Our primary students learn to read while our elementary students read to learn. Language at the elementary level becomes an imaginative exploration of origin and development. At this plane, language is not presented in isolation as separate subjects, not just spelling and grammar learned for its own sake. Composition is not just writing for the sake of writing, but to tell a story, explore an idea, do a research paper. Books are not read to be analyzed for reports, but to be enjoyed and appreciated. Children are led to recognize style and develop their own technique. This whole approach to language leads to clear thinking, precise writing, an eloquence in communicating ideas, and a development of style that is individualized to each child. When the child is encouraged to read for enjoyment, reading to acquire knowledge on a new subject comes naturally and is not a chore.
Language units are presented as themes which present all aspects of language as a whole and relates to the story of the theme. Each subject also has a cross curriculum reference to Science, Art, Math, Music and Social Science.
Included in each theme are the following:
Literature: Each theme has a story taken from a selection of great writers, and classic literature
Grammar: Parts of speech and usages of each part of speech
Word Study: Suffixes, prefixes, word families, compound words, antonyms, synonyms, origin of words.
Sentence analysis: Order of a sentence, simple sentence, complex sentence, compound sentence
Study Skills: Dictionary, atlas, encyclopedia, research and reference skills
Writing Lessons: These introduce the child to different types of writing:
1. Essay writing
2. Story writing
3. Persuasive writing
4. Descriptive writing
5. Book Reports
6. Presenting Reports/ Research papers
7. Letter Writing/Format
8. Compare and contrast
9. Personal Narrative/Biography/Autobiography
10. Writing an Answer to a Question
11. Poetry Writing
12. Writing Directions
14. Writing for the school newspaper
15. Journal Writing
The writing process is a very important part of each theme with step by step lessons to guide the child. The writing lessons are usually given at the end of each theme after the child has acquired the necessary tools for the writing lesson being presented.
In order to express himself, the child needs to be permitted to converse quietly but freely in the classroom. The Montessori Elementary room has a constant buzz of activity; children are not constrained to whisper. It is possible to talk quietly without having to recourse to whispering. Spoken language lessons help the child to use vocabulary correctly and express logical thought, have meaningful discussions, do oral reports, and learn to debate or deliver a speech. Lessons on drama hone the child’s public speaking skills and are further refined by participation in the spring and winter school recitals. In addition to oral presentations in the classrooms, the students have many opportunities to deliver speeches in front of the whole school to sharpen their public speaking skills, a talent that is greatly emphasized at Arborland. The students learn to speak clearly with confidence and poise. An example of this is that the 6th graders are trained to be the masters of ceremonies for school recitals.
Public speaking and expressive speech is a very important part of our school curriculum. The children are encouraged to read aloud, write and recite poetry, make oral presentations, and refine acting and drama skills. These skills are further enhanced in the final sixth year through broadcasting classes. We have a fully equipped in-house radio station attached to our upper elementary classroom. Here, the children hone their journalistic and public speaking skills by writing and producing a weekly lunch time radio show which is broadcast throughout the school. "The Arborland Audio Magazine" includes school, local and international news, comments, weather, sports, and any item of interest to the school or community. The children air their poems and stories and share music. Apart from the obvious benefits of public speaking skills, the program fosters responsibility, confidence, research and meeting deadlines. The members of our broadcasting act as presenters for all our recital programs and other school events. << click here to listen to our broadcasting program >>