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Creative Montessori Outdoor Language Activities Kids Love

Montessori Language Philosophy

A child is born with what he needs to develop language. There are many ways we adults can enrich a young child’s language development. We know that children will learn to speak as long as they are exposed to some language early in their development. Reading and writing, on the other hand, need to be taught to the child. A child will learn the words that he is offered through his environment. {Enters the adult.}  We have the power to carefully prepare the environment for language development. In other words, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to make this environment rich and full of language learning opportunity.

Rainbow Letters Fall COVER

{Did you know I offer Montessori Language materials in my Teachers Pay Teachers store? Lots of FREE downloads, too!}

Language permeates every area of Montessori learning with Nomenclature cards and the three-period lesson, for example. We know that early in life a child absorbs language with little effort. He creates an internal understanding of his environment. He must practice using these words during this time. We can help by repeating words, speaking clearly and using words, especially new words, in complete sentences.  The three-period-lesson is very useful during this time. Point to the object, say the name of the object: “This is a pencil.” Then ask the child: “Show me the pencil.” Then point to the object and ask the child: “What is this?”

Montessori Language Outdoor Activities

As phonetic awareness enters the arena of development a child begins to understand that different letters and letter combinations have different sounds. At this point the child is no longer absorbing effortlessly, he must begin to organize what he has absorbed during the first three years. The alphabet is one example of how a child organizes this learning.

Adults can help with songs, rhymes, poems, by tracking the words and sentences as we read books to him, playing I-Spy with letters and sounds, and by encouraging the child to sound out words by himself. As he becomes more and more aware, the then begins to understand that by putting together letters, we make words.

Take Montessori Outside

Montessori Language Activities for the Outdoors

The Art of Conversation

This first activity is a gem. In fact, the activity is easily a part of Practical Life’s Grace & Courtesy. Learning with children, especially learning in the outdoors, does not need to be complicated or overplanned. Go on a walk with a child, and simply have a conversation while wandering through a schoolyard, or your backyard, or a nearby park or trail. Every detail around you will ignite questions and conversation with the child. No detail is too small to a child. He will ask many questions. Be prepared to answer by studying local flora and fauna, or be prepared to reply that you do not know the answer and that you should research it together.

Nature Walk with Kids

Storytelling in Nature

Gather the children. Let them know that you’re going on an exploratory adventure. Tell them that they have one job: to gather five items on their journey. Once together again, circle up and examine the items. Ask the children to create a story using those objects, either orally or in their journal. Invite them to collaborate, to illustrate, and to write down their tales.

Tree of Life

This activity is one of my all time favorites. Have each child identify a tree, talk about the tree’s characteristics, describes the tree, and then invite the child to imagine the tree’s life story. What has the tree seen over time? How old is the tree?  What has this tree seen through the seasons?

Parts of Speech Hunt

I always feel like I am cheating with this activity because children enjoy it so much. Introduce children to the parts of speech, then get them moving by going on a “parts of speech” hunt. Locating nouns is the easy one, what about adjectives and prepositions? Children get excited about the possibilities. Have them log their findings then come together to discuss logical adjectives, or simply describe the nouns they identified.

Grain of Sand

One of my favorite children’s book is about the journey of a grain of sand. The book takes us from the moment the grain of sand broke into a boulder to a rock eventually to a grain of sand. Walk through this journey with the child. How does the boulder become a grain of sand?

 

Best,
Marnie

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