This material is presented after the child is already familiar with the Montessori shapes that represent the different words. For example: A red circle represents the action and the person or thing is represented by a smaller, black circle, etc. Later, once these concepts are mastered, the child is given the names for each of these words such as ‘verb’ or ‘noun’. They are quickly memorized at this point.
I’m still working with “K” (my daughter) on these but also starting sentence analysis at the same time.
I prepare a simple sentence on a strip of paper using a noun and a verb. “Fred eats cheeseburgers.”
I ask her to read the sentence aloud.
1) I ask her to find the first action word.
2) She cuts out the action: “eats”
3) I have her place the action “eats” at the top of the table and have her symbolize it using the Montessori symbols she is already familiar with. (The red circle represents the verb.)
4) She reads the remaining words. (“Fred and cheesburgers”)
5) I ask her, “Who eats?”
6) I tell her that for this, we have a new symbol. I place the black arrow (with the point away from the action) next to the first action. I tell her that this is how we symbolize “the thing (or person) that does the action.”
7) I have her place “Fred” to the left of the black arrow.
8) Then I ask her “what” Fred eats. She places the word “cheeseburgers” to the right of the verb.
NOTE: Both nouns are placed on black circles because in Montessori, the black circle represents the "person, place or thing" - the noun.
We can then play around with the words to see that they only sound correct when they are in this order.
This is a very simple operation, but this will build into large and complex sentence dissection in the future. (I’ll share some of those soon!)
From here, she has some follow-up work that includes writing some of her own sentences which use two nouns and a verb.
This operation will build and build into complex sentence analysis.
When complex sentence analysis is started at this age, then when the child is required in 6th or 7th grade to do this type of work it will come easy to her!