To practice grammar, I made this simple device in which words are written on Styrofoam cups and can be spun to make sentences. This was a huge hit with my 5-year-old. We would spin the words to make a sentence and then act it out, such as “Lay on the couch.” Some of the sentences are silly, like “Lay under the couch,” but that’s part of the point. I was able to hand this to my kid and he simply had fun with it. But we did some more lessons with it too, which were also a hit.
I color coded the words based on what type of word they are. Verbs are red; Prepositions are green; Articles are light blue; and Nouns are black. I did this because they are the standard colors used in diagramming sentences in the Montessori Method.
On each cup I wrote if the words were “Verbs” or their other part of speech. I was able to then simply hand a cup with words to my son and say “These are verbs.” We’ve already done lessons like this so I asked which one was verbs, and he got the right cup, saying “A verb is something you do.”
I also purposely removed one cup at a time to make an even sillier sentence. For instance, “Lay the rug.” Montessori describes doing exactly this in Montessori Elementary Materials. By removing the word, it makes it clear why the word/word type is needed. She describes how this is the same way that a person with a dysfunctional organ helps doctors understand the purpose of that organ.
I also changed the order of the cups. So perhaps, “rug the room lay.” Montessori describes exactly this as well where the words are scrambled. She describes these are permutations to leave an impression on the child of how the order of words matters.
Are you able to create a different Spin the Cup Grammar Lesson? Post it in the comments!!
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