Grammar Review - the Article and Adjective

Last week, we continued to review our parts of speech that Little Mama has already learned and Hoss has, to some degree. This is where I am loving grammar, for the key experiences. When you READ your lesson from a book, it may not sink in as fully. Now, when we did do textbook-style learning, I was always trying to bring up real life objects/actions to explain what the parts of speech were, but that was only a verbal explanation. Why I never thought to make it a physical one, I don't know - but I am now! That's what matters :)

Last week, we did the key presentations for article and adjective. I will note here that Hoss didn't make it for most of the adjective presentation - a horrid head/chest cold has hit our house, and I am praying it doesn't develop in to  something more.

For the start of our article lesson, we talked about how there are only three possible articles - the, a, and an. Then, we talked about the function of the article - to support and give direction to the noun. I tried to access Cultivating Dharma's language albums for this, but for some reason, they have been taken down. Of course, they somehow didn't get saved to my computer, either! So I was winging it a little on making sure I got the function of the article clear in their heads.

Here is where we got in to the discussion of Definite and Indefinite articles. I can't honestly remember if the albums gave all this information at once - it would make sense to, but I knew that we needed a crash course in remembering what articles were, since we have actually done this lesson before, but it's been a while. I know that, honestly, we should be progressed past this point - we just had a really interesting school year, and the first half of it was .... well, there's no other way to say it - just interesting! So the mantra 'better late than never' holds true. Of course, this is a lot of review for Little mama, and she is speeding through this. Which is what I want her to do, because ideally, we would be deep in to sentence analysis, but... I'm chasing a rabbit trail and need to get back on subject! 

Then, I sent Hoss to get me a shoe, and Little Mama to get me the boot (shown in the picture above). When they got back, I told Hoss he got me the wrong one. I said again "Go get me the shoe." He started to take off, then stopped, turned, and said "You didn't tell me which one! What shoe?" This was perfect intro in to the words the and a and how, when I told LM to get me the boot, she knew there was only one (I did specify where it would be at. My husband is a crew chief in the AF - you just have no idea how many different pairs of boots one man can shove in his closet, really!). However, when I told him to get me a shoe, it could have been any one of them. He didn't really know which one I wanted. 

Then we talked about some things we had around us, and used definite and indefinite articles, along with small slips of paper, to label them with the and a. Excuse the upside down pictures - I just snapped them quickly while the kids were labeling.

We had a sensory box from Buddy Boy's tot school trays near us, and we grabbed the zebra and the eraser with letters from it. Those were our definite articles (pictured below).

Then, we grabbed a heart (pictured below). Because it is a Valentines sensory box, there were several different types of hearts. I continued to ask for a heart until they had chosen each different kind possible. It made it clear, again, how definite the is compared to a. This also gave us a chance to get in to the difference in a and an. We had several different types of erasers, and I asked several times for an eraser, until they had found each different one in the box. In fact, I believe they had also used the heart shaped eraser in the group for a, which allowed me to show them that if we said 'eraser' instead of 'heart', we must change the article from a to an. We talked about why these were different - when the noun starts with a consonant, you can use a, but if it starts with a vowel, you must use an. I gave them an incorrect example (a eraser) so they could hear the difference. This was all very understandable to LM, but Hoss began to get the definite/indefinite mixed up with vowel/no vowel rules, and so he and I will work on this some more to make sure he makes them clear. I will most likely break up the two in to different presentations for him again, but I know that I really need to push as far as I can with LM to get her past what she already knows. 

That was all in one day. Then, within the next day or two, I moved forward with the key presentation for adjective. I know this is a lot of information at once, but as I said - we need to get it in as fast as their minds can take it. Little Mama can move very quickly through these - she writes a great deal, short stories of her own for the most part, and uses this language daily. She just needs to remember what the individual parts are, to help understand her sentences and re-structuring them a little to be sure they are grammatically correct.


We started our adjective lesson with one of our small objects from Montessori Services. We labeled it - the bear, and used our printable grammar symbols from Livable Learning (JMJ publishing) to label the article and noun. Then, I asked Little Mama to describe it for me . She mentioned "panda". Then, I asked her to give me another (for good measure!), and she said "furry". Note - it's not actually furry. The object itself is small and smooth - so she just worked that one up out of her head knowledge. Then, I gave it an adjective - "Asian". We talked about how each one of these words described the noun *bear*. Before we began this lesson, she was getting the names 'adjective' and 'synonym' mixed up. At this point, she straightened it all out in her head, and the rest of the lesson went quickly. 

Oh, and did I mention the rest of the lesson was yummy, too? 

I used an orange, an apple, an almond, and some raisins. We identified articles and nouns, once again using our small blank paper to give the appropriate article for each. Unplanned - this gave her practice with those nouns that start with a vowel. Then, she (and the rest of the kids who gathered for this lesson) sampled each of the food items. Little mama gave me appropriate adjectives for each of them - juicy orange, sour apple, crackly almond, sweet raisins. Then, we looked again at our articles and realized we needed to change them, because we had added a word in between. 

Everything got labeled with written words and symbols, and we talked some about the noun family (more review of already known lessons). 

This, if you look closely, is the result of having a lesson with food. Down towards the bottom of the picture, is what it looked like as kids started eating our nouns! Except almond, that is... it kept it's place safely. 

This week I plan on getting to the verb, which will be partially review, and then going in to detail with the different types of verbs and how they relate. Hopefully we can have as productive a week as we did last week!


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