The Upper Elementary Language Curriculum balances rigorous skill development with constant opportunity for self-expression.
During the Upper Elementary years, students become capable of complex thoughts as they move into abstract reasoning. They learn to weigh options, examine contradictory evidence, tolerate differences of opinion, and make connections between areas of learning, and between learning and personal experience. They love to work in groups and also need to work privately and individually. Communicating becomes pressing as the peer culture increases in importance; making themselves understood, and getting to know others, are high priorities.
The Upper Elementary Language Curriculum builds on these developmental changes by balancing rigorous skill development with constant opportunity for self-expression. Opportunities abound for informal conversation and formal presentation. Student-facilitated community meetings offer opportunities for debates and problem solving. Individuals and groups give oral presentations across the curriculum. The oldest upper elementary students undertake an in-depth research project on a topic of their choice, including a formal paper and an oral presentation to the LMS community.
Spelling groups are formed according to individual ability, and students are expected to produce all written work according to spelling and mechanics conventions. Intriguing Montessori materials enable students to study such sophisticated grammar topics as sentence diagramming, compound and complex sentence formation, and verb conjugation.Writing workshops give Upper Elementary authors coached experiences with different composition genres. Literature Circles provide opportunities for students to share their questions, connections and opinions with a group. In both of these, students receive critical feedback from their peers and teachers.