Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Elementary Lessons

T didn't have an introduction to grammar in Primary, or at least not to my knowledge. His first year in elementary I introduced all 8 parts of speech Montessori covers, noun, article, adjective, verb, preposition, adverb, pronoun, conjunction and interjection. He received these initial lessons and then partially worked on the grammar boxes. He never got to the grammar command cards because I didn't have these ready until this year. Last year, he worked relatively little with grammar. We started the sentence analysis sequence, noun and adjective classification, and word study, but since we lost three months of schooling during our move, there wasn't too much of that either. I'll also add that he wasn't all that into writing: that is, creative writing, letter writing, writing definitions, or factual writing. I think that his dislike for writing has stalled us from exploring language more. He loves to read, but the expressive language isn't all there yet.

Anyway, he is is a rules boy. He loves knowing just what is expected him and working with certainty. So I thought that some more classification and rules could do him some good. 

In the part of the school year I didn't take photos for some reason, T started with the present tense lessons. 

Pictured here is the past tense sequence. The KotU albums have you make this crazy set of cards. There is no where that anything sells like this, or at least I haven't seen anywhere that does. If you know of somewhere let me know too!

I think that I made these correctly. I wasn't able to find photos of this material anywhere either. 
Anyway, in this lesson we explore weak and strong verbs in the simple past tense. I put together three envelopes: one containing weak verb strips and charts, one containing strong verb strips and charts and one envelope that has a mix of strong and weak verb strips. 

For these "folders" I just put the strips into smaller zipper plastic envelopes with red cards with a labels on them. Through trial and error I was able to make charts and strips that fit the envelope "folders."
There is a printable for this material (minus the verbs, you'd need to come up with examples yourself) on the KotU message boards.

Above you can see the chart I made for the weak verb slips. In the present tense, the root of the weak verb doesn't change. In this case it would be "I paint," "you paint," "he paints," "she paints," etc. In the past tense, the weak verb root doesn't change either, but we know that the action was in the past by its suffix, in this case "ed."

You can see that the verb strip is inserted into the chart. I just laminated the entire chart and then used a ruler and a utility knife to cut slits in where I needed, leaving enough strip at the ends to be able to move it up and down.
I chose to include "to ask, to stamp, and to paint" in my weak verb folder.
You can almost see the weak verb charts at the top of this photo. In the initial presentation, we only present the weak verb charts and the other strong verb charts you see at the bottom of the shot would still be in their envelope.

Anyway, the "s" for the third person singular "he" and "she" on the weak verb chart is printed on the chart already, making the addition to "he paints" and "she paints" automatic. Only the verb root word "paint" is printed on the weak verb strip. The simple past tense chart has "ed" printed on it for each conjugation. 

The strong verbs are also called irregular verbs. The root of the verb changes in the simple past tense. For example, "I eat" becomes "I ate." You can almost see in the shot above that the simple present tense chart for the strong verbs also has a printed "s" for the third person singular conjugations. And the simple past tense chart for the strong verbs has nothing printed on it but the pronouns because the verb is not modified by a suffix. The different verb root, "ate" is printed on the back of the verb strip. (So "eat" is printed on one side, and "ate" is printed on the back side.) I made the strong verb charts in the same manner as the weak verb charts.

I chose "to eat, to grow, and to find" for the strong verb folder. 
These were some of the other verbs I made for the "mixed" envelope where the child must figure out if they are strong or weak verbs. 

**Try to have your child not look at the backs of the verb strips while looking at the simple present tense. Otherwise they can guess whether they are strong or weak verbs right off the bat.**

T liked this lesson and thought it was pretty simple. I was glad that he liked the lesson material that cost me three days, and some grey hair to make.

I don't remember if the albums have the child do follow-up works for this lesson. I had T look through his Captain Underpants books for weak and strong verbs. He ended up with a good collection of both.

Stay tuned, there is more to come!


  1. Oh goodness. The first time through I thought that sentence said he had to look through his underpants to find strong and weak verbs. What are you feeding that kid.

    This is such an important post. This is really the first time I've seen an image online of the AMI version of this material. Good job.

    1. Now I can't stop giggling.

      Thanks for the accolades, but I am not completely sure I constructed these correctly. The material I made seemed to work though. Jessica does have a printable on her message boards that gives a better idea of how to make this material. I just made it mini sized to fit into an envelope I already had.

  2. I like this these. My sons are Autistic but we are pushing language conventions.