xLanguage :: 6-9 :: Function of Wordsxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xTable of Contents:
  • The Great Lesson
  • 6-9 Language :: Scope & Sequence
  • Introduction
  • Word Study: coming soon!
  • Function of Words
    • Scheme for presentation
      • Noun
        • Introduction(Group presentation)
      • Article
      • Adjective and Symbols of the Noun Family
        • Presentation 1
          • Game of Three Objects
        • Presentation 2:
          • Symbols of the Noun Family
        • Adjective Games
          • Game of Quality
          • The Detective Game #1 (Teacher and Child)
          • Detective Game #2 (Child Alone)
          • Detective Game #3(Group)
          • Exercise of Logical Agreement
            • An Object and a Quality
          • Exercise of Logical Agreement
            • A Few Objects and Many Qualities
          • Adjectives in the Miniature Environment
          • Noun - Adjective Charts
      • Verb
        • The Difference Between Matter and Energy
        • The Action Disappears
        • Energy Needs Matter
        • The Verb is Movement
        • Exercise of Logical Agreement Between Action and Object
          • One Verb and Many Objects
      • Aspects of the Verb
        • The duration of the action depends upon the presence or absence of an object.
        • The difference between past and present.
        • Different durations of the present
        • Invisible Movement
        • Commands of Reading
      • Preposition
        • Preposition Exercises
        • AdverbAdverb
        • Adverb Exercises
          • Logical Agreement Between the Action and Ways of Doing it
          • One Action and Many Adverbs
      • Pronoun
        • The Verb Family
      • Conjunction
        • Conjunction Exercise
        • The Comma Replaces the Conjunction
      • Interjection
  • Sentence Analysis: coming soon!


Scheme For Presentation

The primary aims of this work are to give a very strong impression of each function of speech and to understand the relationships between them. Indirectly, the child is being prepared for later grammar study, as well as practicing reading and writing, and enriching his/her vocabulary.

Functions of the following parts of speech are presented in the first year elementary class, between 6 and 7 years old:

A. Noun
B. Article
C. Adjective & Symbols of the Noun Family
D. Verb

The remainder of the functions of words will be presented in the second year, between 7 and 8 years:

E. Aspects of the Verb
F. Preposition
G. Adverb
H. Conjunction
I. Interjection

This spacing will allow the child more time to practice and fully understand the functions.




"Nouns are the spiritual substance of material objects."
- Maria Montessori

Materials: of grammar symbols
...labels for movable objects in the environment and/or
...miniature environment labels (one for each child)

Presentation: (Group presentation) Introduction:
Since we know how to speak, write and read, we can begin to study our language. The teacher asks a child a question. We notice that the child answers with all of the words in the exact order. We will learn why the words are arranged in that special order, add the special names for the different types of words. Though there are thousands of words in our language, all of them belong to one of nine groups. Each group has its own name and symbol. The box of nine symbols are examined, the colors and shapes. With these symbols we will be able to classify all of our words.

The box is put away. The teacher gives each child a label. As before, the children read the label silently and bring the object named. When the child returns, he/she identifies the object. This word names this object. All of these words are names for things. These words are called nouns.

Here the teacher recalls the story of the first humans. At first humans had no language, then they gave names to things: their homes, things in their houses, the animals, plants, rocks and soil, the sky, sun, stars, to rivers, mountains, ... (go on through progression of civilization) ... humans gave names to everything. But these humans died and the names - the nouns they used lived on. The number of nouns has increased. Everything has a name; they are called nouns.

Exercise: The child draws a picture of an object, writes the label underneath and the word noun underneath that.



Materials: of objects - some singular and others plural
...a label for each object (use the, a and an)
...samples of advertisements

Presentation: (Group presentation):
The objects are brought out on the table. The teacher asks for an object of which there is only one: the plate. The teacher asks for an object of which there are several: the bead. The child gives one to the teacher - I don't want this one. The child tries again. How many beads do we have? How many plates? When I asked for the plate, it was easy because there is only one. But when I asked for the bead, you didn't know which one was right. When there is more than one of something, I should say: a bead. WHen I have only one of something I can say: the house. How would I ask for this object? the shoe. How would I ask for one of these? an elephant., and so on.

The objects are on a distant table. The teacher gives each child a label and the child brings what is indicated, reading the label when he/she returns.

Because you have brought a button, I know there must be more than one on the table. This must have been the only hat because you have brought the hat. We know that names of objects are called nouns.

These little words: a, an, the are called articles.
(article: Latin articulus, diminuitive of artus - meaning joint; a small part, member)

...The child works with all of the objects in the farm using prepared environment labels which include the appropriate article.
...The child draws a picture of the object, writes the label underneath, and writes article or noun underneath.


Adjective & Symbols of the Noun Family


...3 like objects differing only in color
...blank labels, red and black/blue pens

Presentation 1: Game of Three Objects

Review: All things have names; the names of things are nouns. Nouns are often linked with articles. In our language we have three; a, an, the. Other languages have many, while others (e.g. Japanese and Latin) have none. Nouns also have another kind of companion. These help us to understand nouns better.

The three objects (flowers) are placed on the table. The teacher asks for a flower. But this is not the one I want. I want a white flower. It's not enough for me to say a flower. How did you know I wanted this one? I told you which color of flower I wanted. The teacher writes a label: the white flower (the adjective is written in red; the article and noun in blue or black). The child reads it and places it on the right object. This continues until all three are labeled. Now each noun has a companion. The child identified the noun and article. This word: white is an adjective. The second and third period follows. (adjective: from Middle English from Middle French from Latin adjectivum, adjectivus meaning added.)


Presentation 2: Symbols of the Noun Family (could be same session)


...3 pyramids - lg. black, medium blue, small lt. blue
...small dishes containing the symbols charts of the noun family

Instead of writing the words below to identify nouns, adjectives and articles, the three symbols - pyramids are presented, identified and placed above the corresponding word of a label.


Who do you think invented the symbols for grammar? Maria Montessori. Why did she choose a pyramid? She wanted something old and special, like nouns. The noun is very special in every language and it is as old as humanity. The pyramids are ancient monuments which are still preserved today. Therefore the noun is represented by a pyramid. She choose the color black, because it represents something very old - coal.

Because the article and the adjective always need to be with the noun, they are represented by pyramids, also. They are smaller and blue. In order to identify all of the things in our environment, we would need a closet full of these pyramids. So Maria Montessori
made things simpler for us.

The symbols are shown to represent one face of the pyramid. These are substituted for the pyramids. The child then puts symbols next to each label.

Charts are shown which identify the noun family, that the article and adjective are dependent on the noun. To call attention to the relative positions, the teacher writes the red flower on a strip of paper. The child reads it. Then the strip is torn into three pieces.
The child tries to arrange them so that it will make sense, and sees there is only one logical way.

Etymology: noun, from Latin "nomen", meaning name. It is one of the most important parts of a sentence. Without a name, a thing cannot exist.

article, from Latin "articulus", diminuitive of arto, extremity. It gives movement to the noun; it can be definite or indefinite.

adjective, from Middle French "adjectif", from Latin adjectivum, which means added. It expresses a quality of the noun, so as to limit and clarify.



1. Game of Quality

Materials: a folder which contains several cards, on one is the definite article; on another is a noun, and on several others are adjectives. Above each word is the appropriate grammar symbol. The length of the article card and one adjective card is equal to the
length of the noun card which is equal to one half the width of the open folder.

Various impromptu objects are placed about the room. The objects differ only in quality, i.e. the torn paper, the
wrinkled paper, the lined paper, the printed paper, the blank paper, etc. The teacher arranges the cards in the folder, i.e. the lined
paper, and asks the child to read and then fetch the object indicated. While the child is gone and has his/her back turned, the
child rereads the cards, brings back the first object and gets the different one. This continues for several different qualities.


2. The Detective Game #1 (Teacher and Child)

Materials: an envelope of 54 triangles of 3 different colors; of 3
different sizes and 6 types:
9 acute-angled isosceles triangles
9 right-angled isosceles triangles
9 obtuse-angled isosceles triangles
(three of each color)
9 acute-angled scalene triangles (three of each size)
9 right-angled scalene triangles
9 obtuse-angled scalene triangles

The triangles are scattered on the table. The teacher says, I want only one of these. Can you guess which one it
is? The child may guess or choose one. No, that is not the color of the one I want. The child guesses the color and isolates all of
the triangles of the right color. The guessing goes on, each time eliminating some triangles as the qualities are narrowed down. As
each correct quality is identified, the teacher writes a label, i.e. after the child has found that the triangle must be green, the three
labels are arranged: the green triangle. At the end, when only one triangle is left, the adjectives cover all of its characteristics: the large green obtuse-angled isosceles triangle.

The child reads the labels. It was necessary to use many adjectives to find the right triangle from among that large group. The labels are taken up and mixed and lain out again. With the same adjectives we would still be able to find the correct triangle, but the arrangement/order of the adjectives usually sounds best in only one way. The child rearranges them to find which order sounds best.


3. Detective Game #2 (Child Alone)

Materials: the 54 triangles

white labels on which are written:
thetriangle, and the eleven adjectives

The child takes the labels the and triangle and chooses the adjectives he/she wants and places them between the and triangle.
(The child will see that he/she can only choose one of each category, because it is not possible to be, for example, small and large at the same time.)

Once the labels are arranged, he/she sets out to find that triangle.
He/she may draw it or trace it and write (copy) the qualities beneath. The symbols may also be added.


4. Detective Game #3: (Group of Children)

Materials: the 54 triangles
54 prepared labels (strips) on which is written the
description of one triangle for each label, i.e. the
red large acute-angled isosceles triangle

Procedure: The labels are given out to the children, so that all of the labels are distributed. The triangles are now scattered over a
large space. All of the children proceed to find their triangles. In the end none should be left.


5. Exercise of Logical Agreement: An Object and a Quality

20 nouns on black cards
20 adjectives on brown cards (to match grammar box)
(Note: The adjectives used should be objective, i.e., not "good" or "pretty".)

Presentation: The noun cards are given to the child and he/she reads them as he/she lays them out in a column. The teacher reads an adjective card, and the child guesses with which noun it should be paired.

For a little amusement, after all of the adjectives have been matched, they are collected, shuffled and placed again in the
column. The child reads each combination and states whether or not it could make sense. Some adjectives are very particular, while some can describe many nouns, ex: a sharp knife

The teacher selects three nouns at random and isolates them. The child is given all of the adjectives and tries to match as many as possible.


6. Exercise of Logical Agreement: A Few Objects and Many Qualities

Materials: 3 or 4 nouns on black cards
many (20 or 30) adjectives on brown cards

The noun cards are placed in a row and read. Taking the stack of adjectives, the child reads one and places it with one of the nouns, making a column before each noun.


7. Adjectives in the Miniature Environment

Materials: the pieces of the miniature environment
corresponding reading labels which now have the article, adjective and noun
the grammar symbols

Presentation: The children each bring an object from the environment and place them at random on the table. The teacher writes a label; the broken plate, which has the adjective written in red. The child reads it silently and places it with the object. He/she identifies the function of each word, placing the symbols over the words. Each child receives a label. Here again the exercise of tearing and rearranging the words may be done to emphasize the position of the adjective. Each child may draw and copy the label, pasting the symbols appropriately in his/her notebook. The old miniature environment labels which had the article and noun should be replaced by labels including adjectives.

8. Noun - Adjective Charts
On a chart or piece of paper the noun and adjective symbols are pasted at the top. One noun is written under the noun symbol. The
child thinks of adjectives that agree and writes them in a column. This may be done by one child over a space of time or by many
children collaborating.

Note: Before going on, check the child's comprehension with questions in reference to adjectives: How many adjectives are needed to distinguish between two like objects? May I change the positions? May I use just any adjective? no



1. The Difference Between Matter and Energy

strips of paper, black and red pens
miniature environement
black pyramid, red sphere
grammar symbols: noun, article, adjective, verb
insets of geometry cabinet: circle, triangle, polygons

Presentation: The teacher writes the labels for some objects consisting of noun, article and adjective written in black. A few children read the labels and bring the objects. Other labels are written in red; these are simple commands, i.e. run, walk. The children read these silently an execute the commands.

All of the labels are placed on the table: the environment labels with their objects and the verb commands alone. The objects are here, but where is run and walk? They have disapppeared. These are verbs. The verb is energy. Examples of energy in activity are given, recalling the generation of body heat through activity. Like a coal or wood fire is energy, it gives off heat and light. Energy is very important to life. Verbs show energy.

Presentation: Symbols The pyramid is presented, and the child recalls that it represents the noun. The symbol chosen for the verb is a red sphere. The noun is very stable; it cannot move. The verb moves quite a bit and freely. (Verb - from Latin verbum, word par excellence, the most important word). In the same way as the triangle represents the pyramid, a circle represents the sphere. The freedom of movement is shown with the metal insets. The greater the number of sides, the more freely it moves.

Aims: to give the symbol and etymology of the verb

Concept: The verb shows energy.


2. The Action Disappears

miniature environment objects

Presentation:The objects are on the table. The teacher asks the child to put the objects in the basket. Where are the objects? Where were they at first? You performed an action. Where is the action? The action has disappeared but something has happened to the objects; they have changed their positions. The verb has given life to the objects. The matter remains but the action is no longer seen.

Aim: to show that the verb gives life to objects


3. Energy Needs Matter

Materials: strips of paper


The teacher writes two commands - one is transitive; the other is intransitive, i.e. walk and eat. It is observed that one child can perform while the other cannot, because he/she has no object. One action depended on having an object (to eat), while the other action depended solely on the child. Some verbs require an object while others require only someone to do it.

Aim: to indirectly prepare for transitive and intransitive verbs


4. The Verb is Movement


Materials: basket of one word commands


If we have a group of marionettes that are not moving, they are simply objects without life. When someone comes along and pulls their strings, he/she makes them dance, walk, wave their arms; he/she gives them movement. The verb is movement. The children stand limp like immobile marionettes. The teacher gives each one a verb command. As soon as the child receives the command, he/she begins to execute the action. The marionettes have come to life. One by one the teacher takes the command cards back from the children's hands. Each in turn stops the action to become limp once again.

Aims: to understand that the verb signifies movement; to understand
the function of the verb and all of its characteristics.

5. Exercise of Logical Agreement Between Action and Object

Materials: 10 verbs on red cards
10 nouns on black cards


Presentation #1:

The two stacks of cards are shuffled. The child reads the verbs as he/she places them in a column. he/she then takes the nouns one at a time and tries to match them, i.e. read a story or polish a shoe.

The child may write this list of pairs in his/her notebook, or he/she may take only one list and compose the other as he/she writes it in his/her book. To amuse the children, the nouns may be collected and redistributed randomly. This will clearly show that some objects don't make sense with certain verbs.

Aim: to bring the child to a point of consciousness that energy must have its specific object in order to make sense.

Presentation #2: One Verb and Many Objects
The verb cards are arranged in a column. For each verb the child tries to match as many objects as he/she can. Some verbs take many objects, i.e. draw, throw; while others take few or only one, i.e.drink, light.

Aim: to understand that one verb may act on (apply to) many objects, but all of the objects must have a logical connection.


Aspects of the Verb

1.The duration of the action depends upon the presence or absence of an object.


The teacher writes several commands of which some are transitive and some are intransitive. These are distributed to the children and they begin executing the commands at the same time. It is observed that some children have finished their actions, i.e. write a word, open the door, while others have not finished because no one has told them to stop, i.e. walk, hop.

Aim: Point of consciousness: An action without an object may last forever. An action with an object has a specific point of completion.

Indirect Aim: comprehension of transitive and intransitive verbs; concept of infinitive


2. The difference between past and present.


The teacher writes a command, which the child reads and executes. What have you done? I have brought you a pencil.What did it say for you to do on this card? Bring me a pencil. You say that you have brought me a pencil, not I bring you a pencil.

The present tense lasts only while the action is being done. Once the action is finished, it is already in the past. More examples are given.

Aim: to notice the change in the verb for past and present

Indirect aim: to prepare for verb conjugations


3. Different durations of the present


The teacher writes and distributes commands, some which will take a while to complete and some shorter actions. All of the children begin together. When some children have finished, each child states what he/she has done or is doing. The duration of the present depends upon the action. The present can be very briefor it can last for a long time. We have a special way of saying that an action is going on: I am reading a story.

Aim: to understand that the present lasts as long as the action lasts

Indirect Aim: to prepare for verb conjugations: present continuous tense


4. Invisible Movement


The teacher writes a command which requires no visible movement, e.g. think of a story. The child reads the command and executes it. It seems that nothing is happening. There is no movement. What were you doing? I was thinking of a story. What did you do when I asked what you were doing? I answered you. You have performed two actions: thinking, which showed no movement and answering a question, which was an action we could see and hear.

When you were thinking all of the action was going on inside, in your brain; it was an internal action. When you read silently, your mind is very active even though your body doesn't have to move.

Aim: to understand the verb can indicate internal or unseen movement or activity.


5. Commands of Reading


The teacher writes a simple command and the child executes it. When the action is completed, the child places the symbols over the words.

The verb is cut off and the child is asked to execute the command,i.e. the window. The child sees that he/she cannot do anythingwithout the verb.

The label is cut into several pieces and the words are mixed up. In a command the subject is understood, therefore the child mustunderstand that the noun - the object - comes after the verb.

The children execute commands, copy them in their notebooks and place the appropriate symbols above the words. The children may compose their own commands.

Aim: to understand the placement of the verb in relation to the object.



Materials: a vase, a flower
a pitcher of water, a small glass
strips of paper, pens
grammar symbols previously used and the symbol for the preposition


The teacher writes a label for the flower and one for the vase. The child labels the objects and places the corresponding symbols over the words. In red the teacher writes another label with the preposition in. The child reads it; the label is placed between the other two labels, and the child reads the whole phrase. The flower must now be placed in the vase as the label says. This word in made the flower change its position. This word is a preposition and its symbol is this little green bridge.

(preposition: Latin praepositio < praeponere, meaning to place before - it is something that comes before something else.) The bridge was chosen to indicate a union, a close relationship between these two objects.

The objects labels are reversed and read - the green vase in the yellow flower. This does not make sense.

The exercise is repeated with the water and the glass, putting out labels and symbols, the preposition in, and its symbol. The child pours water into the glass. The positions of the nouns are reversed but this time, it is possible.


Preposition Exercises:

miniature environment, object labels
cards with prepositions
long strips on which phrases are printed

1.) The child is given an object label, which he/she/she reads, then gets the object and places the symbols over the words. The same child does the same for a second object. Then the teacher gives him/her/her a preposition card to place between. he/she/she matches the symbols to the preposition, puts the objects in the indicated relationship and copies the words into his/her/her notebook and adds the symbols. Those cards are removed but the objects remain as the children each place objects in special relationships.

Each time the result of this exercise is different. When the children work alone they choose the cards randomly from the two piles.

2.) With the long strips, each child in turn takes one, reads it, executes the command, lays out the symbols and copies it down. Again the objects remain but the labels are removed as the child finishes copying.

Aim: Point of consciousness: the function of the preposition is to put objects in relation to one another in a specific manner.

Ages: 7-8 years

Note: The children may have prepositional commands in creative movement exercises: bodies in relation to one another.



Materials: strips of paper, pens
grammar symbols previously used and the symbol for adverb
an orange sphere and a red sphere


The teacher writes a simple command in black ink. The child reads and executes the command. The teacher then adds an adverb in red. The child reads and executes the command. It is observed that the two actions were different. Why? The verbs stayed the same, but something was added, i.e. walk//walk slowly. This word that changed the way you walked is called an adverb. (adverb: from Latin adverbium - ad, to, beside, and verbum, a word, a verb) The adverb is always near the verb just as the adjective is always near the noun.

Symbols......We recall the verb was symbolized by a red ball.The adverb also is symbolized by a ball, only smaller and orange. Only the verb is red, because the verb is energy, like a fire. Since the adverb stays near the verb, it gets some of the heat of the fire and it is orange. The verb is larger than the adverb because it is more important, just as the noun was larger than the adjective. For the adverb we use a small orange circle.

The child places the symbols on the slips above the corresponding words. the child then tries to change the positions of the words by tearing the strip, but finds that it usually sounds right when the adverb follows the verb.

Using the simple one word commands, the children may write their own, adding adverbs. These are then executed and written in their notebooks with symbols.


Adverb Exercises:

1) Logical Agreement Between the Action and Ways of Doing it

10 red verb cards and 10 pink adverbs

The child lays the ten verb cards in a column, reading them as he/she/she goes along. Group lesson: the adverb cards can be passed out to the children. If a child is working alone, the adverb cards are randomly placed face up off to the side. Who has (or can find) the adverb that goes with ______ (read the first verb). The child reads the combination to see if there is logical agreement, i.e. dance gracefully.

If one adverb is left, rearrange them until all agree logically. When the columns are complete, the child reads all of the phrases. It is important that the children understand all of the words used.

If necessary the chld may refer to the dictionary (work which should begin at age 7 1/2).

On a different occasion the adverbs may be randomly placed in the column and then read. This is for the child's amusement, as well as reinforcing the understanding of logical agreement.

The child may write the phrases in his/her/her notebook, copying the cards, or using just one list to compose the other.

2.) One Action and Many Adverbs

Materials: three red verb cards and 20+ pink adverbs

The child reads the three verbs and lays them in a row. The adverbs are distributed to the group. In turn each child reads one and matches it to one of the verbs, reading the phrase he/she/she has created. It is important to use many diverse adverbs, even some difficult ones. Again discuss the meanings to be sure the child understood.

The children may act out the phrases they have created to reinforce the concept of the adverb. The actor may choose a verb and act out the adverb with the others guessing the adverb from the action. The child may choose a verb and several accompanying adverbs to answer how, when, where.



Materials: very long strips of paper, black and red pens
all of the symbols known, and the pronoun symbols
similar objects from the environment
impressionistic charts of the Verb Family

The teacher writes a long command, which consists of several actions on one object, i.e. Go to a friend, get a pencil, bring the pencil to your place, put the pencil on the table. The child reads the command aloud and executes it. Afterward the symbols are all placed above the words.

The teacher reads the command aloud, this time emphasizing the repetition of the object noun. The child is asked to observe the awkward way that the command was written. The child or the teacher may suggest an improved version using the pronoun it. This version is written on a long strip with the pronoun written in red. The second one sounds better.

The child then places symbols on the words he/she/she can identify in the second command. The child reads the second command again noticing it, and noticing that it replaces the pencil. This word is a pronoun.

Recall the other pronouns.

Symbol.... it is a pronoun. The symbol for pronoun is a tall purple pyramid, (the figure is presented). It resembles the noun symbol, because it takes the place of the noun. The purple is an expression of rage - because it wants to take the noun's place.

Etymology....(pronoun: pro - from Latin meaning instead, thus we use the pronoun "instead of the noun."

Give the child two dimensional symbol to place over the pronouns on the second strip. Tear the strip into several parts, and invite the child to rearrange the words so that it will still make logical sense. he/she/she will see that the pronoun (as an object) must follow closely behind the verb.


The Verb Family

Do you remember the noun family? The child is invited to place the symbols (3 dimensional) of the noun family in order in a row. There is also a verb family. It is composed of the verb, adverb and pronoun. Place these three symbols in a row in such a way that the pronoun symbol is on the end nearest to the noun family.

The pronoun is part of the verb family because it must always be close to the verb. Yet, it is also closely related to the noun because it takes the noun's place sometimes. The pronoun symbol can be moved toward the center of the two families to show that it is being pulled by both sides.

Show the charts to demonstrate this relationship.

1. The verb is energy like the sun; the adverb, like a planet going around the sun, has a close, dependent relationship with the verb. The pronoun, like a rocket, seems to be pulled away by the noun (not pictured). Thus, in spite of the fact that the pronoun is part of the verb family, it is strongly attracted by the noun family.

2. The sun with its fiery rays on one side and gear teeth on the other, represents the verb. The adverb is again represented by a planet which also has gear teeth on one side that will mesh with those of the sun. The pronoun, still a rocket, has no gear teeth, thus it would not fit with the others in the family.

3. The last chart is simply titled "The Verb Family" and has the three symbols pasted on.



two similar objects (i.e. red flower and yellow flower)
a ribbon
strips of paper, black and red pencils
the symbols previously used, conjunction symbol

The teacher writes one label for each object (in black). The child reads each and places each object with its corresponding label, then places the symbols over the words. The teacher writes and on a strip of paper in red and places it between the two object labels. The child reads the new phrase. What does this mean? The two must go together. So a ribbon is used to bind them together.

This new word is a very important part of speech. This one little word unites these two objects. It is a conjunction.

Etymology.....(conjunction: from Latin con - with, together; and jungere - to unite, thus conjunction is a word that unites others)

Symbol.......The symbol is this small pink bar. It is like the little line we use when we come to the end of a line and haven't finished a word. That little line unites the two parts of the word that had to be put on different lines.

The child places the symbol over the word and. The child is invited to change the positions of the words to see if they will make sense in another way. He/she finds that the red flower and the yellow flower can be changed to the yellow flower and the red flower, but the conjunction itself must stay in its place: between the objects that it unites.


Conjunction Exercise: The Comma Replaces the Conjunction

several cards on which and is printed in black on one side, a comma on the other 1 red and card

The teacher writes several separate labels for various different objects. The child reads each label and places it with the object, in a row on the table. The black and cards are placed between the labels, and a red and card is placed between the last two objects' labels. The child reads the whole thing and interprets it; that is, he/she/she places the objects close together in a group.

Observe how awkward it sounds. If necessary the teacher should read it again. Let's try turning all of these cards (conjunction cards) over. On the back of each one is a comma (in red), except the last, which still says and. Instead of putting and between each thing, I can put this comma. The comma tells me that something is missing, but it is understood. The comma tells me to make a short pause as I read this list. The teacher reads the new phrase.

The last and must remain. It shows me that in place of those other commas, the word and is understood.

Note: It is important to make the child see that the comma takes the place of the conjunction, and that we must always have the last conjunction.

Note: Maria Montessori's original symbol was two golden chain links to represent this unifying word. That symbol was abandoned because it was too difficult to manufacture.




The interjection by definition is a cry or an exclamation, something that is a sudden outburst of human spirit, an expression
of joy, pain or any strong human sentiment. To differentiate it from other parts of speech, the interjection does not have a specific position. It can be introduced in any part of the sentence, or it can stand alone. This is the last part of speech to be presented, and is given after the child has become a skilled reader, and is able to read with expression.


The teacher writes a sentence on a piece of paper and asks the child to read it. In red the teacher adds an interjection to the existing sentence and asks the child to read it again, i.e. Hey, where are you going?

The first was an ordinary question. The second, with the addition of this little word, indicates that the speaker is concerned or perhaps disapproves. It is important here to make the child aware of the difference, and to bring him/her to the knowledge that the value of the words are unchanged. The manner in which the words were expressed, however, showed a change of emotions.

Etymology ....... This word is an interjection (from Latin inter - between, and iacere - to throw; thus it means that it throws something into the middle, between the words in the sentence). This word completely changes the tone of the sentence.

Symbol ......... The gold exclamation point is presented as the symbol. The color gold was chosen because our feelings are like gold.

The child puts the interjection symbol and the other appropriate symbols over the words. There are many different interjections, and they may come in the beginning, middle or end of a sentence.



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