While all major areas of the curriculum are introduced in the Primary classroom (“Give them the world!”), the acquisition of language takes precedence. The window of opportunity for language opens and closes, and the Montessori Language materials take full advantage with an environment rich in language. Montessori recognizes that children are ready to express much more than they can physically write. Thus, the main impetus for learning to read and write comes from the child’s own powerful desire to communicate and to decipher his or her own communication.
Language is, of course, omnipresent in the classroom. The nature of a Montessori environment requires the child to communicate with peers and teachers as a matter of course. In addition, manipulative Primary activities in language include the Moveable Alphabet, a box of individual letters that allow even a very young child to “write” without the fine motor control needed for writing with pencil and paper. Using beautiful Montessori Wooden Language Materials such as Object Boxes and the Montessori Moveable Alphabets, children form words with their hands. Lessons on letter formation with Montessori Lowercase and Uppercase Sandpaper Letters, are presented one letter at a time. Wooden Alphabet Tracing Boards and Metal Insets develop fine-motor control for when students transfer the skill to paper. The language area is also full of materials for the emergent reader and writer. The Montessori Pink, Blue, and Green Language Series materials present relevant concepts to the young child using both phonics and whole-language approaches. In Elementary classrooms, while the materials still accommodate the nonreader, the emphasis moves to parts of speech, using Wooden Grammar Symbols with the Montessori Grammar Boxes, Montessori Command Boxes, and Sentence Analysis Charts. The Detective Triangle Material and Exercises seamlessly integrates geometry.