Summer School Reloaded

Summer Preposition Class (1)

Since a lot of us are running Summer School and Summer Camps around the country and indeed the world I have been posting a few old and new tips for my Facebook Montessori Group: Montessori Nigeria Resources (For Parents and Teachers).

I thought it would also be a great idea to quickly add online before my offline training starts something that has been on my mind about Language Development. I may have to come back later to finish this though!

You know that one of the first rules in the Montessori setting is to start from the concrete before moving on to abstract concepts. Well I have noticed that a number of children struggle with prepositions. Meaning they do not really know what they mean physically. When you tell a child to bring the book behind the bag and he keeps looking for it inside the bag you know there is a problem.

So my solution to this is simple, why don’t we spend some time during our Summer school using concrete ways to teach children these positional concepts. There is a place for teaching them what prepositions are but if the children are struggling with finding or understanding the actual words that describe the position of an object to a subject then we need to deal with that first before we start teaching them about the grammatical aspect of the words. This will enable us to follow another important Montessori principle which is taking a child from where they are at to where they need to be.

Here is what I suggest you do.

Use the following as your materials for demonstration:

  1. a piece of paper and a book
  2. a pencil and a box
  3. a flower and a vase or

Tell the children you have something important you want to show them. Ask them to name the objects, and then do the following:

a. Put the paper on top of the book and then ask them: ‘Where is the paper?’ You should get several different answers from the children. If not , don’t worry this is why we are doing this exercise, You describe it for them and tell them that there are many words we can use to represent the position of the paper to the book, for example:

The paper is on the book,

It is above the book,

It is on top of the book. etc

b. Change the position of the paper put it beside, in front, bellow, behind the book and see which positions your child knows and which ones you had to describe for them.

c. Use a chair and play a game with it by letting the child practice these positions. Call out a position command for the child to take in relationship to the chair so that they can practice understanding these positions, and ask the child to describe if need be where they are in relation to the chair. For example if you say ‘sit’, then where is he in relation to the chair? He is sitting on a chair. When you say ‘stand’, they are standing in front of the chair. Now start giving direct position shifts so they can work on ‘behind, beside, under (any child will enjoy doing this one especially)’

Make it fun and you can use other objects as well and allow the children to think of new words or find other words to describe these position. Word building and understanding is happening. If the children have started work on grammar, you can always extend the lesson to explaining that all these different positions are called prepositions in English. Help them to see that prepositions describe the relationships between one noun and another.

Since this has been done in concrete terms, the children would be able to understand completely what prepositions are and most importantly would be able to find things easily because they now actually understand the difference between ‘The pen is in the box and The pen is behind the box!’

Have a wonderful Summer Class.

 

 

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