|xLanguage :: 6-9
:: Function of Wordsxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
|xTable of Contents:
Language :: Scope & Sequence
- Word Study: coming soon!
- Function of
- Introduction(Group presentation)
and Symbols of the Noun Family
- Presentation 1
- Presentation 2:
- Symbols of the Noun Family
- Adjective Games
- Game of Quality
- The Detective Game #1 (Teacher
- Detective Game #2 (Child Alone)
- Detective Game #3(Group)
- Exercise of Logical Agreement
- Exercise of Logical Agreement
- A Few Objects and Many Qualities
- Adjectives in the Miniature
- Noun - Adjective Charts
- The Difference Between Matter
- The Action Disappears
- Energy Needs Matter
- The Verb is Movement
- Exercise of Logical Agreement
Between Action and Object
- One Verb and Many Objects
of the Verb
- The duration of the action
depends upon the presence or absence of an object.
- The difference between past
- Different durations of the
- Invisible Movement
- Commands of Reading
- Preposition Exercises
- Adverb Exercises
- Logical Agreement Between
the Action and Ways of Doing it
- One Action and Many Adverbs
- Conjunction Exercise
- The Comma Replaces the Conjunction
- Sentence Analysis: coming soon!
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:
C. Adjective & Symbols of the Noun Family
The remainder of the functions
of words will be presented in the second year, between 7 and
E. Aspects of the Verb
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
...box 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.
...box 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
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.
& Symbols of the Noun Family
...3 like objects differing only in color
...blank labels, red and black/blue pens
Presentation 1: Game of
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
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
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
adjective, from Middle French "adjectif", from Latin
adjectivum, which means added. It expresses a quality of the
noun, so as to limit and clarify.
++ ADJECTIVE GAMES
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.
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
the triangles of the right color. The guessing goes on, each
time eliminating some triangles as the qualities are narrowed
each correct quality is identified, the teacher writes a label,
i.e. after the child has found that the triangle must be green,
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
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
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
Materials: 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"
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
Materials: the pieces of the miniature environment
corresponding reading labels which now have the article, adjective
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
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.
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
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
Materials: strips of
paper, black and red pens
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
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
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;
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 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
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.
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
Each time the result of this exercise is different. When the
children work alone they choose the cards randomly from the two
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
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.
1) Logical Agreement Between the Action and Ways of Doing it
Materials: 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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.