Literacy and Language (Upper & Lower Elementary)

students writingLiteracy and Language along with all the other curricular areas in the Montessori System are based on the concept of developmental periods. This chart represents the four planes traveled by the child from birth to maturity.

Language is an integral involvement in the process of thinking, therefore the child will need to be spoken to and listened to often. The child will need a broad exposure to language, with correct articulation, enunciation, and punctuation. The child will need to experience different modes of language and to hear and tell stories. Most importantly, the child needs to feel free and be encouraged to communicate with others.

Lower Elementary
Building on the language rich environments in the Children’s Houses, the Lower elementary students begin to explore the various ways that language is organized and differentiated. Grammar is introduced with inspirational stories of the function of words and organized for independent activity in the Grammar Boxes. Children learn the function of words formally and then informally applying that knowledge to their reading and writing. Using symbols for the parts of speech, children can explore creating and decomposing paragraphs and sorting and classifying the grammar. Eventually these symbols can be used to examine the writing styles of authors of literature read at this level. Sentences are analyzed and understood in similar fashion using the sentence analysis materials.

Upper Elementary
Since children at Upper Elementary are beginning to wean themselves away from the concrete Montessori learning apparatus, language at Upper Elementary begins to take on the appearance of learning predominantly from text.

Continuing language development at the upper elementary level focuses on the following:

  • History of Language, Spoken Language
  • (Listening and speaking) particularly in the presentation of reports and research to peers.
  • Reading word and text
  • Word study
  • Grammar study to enhance reading fluency (Includes Function of Words and Advanced Grammar Boxes)
  • Detailed study of the verb
  • Sentence analysis, particularly the simple, compound and complex sentences
  • Sentence analysis and the particular study of clauses
  • Grammar study for writing; study of style
  • The remainder of upper elementary language curriculum is based on the previous section that deal specifically with Reading and Writing.