The function of words Exercises are a series of activities in which the child is given a sensorial experience of the functions of the various parts of speech. They are designed to focus of one part of speech at a time. The function is highlighted by the child’s sensorial experience and is further emphasized by the use of colored symbols. The symbols also strengthen the order of the words to the child.
These Exercises offer the child possibilities to explore his home language. They are not grammar lessons, they are grammar experiences. Because these are not meant to teach grammar, the experiences are not given as formal lessons on the names of the parts of speech and no definitions are given. The child simply experiences the function. However, the child may perhaps absorb the name as it can be used conversationally. For example when the child is playing “The Adjective Game” he will intuitively understand its meaning.
Parts of speech given in the primary class are the noun, article, adjective, conjunction, preposition, verb, and the adverb. This is the order in which they are presented.
Noun: large black triangle
Article: small light blue triangle
Adjective: dark blue triangle
Conjunction: small pink rectangle
Preposition: green crescent
Verb: large red circle
Adverb: small orange circle
The child will then rise to a level of interest on the language he speaks. He is now at a point where he will realize that words have special functions and can be classified by this function.
These Exercises are to be presented when the child can read most words with ease and no longer require sounding the out. This usually comes when the child can read more than one word at a time. This will come from the child’s work in reading classification. The function experiences will offer him further reading practice. The work will therefore go parallel with later reading classification work, which is mostly guided by the directress.
Because of the sensitive period of language, each new function is an interesting new discovery. Many of the Exercises are done in small groups. The activities are not only interesting but are also great fun which will only add to the child’s interest in his own language.
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