 (box extra $13.95)
Grammar Symbols Stencil
Affordable Montessori $4.99 for 2
Albanesi $52.00 for 5 (large)
Albanesi $52.00 for 5 (small)
Alison's $6.50 for 2
ETC Montessori $7.50
Mandala Classroom $45.00 for 5
Montessori Outlet $3.95
3D Basic Grammar Symbols
Alison's $18.00 (no base)
E & O $134.00
Kid Advance $21.99 (base: $8.99)
Kid Advance $65.99
Leader Joy $26.95 (no base)
Leader Joy $34.95
Materials Company of Boston $55.00 (no base)
Montessori Concepts $38.00
Montessori Outlet $28.95 (base: $8.95)
Montessori Outlet $57.95
3D Noun and Verb
Affordable Montessori $12.00
E & O $17.00
Kid Advance $11.99
Leader Joy $15.95
Materials Company of Boston $48.00
Montessori Concepts $13.00
Montessori Outlet $13.95
Nienhuis Noun only: $26.20
Nienhuis Verb only: $26.20
- Teaching Montessori in the Home: The School Years by Elizabeth G. Hainstock, pages 116-117, 139-140