Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Verb Day One: Key Experience

First of all, check out Kal-El's hand on Me Too's back while Me Too puts the grammar symbols on his noun family.  Priceless!  I'm so glad we have this time together.

This week I finally presented the key experience for verbs to the boys.  I mostly use the Montessori Research and Development album for grammar because the hand-me-down grammar box materials I have were made from those albums and also because I like how specific and step-by-step the follow-up work is.  I do, however, tend to prefer the key experiences for each part of speech from the Cultivating Dharma language album.  The activities from today's lesson are all from the CD album.  I followed his presentation pretty much to the letter.

I started by providing the boys with three objects and they came up with their own noun families for each of the objects.  They created:

  • the brown bear
  • the small baby
  • the stinky sock

I wrote each of the noun families on a strip of paper and then the boys identified the parts of speech and labelled them with wooden symbols from the grammar box.

Next, the boys opened up little mystery words written on folded slips of paper.  The boys took turns choosing a slip of paper and acting out the word. 

Can you guess what word Kal-El chose?




I then asked them to: "point to the brown bear," "point to the stinky sock," "point to the small baby."  They did those things successfully so I then asked them to:  "point to hop," "point to kick," "point to run."  We discovered that you can point to nouns but you can't point to actions.  You perform the action and then it is gone.  They learned that "a verb is a word that shows action."

I suggested that the boys add a verb to each of their phrases.  We noticed that their phrases were now sentences so we changed the first letter to a capital letter and added a period at the end.  They ARE BOYS so we wound up with both a violent sentence and a gross one:

  • The brown bear kills.
  • The small baby cries.
  • The stinky sock smells.
You can also see that we talked about the etymology for the word "verb."

I introduced them to the grammar symbol for verbs (the red sphere).  We rolled the sphere around the noun pyramid and talked about the energy of the verb and the stability of the noun.  We dropped the noun pyramid onto a book and noticed its stability upon landing.  We replaced the wooden verb sphere with a red rubber ball and noticed its movement and energy.  Then, we labelled our sentences with the appropriate wooden symbols from the grammar box.

We wrapped things up and the boys recorded some work in their language notebooks.  I was happy when they chose to write fresh sentences and label them with grammar symbols using their colored pencils and templates rather than copy the sentences we already worked on.

Isn't this different than what you usually think of when you think about learning grammar and analyzing sentences?  I can't imagine teaching grammar to boys any other way.  Kal-El mentioned several times that "school is a lot of fun" and said that he "loves learning about grammar."

I would really appreciate it if you would take the time to go vote for me in the Homeschool Blog Awards.  I am nominated in the Best Homeschool Method blogs category.  Thanks!


  1. I know right? I've been teaching my son the mainstream way and it was way too tense and uninteresting for us. Until I taught him by Montessori way; he took it like a fish in the water. I love the Montessori method!

  2. I love Montessori grammar - and your boys are hilarious :)

    1. Oh they crack me up. I vetoed any "gas" related sentences.

  3. We've been playing Children's Charades to emphasis the "doing" word. Kids have loved it. There is something behind doing drama with kids. Also in same lessons with my boy! :)

  4. I am reading in bed on the iPad and D sees your photos of the noun family and says Hyung's work? (Hyung means big-brother in Korean...if a boy is saying it.) T and S just did the adjective today and d was of course observing closely. Oh he absorbs so much!

    1. LOL! I proudly told my husband last night "I learned a Korean word today, but I can't even use it because I'm a girl." He laughed. I'm waiting for you to have a "less exciting" week so I can show the boys pictures of your kids working. They love that. I haven't yet because they will see what you're doing and expect me to amp things up and get all exciting over here. I have NO intentions of making that messy volcano any time soon. Good for you! Go Abbie!

    2. Haha, Oppa is what a girl would say to an older brother, or older friend who is a boy. Me-Too would say hyung to Kal-El. S says Oppa to T. D says Hyung to T. There is no title in Korean for a person younger than you, everyone is just dongsaeng. T would call Kal-El hyung, and Me-Too would call T hyung. S would call T, K, and M Oppa and D would call everyone hyung and S Noona...because he is a boy :) NOW you know some useful Korean.

  5. We are no longer homeschooling, but during the 3 years that we were, we used the Montessori grammar lessons, and my children LOVED it. I too can't imagine teaching it any other way!