Due to time constraints, there were many questions left unanswered at the Silent Journey parent evening in late September.  For the next few days, I will post the answers to those questions that were submitted by the teachers.  Below you will find the answers to the questions pertaining to the Grammar Boxes, which children would work with beginning in Lower Elementary.

How do the grammar boxes work?

The grammar boxes are used to help the children understand the parts that make up language, their function, and their relationships.  Each grammar box introduces a new part of language in isolation and builds upon the parts already known.  The first grammar box contains only articles and nouns, while the final one includes articles, nouns, adjectives, verbs, prepositions, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, and interjections.  Children read and act out sentences on cards and then must sort through the cards of each category to find each word and build the sentence on their own, thereby also learning what type of word it is.  For example, if the sentence was ‘Kick the ball’, they would look for ‘kick’ amongst the verb cards, ‘the’ amongst the articles, and ‘ball’ amongst the nouns.  If they are unsure where to look, they will eventually find it through process of elimination and figure it out independently.  Each grammar box also has a set of command cards where the children read a set of instructions using the isolated type of word and may act out those directions in the classroom.  Being able to physically act out the meaning of these words helps to further understand and retain the concepts.  Apart from learning about types of words and their function, the grammar material also helps to enrich the children’s vocabulary, and develop their reading and comprehension skills.

What is the purpose of the coloured shapes above the words?

Each type of word is associated with a symbol that further helps to connect the function of each word and create a visual reminder for the children.  For example, the verb is symbolized by a sphere or circle because the verb is action word and a sphere rolls.  Later work might involve taking a passage from a novel or a child’s writing and drawing the corresponding symbols above each type of word.