You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. -Deuteronomy 6:7

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Montessori Sentence Analysis - Set 2

The Montessori Sentence Analysis materials include several box sets of materials.

This material is presented after the child has a strong grasp on all of the grammar symbols and has completed work with the Simple Sentence Analysis (Set 1) Montessori materials.

The first set of materials focuses on simple sentence analysis which is a Red circle (verb) and two black circles for nouns.  These are then referred to as the subject and the predicate.  For example, when I flip over the red circle, it will say “predicate” on the back.  This shows the child the beginnings of sentence analysis.

The second set (which I will demonstrate here) has many shapes and arrows which represent various parts of a sentence.  These are worked through one step at a time and I will admit I’ve had some trouble figuring out the proper order.  I know I need to work by adding one new item at a time – but haven’t found any really good websites that provide me with sentences to work with so I can be sure to move at the right pace.

So my  4th grader son and I were a tad confused today as we worked through the example – but we made it through!  I wish it could be nice and smooth – but then, I’m not a trained Montessori teacher... only wish I was! 

Here is our attempt this morning of a more complex sentence analysis.  Since he has already worked through several applications of this with a trained AMI teacher, he was able to pick up right where he left off fairly well.

The sentence we used is below. 

“All afternoon the shy donkeys contentedly nibbled grass from the meadow down the road.”

 I write the sentence on a strip of paper so it can be cut apart.

We always start with the most important question – the action in the sentence.
What is the action?  Nibbled  The child cuts or tears out the word “nibbled” and puts it on the red circle (which represents the verb and, as the child will soon see, is also the predicate.) On the back of the red circle is the word "predicate" which will be turned over for him to see.

Who did the action? “The donkeys” (This noun is also the subject.)  The child tears out “The donkeys” and puts them on the circle to represent a noun.  (In the picture, my son put the blue triangle under the donkeys because it also stated that they were “shy” which is an adjective.  The blue triangle represents an adjective. 

How?  Is the next question.  “Contentedly” is then cut out and put on the arrow that says ‘how’ with an orange circle which represents an adverb.
We continue with questions such as “Where?” and “When?” and cut and put the words on the analysis shapes as we go.

Then I ask my son to create some sentences on his own and analyze them.  He documents his work in his grammar booklet.  I find this idea of “writing your own textbook” to be very effective.  This way, he can look back at his own notes and know right away where to find an answer he needs.
There are many parts and many possibilities for sentence analysis with the Montessori language materials.  They make grammar more fun.  But I am still learning how to use the many moving parts.
Here is a picture of one of the control charts to help guide the child (and you) through all the possibilities.  Of course, there are even more possibilities than are on this chart which I’m still working through myself.

If you’re interested in finding some of these materials, there are a few websites who will sell you a PDF document that you can print, laminate and cut out the shapes and information to get you started.  Or,  you can find several places online who will sell the wooden pieces as I have purchased here.  Shop around, you’ll find some prices are much lower than others!  Not all Montessori materials have to be expensive, although many of them are so it’s good to get creative and save some money by making them yourself.
For my son, who doesn’t like to write, this keeps him interested enough to complete the work.  And because he is doing the work hands-on, he really does remember it well. 
There is a website which has some pretty good instructions on many Montessori subjects, including this language example.  Here is the website:

Also, there is a control chart that makes it easy for the child to analyze sentences on his own using this chart as a way to check his work.
Happy Analyzing!


  1. I love your blog and I have nominated George Family - Montessori at Home for the Liebster Award. You can read more about it here: I will also be mentioning your Sentence Analysis posts in an upcoming blog on Diagramming. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Oh my, I feel humbled because I haven't really kept up my Montessori blog in quite a while. There are so many things to share and not enough time to do it. And there are so many other Montessori blogs more robust than mine. Thank you for the kind comments! Lv, Sheri

  2. I love this post. I want to order this set, but can not find a way to do that on the linked website. I have even emailed them with no response. How long ago did you purchase this set and have you used this site since?

    1. Hi Shelci - it has been quite a number of years since I wrote this original post, so it's possible that the info has changed, sorry about that. IT seems that with anything Montessori, I always end up doing a large about of searching online - things are always changing in terms of companies, personal blogs, etc. But eventually with some diligence I seem to eventually find tidbits here and there. It's probably been 4-5 years since I purchased this set.

    2. Oh and I did try the link above that goes to the instructions and it still appears to work. But thinking back, I purchased this from Montessori Outlet - not from the link above (the link in the post is only for the site that has instructions. I hope this helps!