Elementary school is a time for life experiences (both inside and outside of the classroom) that will shape your child’s school years and beyond. One of those experiences is mastering language skills.
Language arts education is one of the most important parts of any Montessori elementary school, but many kids struggle to pay attention and truly absorb what they learn. To help children retain information and have fun while doing it, check out these language activities.
1. The Word Wheel
To play this fun, interactive game, you’ll need a spinner wheel like the one you see on Wheel of Fortune. Divide it into eight sections labeled accordingly:
- Define it!
- Say a synonym!
- Act it out!
- Part of speech?
- Draw it!
- Give an antonym!
- Rhyme time!
- Use it in a sentence!
You’ll also need to write down vocabulary words on small pieces of paper and then put them in a bowl or lunch bag. This game takes more preparation than most, but the fun you’ll have makes it worth it. Also, you can always re-label the word wheel and use it for different activities.
To play, each child spins the wheel and then grabs a vocabulary word out of the bowl. Each round helps all the children playing — if a child sees their sibling or classmate act out a word’s meaning, they’re more likely to remember it.
This game does more than just help kids develop language skills. It also helps build confidence. Speaking up and answering questions in front of the class can be stressful for elementary schoolers, but when they do it in the context of a game, they’ll see that there’s nothing to fear.
Self-guided learning is an integral part of a Montessori elementary school education. This learning activity offers children a good bit of freedom as they work on language skills, story structure, and creative ability.
The storytelling activity is simple: you just need to ask children to write a short narrative about something they know. For instance, a child might write about their family’s recent trip to the zoo.
Why this activity? When writing about something they’re familiar with (and something that actually happened), elementary school children can better understand the structure of a story with a beginning, middle, and end. They’re also learning to use language for self-expression — even more so if they share their stories with their families or the class.
3. Sentence Hunt
Research indicates that play-based learning is an effective approach to early childhood education. Sentence Hunt is an engaging game that helps kids learn different types of sentences while also developing reading comprehension skills.
To play, you’ll need a die labeled with the following:
- You choose
The die doesn’t have to be anything fancy — even a simple, taped-together paper cube will do. Once a child rolls the die, they can look through books, magazines, and other types of reading material to find the appropriate sentence type. If a child’s class is reading a certain book at the moment, using that book is a great idea.
One of the benefits of this game is that it can be adapted for higher reading levels as well. Depending on the age and ability of the students, you can also use a die that includes compound sentences, complex sentences, and compound-complex sentences.
Help Your Child Reach Their Full Potential
Discover the Montessori difference. At our Switzer Mesa Campus for elementary school, we believe in educating the whole child. If you’re interested in learning what Montessori elementary school can do for your family, or if you’re ready to enroll your child, reach out to us today.