Questions to ask for the Article:
Are there many of these?
Is there more than one?
Is there just one of this item?
- A box of small articles, some in quantity, e.g. stamps, buttons, etc. and some singly, e/g/ show, brush, tire, etc.
- Supply tray with a lead pencil and a red pencil, paper, scissors, cellophane tape, and a container for used paper slips.
- Two sets of prepared labels, which designate items in the box e.g. “a button”, “a spoon”.
- In the first set, article and noun are together, in the second, they are on separate cards.
- A small farm environment.
- Two sets of prepared cards, articles and nouns, for the child to use with the farm:
Set 1: the article and noun are on the same card
Set 2: the article and noun are on separate cards
- Invite three children to come and work with you.
- Show the children the shelf with the material.
- Bring the material to the table.
- Show the children the objects in the basket.
- Take out one object at a time (even if there is more than one of the same object) and have the child say what it is.
- Conversationally mention that there are many on some and just one of some.
- Close the basket.
- Tell the children you will write one of the objects on a slip of paper.
- Write one of the objects for which there are multiples and have one of the children read it.
- Then have the child find that object.
- Place the object at the bottom of the table and place the written label to its right.
- Repeat for a few more multiple object.
- Then write a label for an object where there is only one. Write this with “a” (for example “a brush”) and have the child read it.
- Make a little drama about how you made a mistake because there is only one brush so it has to be “the brush”.
- Continue in the same way until all of the items have been placed in columns.
- Repeat for each one of the objects, having all the children read in turn.
- Once done, have the children read with you all of the columns, mentioning again that when we have only one of an item we use “the” and when we have more than one we use “a”.
- Ask a child to collect the tickets, mix them up and invite each child to take one, read it, and place it again in columns.
- Once done, the children can once again read the columns.
- Have the children take out all of the objects and place them randomly on the table.
- Take the prepared tickets and place the name of the object in one pile and the articles in a different pile.
- Have a child choose the top label with the name of the object from the pile.
- Have the child read the label and place it next to the object at the bottom of the table.
- Then ask the child if the object starts with an “a” or a “the”.
- Have him place the correct article next to the name label.
- Emphasis conversationally when we would use “a” and when we would use “the”.
- Repeat for all of the objects.
- Have the child choose one of the prepared cards.
- Have a child read a card and then place it next to the correct object in the farm environment.
- Conversationally talk about why a child chose one of the ducks if the card read “a duck”. Talk about the word that showed the child he could choose any duck. If the card read “the donkey” talk about why the child chose that one particular donkey (because the “the” means that there is only one donkey).