You've all heard about it, this radical and elegantly simple way to teach vocabulary to anyone at any age. Really, if you're working with toddlers or teaching a new language, the Montessori 3-period lesson is THE go to strategy to help build vocabulary.
Once you've learned it, it is incredibly easy to use. Here's the big picture. The teacher follows the following three steps to teach new words:
- Period 1: This is the... [name the object]
- Period 2: Show me the... [name the object but let the child interact]
- Period 3: What is this?
The key points to remember are that:
- Most of the learning happens in period 2
- Never go to the third period until you are 100% certain the child can produce the vocabulary
Why? First, because receptive language (understanding what a thing is called) is much easier than expressive language (being able to produce the name of a thing). That's why we do a lot of work in the second period, especially movement.
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