I was asked by several people to start a weekly series on Montessori materials/lessons/activities that I use in my classroom. As an aside, please know that I do not teach in Montessori school but rather use these lessons as a hands-on way to introduce lessons and concepts to my students. During our literacy time, they are allowed to visit any “center” that they have had a lesson on which helps them practice and master the skills.
These activities are frequently visited in my classroom. Here is a video that I found on YouTube that will help you see these lessons in action. It shows a Montessori teacher presenting the verb lesson to a student and other students participating in other activities.
In my classroom my students love this center because they get to DO what each card says! In the lesson, we say, “A verb, a verb, you do it, do it, do it!” When I introduce what a verb is, I take out my verb cards.
These cards are nice because they are written in red (which match the red sphere/circle that symbolizes the verb) and are phonetic. They are rather durable but you can laminate them if you want to. At this point, I have not laminated mine and have been using them for three years.
In the first lesson, I place about 20 cards in a “treasure chest box” (which builds enthusiasm) and have my students simply read the card out loud and do the motion. This is met with giggles and smiles! They love it!
After this lesson, I let my students use the cards in a “charades style” game. For this, they read the card silently and act out the motion of the card to a friend who in turn has to guess what the word is. This is another huge hit!
In a separate lesson, I introduce my students to what a noun is. Below is a video so you can see how to give the lesson. This introduces students to the fact that a noun is a person, place, or thing. (In my lesson, I add in an animal.)
We then sort word cards as to whether they are people, places, animals, or things. At the top of the rug I set out objects to represent a thing (a pencil), a person (a picture of a friend), an animal (a plastic animal), and a place (a picture of a place). As my students read the word cards, they sort them into the correct category.
Once my students understand the difference between nouns and verbs, I set up this center for them.
They take out their rugs and place the symbols and treasure chest at the top.
One at a time, they take out a card, read it to their friend and practice sorting the words. If the word is a noun, it goes underneath the black pyramid, if the word is a verb, they act out the word and then place it underneath the red sphere.
My students really enjoy these lessons! As a control of error, you can use the red word cards but I found that my students do not need this anymore.
Here are all the things that I use to present the lesson. (If you click on the picture, it will take you to Amazon.)
The great thing about these lessons is that you can use materials that you already have at home to present them! You can easily write phonetic words on index cards and find a red ball. As I use the Montessori symbols for many language centers, I find that they are very useful in my classroom. I also own the grammar symbols box which I also use frequently. You will see how I am currently using it in my next Montessori post about adjectives and article adjectives. Not only do these lessons help students become better readers, but they also help them in their writing!
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