Phonetic Reading, Grammar
- Children must study grammar in order to write correctly and
to help them make full use of all the parts of speech in composition.
They need to study grammar in order to read with appreciation.
The study of grammar helps children to be aware of words and
to read with full comprehension. If this study is to be effective,
it must be begun while the child is learning to read and write,
before his reading and writing habits are formed. Young children,
who are still in the period when they learn language easily,
enjoy grammar when it is given in the right way for the age.
They are not ready for rules and definitions, but by using the
materials provided, are led to understand them. A color has been
chosen for each part of speech. The work on each part is given
in the appropriate color.
- The first exercises of the grammar will use phonetic words.
These exercises can be given as soon as the child is reading
longer phonetic words (the blue level).
ACTIVITY 1. First Introduction
PLACE IN THE CURRICULUM:
- This is the first introduction to grammar and is presented
parallel to the phonetic reading materials.
- A group game with a whole class. It must be played in a very
lively manner, half as a joke.
- The teacher asks various children to bring her things in
turn, e.g., "Mary, bring me a book. John, bring me an eraser."
After doing this a few times, she suddenly asks for something,
leaving out the noun. "Bring me _________." The children
usually start guessing and bringing all sorts of things but the
teacher refuses each, "No, I did not want a flower,"
etc. At last, she tells them what she wanted, "Bring me
a bead." The children like this game repeated many times.
- To get the children, unconsciously, to understand the function
and importance of a noun. We cannot talk about anything until
we give it a name.
ACTIVITY 2. The Farm:
- A collection of small farm animals, whose names are phonetic,
are kept in a black box labeled, "The Farm." As many
of the following as can be obtained: duck, ducklings, pig, piglets,
cat, kitten, dog, ram kids (2), man, cock, hen, sacks (6), pen,
- There is a black card with the name written on it in white
for each animal or object in the farm.
- The child arranges the farm on a table in any way she likes.
She reads each name card and places it by the appropriate animal
- To learn to read and to associate all words (nouns) on a
black card as a group.
ACTIVITY 3. Names for the Classroom
- A black box labeled NOUN containing black cards on which
are written in white the names of objects in the classroom. The
names are phonetic words. Box, desk, dust pan, mat, map, clock,
six, ten, seven, lid, mug, jug, inset, rod, pen, pot, etc.
- A child takes the box, reads the words and places them against
the objects in the room. When he has finished, he collects them
and puts the work away.
ACTIVITY 4. The First Rule for the Formation of the Plural
- A black box labeled "Singular and Plural." It contains
two bundles of black cards, one with a gray heading card saying,
"Singular" and the other with a gray heading card saying,
"Plural." In the first bundle, each card has a noun
written on it which is phonetic. In the second bundle are corresponding
nouns in the plural. In the box are small objects which correspond
to the nouns, several of each.
- To get the child to understand the meaning of the words "singular"
and "plural." Singular is one of a thing. Plural is
two or more of a thing. The general rule for the formation of
the plural of nouns in English is that we add "s" to
the singular to form the plural.
- The teacher takes the box to the child's table. She sits
beside him and reads the heading card "singular" and
explains its meaning. She places the heading card at the top
of the table. The teacher takes the heading card "plural."
She reads it to him and explains its meaning. She places it at
the top of the table opposite the heading card "singular."
The set of singular noun cards are kept on the bottom left, and
the plural on the bottom right of the table. The teacher
takes the first name card and asks the child to read it, e.g.,
peg. She shows him how to place it under the heading card "singular."
She hands the child the box and asks him to find a peg and place
it beside the word card. The teacher now asks the child to read
through the plural cards until he finds the word we would use
if there were more than one peg. When he finds the word "pegs"
he is shown how to put it under the plural heading card and to
put two or more pegs beside it. He is then asked to read the
pair. He reads, "peg - pegs."