The Trivium of Learning

Student Characteristics    
Teaching Methods
Beginning Grammar
Grades K-2
1) Obviously excited about learning
2) Enjoys games, stories, songs, projects
3) Short attention span
4) Wants to touch, taste, feel, smell, see
5) Imaginative, creative
1) Guide discovering
2) Explore, find things
3) Use lots of tactile items to illustrate point
4) Sing, play games, recite, color, draw, paint, build
5) Use body movements
6) Short, creative projects
7) Show and Tell, drama, hear/read/tell stories
8) Field trips
Grades 3-6
1) Excited about new, interesting facts
2) Likes to explain, figure out, talk
3) Wants to relate own experiences to topic, or just tell a story
4) Likes collections, organizing items
5) Likes chants, clever, repetitious word sounds (e.g., Dr. Seuss)
6) Easily memorizes
7) Can assimilate another language well
1) Lots of hands-on work, projects
2) Field trips, drama
3) Make collections, displays, models
4) Integrate subjects through above means
5) Teach and assign research projects
6) Recitations, memorization
7) Drills, games
8) Oral/written presentations
Grades 7-9
1) Still excitable, but needs challenges
2) Judges, debates, critical
3) Likes to organize items, others
4) Shows off knowledge
5) Wants to know “behind the scenes” facts
6) Curious about “Why?”
7) Thinks, acts as though more knowledgeable than adults
1) Time lines, charts, maps (visual materials)
2) Debates, persuasive reports
3) Drama, reenactments, role-playing
4) Evaluate, critique (with guidelines)
5) Formal logic
6) Research projects
7) Oral/written presentations
8) Guest speakers, trips
Grades 10-12
1) Concerned with present events, especially in own life
2) Interested in justice, fairness
3) Moving toward special interests, topics
4) Can take on responsibility
5) Can do synthesis
6) Desires to express feeling, own ideas
7) Generally idealistic
1) Drama, oral presentations
2) Guide research in major areas with goal of synthesis of ideas
3) Many papers, speeches, debates
4) Give responsibilities, e.g., working with younger students
5) In-depth field trips, even overnight
6) Worldview discussion/written papers