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Language - Grammar
Age5.5 +
Materialsred ball
writing tray (pencil, red, pencil, paper slips, scissors)
Grammar Symbol set

In this activity the child is introduced to the concept of verbs.


Could be done with a few children together.

  1. Take the material to a mat or table.
  2. Set the ball in the center of the space.
    "What is this?" ("A ball.")
  3. "Right, it's a ball. Since there's only one here, I'm going to write the ball for its label."
    Write 'the ball' on a slip of paper.
    Place the label under the ball.
  4. "'Ball' is the name of the object. Do you remember what we call naming words?" ("Nouns.")
    "Let's get the noun symbol."
  5. Point to the word 'the'. "What about this word?" ("It's an article.")
    "Let's get the article symbol for it."
  6. "Today we're going to talk about another type of word."
    Get a slip of paper and a red pencil ready.
  7. "What's something you can do with a ball?" ("Throw it!")
  8. Write down the word 'throw' (or whatever action word the child said) in red.
  9. Place the word before 'the ball'.
    Read the words together: "Throw the ball."
  10. "What else can you do with the ball?" ("Spin it." "Roll it." Kick it." etc.)
    Write down the words as the child says them, and put them in a column under the first one that was said.
    Swap out these words to complete the sentence: "Spin the ball." "Roll the ball." etc.
  11. Point to the column of words, "These are all action words. They're called verbs."
  12. "Here is the symbol for verbs." Take out the red circle and place it over the verb.

Points of Interest

Control of Error

Variations and Extensions


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
Adena $20.92
Affordable Montessori $39.00
Alison's $26.25
Alison's $52.00
Alison's $52.00
Bruins $80.00
E & O $37.00
ETC Montessori $30.00 (no box?)
IFIT $23.00
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)
Thinkamajigs $30.95
Waseca $70.00

Basic & Advanced Grammar Symbol Set
Alison's $47.25 (plastic)
Alison's $49.40
Nienhuis $90.90 (plastic)

Box for Both Sets
Montessori Outlet $15.95
Nienhuis $55.50

Advanced Grammar Symbols only
Adena $17.92
ETC Montessori $28.00 (no box?)
Materials Company of Boston $40.00
Montessori Outlet $7.95
Thinkamajigs $24.95 (cardboard)

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
Nienhuis $7.50
Waseca $5.00

Grammar Symbols Stamps
Alison's $29.95
Great Extensions $55.00

3D Basic Grammar Symbols
Adena $20.92
Alison's $18.00 (no base)
Alison's $35.70
Bruins $85.00
E & O $134.00
IFIT $28.00
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
Nienhuis $178.50
Thinkamajigs $37.95

3D Noun and Verb
Adena $10.92
Affordable Montessori $12.00
Alison's $15.75
Bruins $35.00
E & O $17.00
IFIT $13.00
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
Thinkamajigs $11.95

Further Reading