I have been really looking forward to today's presentation. Today was our second day talking about nouns. As I mentioned in my post about Day 1, I have several grammar albums. They are all a little different from one another. After reading them all as well as Maria Montessori's The Advanced Montessori Method Volume 2: Materials for Educating Elementary School Children I had my heart set on my presentation including solid grammar symbols (in this case the black pyramid), the hunk of coal, pictures of The Great Pyramids, and telling the story of "The Black Pyramid." The language album I am primarily using (although I refer to the others often) is from Cultivating Dharma. It is the only place I have the text/script for the story of the black pyramid. My other albums either don't use the coal and the pyramid, or say to "tell the story" without providing the story.
I set all of my materials out on a rug on the school room table while the boys ate breakfast. I have the pyramid, the coal, our noun nomenclature card, a makeshift grammar symbol template (made in a rush this morning, only has one symbol on it...the one I needed today), paper, and a photo album of my husband's 2000 trip to Eygpt. Not only did we have pictures of the Great Pyramids, but we had pictures of Daddy climbing the Great Pyramids!
They were SO EXCITED when they saw I had laid these interesting things out and it was a piece of cake to get the work cycle started this morning. I started by reminding them that everything has a name and that name is called a noun. As recommended in my Keys of the Universe album, I then asked them to find something in the room that didn't have a name. Kal-El thought long and hard
about this and came to the appropriate conclusion: that everything has a name. Although, I will say I think he is having some common name/proper name confusion which he asked about. He said that "all elephants in the wild are just called 'elephants,' they don't each have their own 'name'." I think we cleared things up though. Me Too was not quite ready for this part and kept telling me the names of things that had no name. Sigh.
Then, I told the story of "The Black Pyramid" and the coal which was purely magical! So effective!
During the story of "The Black Pyramid" we paused to look at the pyramids in the photo albums. There were A LOT of pictures of the pyramids. Also, some fun ones such as...
...Daddy climbing the pyramids.
....Or, Daddy on a camel!
Afterwards, I showed the boys the template for the grammar symbol and showed them how we could think of nouns, write their names, and trace the symbol above them. My album refers to this "template" offhandedly and inconsistently. Fortunately, my bloggy friends over at Making Montessori Ours were using their this week and it clued me in to what my album was talking about. It's not necessary equipment, but I'm really glad I made it because it was a huge point of interest for both boys and it made it possible for Me Too to be successful doing this work with us.
Yup, I didn't expect it, but Me Too proved he could think of nouns and write them too! He wrote "chain", "dog", his name, "coal" and even spelled them all correctly! He also wrote "pyramid" PRMD.
Another thing I didn't expect is that they would be so motivated by the lesson that they would spend NINETY MINUTES filling paper after paper with nouns and draw or trace the symbol over each one.
Kal-El was putting all of his work in his language binder that he has decided is his "remembering binder." So, of course, Me Too needed one too!
He reported to school sporting a full firefighter outfit today. The binder work was wonderful for him and began with practical life lessons on how to use a three-hole punch and how to open and close a binder. He repeated the practical life portions A LOT. He also filled three pages with nouns (he writes big) and was very proud to add his work to his binder.
I think back to my first grammar lessons at a traditional "chalk and talk" school and think "WHAT A DIFFERENCE." Who knew grammar could be so much fun?
Other posts in this Series:
Montessori Grammar: Noun, Day 1
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