Introduction to the Montessori Materials – The Miniature Environment
The miniature environment is the first step in the grammar sequence of materials and is used to teach children the parts of speech.
While traditionally a farm, the miniature environment could also be a castle, pirate ship or dolls house. The Farm includes a collection of farm animals and buildings and colour coded grammar cards.
Children begin exploring Farm 1 which is strictly phonetic. They arrange the objects in the miniature environment and then label the objects with noun cards for example, pig, dog, hen. The teacher explains that a noun names a person, place or thing.
Children are introduced to all the parts of speech such as verbs, adjectives and articles through working with the Farm.
When the child’s reading ability has progressed, they are introduced to Farm 2, the non-phonetic farm. Then they are able to label a larger number of objects such as chickens, barn, tractor, and cows, eventually using the objects and grammar cards to construct interesting phrases and sentences.