The last few weeks we have discussed how Montessori teaches Math. We touched on the Golden Beads, Pythagoras Board, Fraction Circles, and the Yellow Triangles for Area. Now we are going to move onto Language. This week we are starting out with the Grammar solids and symbols. Montessori has a very unique way of teaching grammar that not only helps children understand the rules but also remember them.
Maria Montessori knew that children respond well to shapes and colors and thus decided to create a system of colored shapes to represent the nine parts of speech. Starting in the Junior (ages 3-6) classrooms students learn the Grammar Solids first. They are taught to match the symbols up with cards that have the speech descriptions on them.
When students move up to Lower Elementary (grades 1-3) they quickly and easily recognize each symbol. Then they are taught to break down sentences by placing a smaller version of the grammar solids called the Grammar Symbols. Students learn to place the symbol above the corresponding word in a sentence. By studying grammar, students become better writers and readers.
“…this interest in the sensorial aspect of language gives place to a more intellectual one which Montessori calls the ‘second sensitive period for language’. It is now the construction of language which fascinates the child, and his interest now becomes focused on the relationship between words… In other words this means that the child from seven to nine is passing through a sensitive period for grammar.” – The Discovery of the Child p 138, Chap VII