period lessons are used throughout the Montessori environment to help
introduce a new lesson/concept and lead the children along a path to
understanding and mastery. However, in the area of language they are
used to increase, enrich and broaden a child's vocabulary.
important to practice the method of presenting a Three Period Lesson
several times until you are comfortable giving it with ease. There are
no set movements or patterns that you must follow in each of the
periods. As long as you understand the principle of the period, and keep
it simple and focused, you can ask the child to do whatever is
appropriate for the setting, object, or concept you are teaching.
by presenting the child with three objects of contrast and isolate them
on a table or mat. For this example the objects will be dog, snake and
1. First Period - Naming Period
this period is
overall rather short as it simply involves giving the object a name
point to the
first object (dog) and say "dog"
repeat the name several times,
clearly and slowly "This is a dog. Can you say dog? dog."
with the second and third objects (snake and bird)
once all three
objects have been named, review them one last time by pointing to each
one and saying the name clearly and slowly
It's a known
fact that we have an easier time remembering items at the beginning and
end of lists and have the hardest time remembering items in the middle.
When deciding what order to place the 3 objects in, place the object
that you are sure your child is most familiar with in the middle, to
increase his chance of success. The first and last objects should be the
2. Second Period - Recognition and Association
objects and ask the child to show you a specific object
me the snake."
"Can you place the bird in my hand."
point to spot
on the table - "Please put the dog here."
"Put the bird
on the basket."
"Hold the dog in your hand."
ask the child
to close their eyes while you move the objects around, then continue
This period is
much longer than the first to extend the handling and movement of the
objects. This handling and movement increases the kinesthetic memory and
will solidify a child's recognition of the object's name. There are
many variations to the Second Period that can be used to hold a child's
interest. The movement will make the lesson more attractive and help the
child be successful; so be creative!!
3. Third Period - Recall
place the 3
objects back in front of the child
point to the
first object and ask the child "What is this?"
repeat with the
second and third object
This is the 'testing' period. This is in
fact, the very first time you have asked the child to verbally recall
the name of the objects. It is important to proceed to this period only
if you feel the child will be successful. If the child is unable to
recall the names of the objects, simply give them the names again, and
casually end the lesson without making the child feel as though they've
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