Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Verbs and Drawing

We took a little time to work with grammar last week. We have been working through the Montessori R&D Language Manual I for Elementary. Honestly, we are behind because T does not enjoy grammar.  I have decided that I will give him lessons in grammar even if he doesn't choose them because it doesn't seem like he will ever choose them. Sometimes in Elementary, work becomes required.

We tend to do several lessons at one time. The lessons are usually quick and fairly simple so we can usually do several in one day. T is in his second year of Elementary so he "should" be working with the command boxes now according to the scope and sequence in our manual, but we didn't use this manual at all last year so we had to start from the beginning. I am now doing the year 1 sequence quickly so that hopefully we can start the command boxes in the spring. We also have skipped a few of them lessons because I do not feel they are needed by T. We skipped labeling the miniature environment, because we do not have a miniature environment and there is also a lesson on labeling the classroom which is exactly the same.

This time he was working on animals and their sounds. There is a lesson with animals and their sounds for primary also but this is focusing on the noun and the verb rather than just matching. We also have the article included when he recorded his work in his language journal.

I hand wrote the labels with several animal names in black (nouns) and the sounds they make in red (verbs) and the headers "Animal" and "Sound". T matched them and then wrote complete sentences in his journal for each animal.

Sorry for the odd angle of this picture, if you click on it you can see an enlarged version. In his journal he would copy the first combo as "A wolf howls". He wrote each work in its proper grammar color (light blue article, black noun, red verb) and labeled with their symbols above. I only had him use the symbols at the top since every sentence was in the same order.

T has decided recently that drawing is super fun! I find this amusing because he has never shown any interest in drawing in the past. I remember as a preschooler he went to a Montessori school, all the little girls in the class loved to draw and none of the boys were interested at all. I was a little surprised at this difference at such a young age but maybe boys just need a little time before they find this as joyful. I think for T it is more about learning to sit and concentrate on something for long enough to draw because when he was a preschooler he was always on the move.

I was thrilled at this new love of drawing and pulled out our Draw Write Now books. I bought these a while back because they have one that focuses on the polar regions and my son LOVES polar bears. He was interested in learning to draw them and that is how I found this set of books. I bought the first 4 in the set last year but T was not interested in them (other than the polar bear in one book). Well, with his new interest, I pulled them out and he had a blast drawing all afternoon and even on the weekend.

There are two in particular that we used because they are themed for Autumn. Book 2 focuses on Christopher Columbus, Autumn Harvest, and The Weather. Book 3 focuses on Native Americans (T's fave), North America, and The Pilgrims (Thanksgiving is next week).

I really love these books because they give step by step instructions for drawing, there is a small amount of writing that is great for copywork, and there is history/science included in each section as well.

I wanted to share this particular page with you fellow Montessorians. As you know, we are working through the Great Lessons and we will soon be coming up on the Fourth Great Lesson which is about the origins of Language and Writing. T found this Native American writing to be very interesting, he even cut out his paper to resemble an animal hide.

"When the grass was tall (summer), a man left his teepee to go hunting deer. He crossed the mountains, swam the river, camped under the stars and stayed three days."

He walked around with it most of the day reciting what it said. I think he will enjoy learning about early writing.

If you haven't tried the Draw Write Now books yet, check them out. There are eight books each with three themes including drawing instructions, short sentences for copy work and unit study content. You can buy each book individually, as I did, or you can buy the entire box set of all 8. The box set is cheaper if you want them all, but I had already bought a few before I knew about it and I didn't want to pay to get doubles. You can see examples and tables of contents on their website as well as buy them there. I bought some of mine on Amazon, others at a local bookstore. I have seen the box set show up on Zulily (discounts on toys/clothing/educational materials) in the past. 

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