To Maria Montessori, the teaching of grammar was at the center of her language curriculum for elementary age children. It is a critical element in our language program. Understanding language and the words we read and write is extremely valuable for the students’ further education.
First and second year students are learning the parts of speech. The aims of this work are to learn the function of each word and to understand the relationship between words. Our elder students have started learning sentence analysis. Sentence analysis is the Montessori version of sentence diagramming and the aims of this work are to study how words are used in sentences. First year students learned about verbs this week. Second years learned about conjunctions. And third year students learned about predicates, subjects, and direct objects.
“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.” -Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder.
Our relationships to other living things need to be more than theoretical. Children love animals and plants and relate to them as individuals. Children are drawn to living things and they want to know about them. We can nurture and build on that interest by helping them to sharpen their skills in observation, and to learn and apply methods of appropriate care taking. We are going to be visiting the outdoor classroom as frequently as possible!