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Q1.

How do we give the concept of grass letters, root letters and sky letters to
the child?
Answer.
The most important preparation of the environment for the successful development
of spoken and written language in the child’s personality is the home language. It is
never too early to speak clearly and precisely to the child. The successful
environment for the language is created at home by the mothers and the caregivers.
Reading aloud for the child at home, gives the message to the child that reading is a
fun for him. Reading the story books for the child by his mother at home makes the
meaning clear and he knows how to use the word with the sense in his language.
The child also builds his vocabulary unconsciously through listening to the story
books from his mother which would never come up in spoken language. Although
reading and writing should not be taught to a child before the age of six or seven, yet
he is introduced to the concept of reading and writing by giving the sensorial
experiences of appropriate materials and sometimes as early as three or four years
of age. Since 99% of written language is in lower case letters. In the Montessori
classroom and at home the child should be taught firstly with the small alphabet
rather than capital (“a” and “b,” not “A” and “B”). During the introduction of the small
alphabet to the child the sounds are pronounced instead of the words.

Material
Using the Moveable Alphabet Take the small alphabet set and all the letters should
be in the same colour. Take either one large piece of cloth or the piece of paper with
four lines, the top and bottom lines are pink in colour and the rest of the two lines
are aquamarine.

Concept of the Grass Letters


First of all try to give the concept of the grass letters to the child. Thus, take out the
letter” a” from the box and place it between the first set of lines. Then teach to the
child that the letter fits completely within the middle two lines is called the grass letter
and ask the child to try to find out other letters that can be perfectly fit between the
two lines. When he has placed all those letters which are fit between two lines, tell
him that these are all grass letters in small alphabet. (a, c, e, i, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x,
z) These letters are called” the grass letters”.

Concept of the Sky Letters


Next, take out the letter” b” and place it at the beginning of the second set of guide
lines and show to the child that a letter with a stem goes up to the pink line is called
a sky letter. Then, ask the child to find out all other letters with the stem going up to
the pink line. When the child is successful in completing to fit the letters up to the
pink line then make him introduce that these letters are called ”the sky letters”.(b, t,
d, f, h, k, l, b).

Concept of the Root Letters


At the end, on the third set of guide line, place the letter” j” The child is ready to learn
about the third set of the guide line, tell the child that which letter with a tail going
down to the lower pink line is called the root letter. Then, ask the child to find out all
other letters with a tail going down. These letters are called ”the root letters”. (q, p,
g, j, y").

Grass, sky and root letters are introduced to the child in the Montessori classrooms
through” Three period Lesson”. Actually three period lesson is very important in
teaching to the children not only in the Montessori Classroom but also at home.
Mothers of all over the world can make the child intelligent through giving the basic
idea of the knowledge. So, provide the material of learning the knowledge to the
child whenever he likes.

In order to improve child’s awareness regarding the shape and position of the
alphabets on the line, the child is introduced to sorting exercises. The exercise which
gives the child the concept of grass letters, root letters and sky letters actually
prepares the child indirectly for writing on paper since the child gets a clear concept
of the place and position of each alphabet on the line.

Description:

The children are introduced to the proper placement of alphabets using equidistant
four lines. A large mat with four lines equidistant lines made on it with the help of
ribbons or other such material mounted on it to make straight lines is used.
The top and bottom lines are pink and the two centre lines are aquamarine/blue (as
on primary writing paper).
Grass Letters
Letters which fit exactly between the two blue middle lines for example, ‘a’, ‘c’,
‘e’, ‘i’, ‘o’, etc. are known as the grass letters.
Sky Letters
Letters having a stem which goes up to the pink line are called sky letters, for
example, ‘b’, ‘d’, ‘h’, ‘k’ etc. are known as the sky letters.
Root Letters
Letters having a stem which goes down to the pink line at the bottom for
example, ‘g’, ‘j’, ‘p’, ‘q’, ‘y’ etc. are known as root letters.