"To make himself heard, man no longer depended on the volume of his voice. With the alphabet he could be heard from one continent to another, from yesterday to tomorrow. He could reach people distant in space and in time. Without uttering a sound—in silence—his thoughts could be heard all over the world at the same time."
- Mario Montessori, quoting his mother
Learning to write is miraculous. It transformed human culture and it will transform the child. Did you know that the ability to create words (writing) actually develops before the ability to read them does? It's obvious when you think about it; it's easier to create a code than to crack one. This means that, long before a child can write letters with a pencil, they can create them with the prepared alphabet (see our founder's graduate research at Harvard for evidence to prove it)! Our alphabets let children gain experience with written language at the age when their brain is fascinated with it!
- Limited selection of symbols (letters only, no numbers or other graphical symbols) empowers children to find the sound they seek
- Can be housed in an egg carton (traditional alphabet) or a craft box (traditional or phonogram alphabet)
- Eco-printed in the USA
We recommend offering the traditional Movable Alphabet alongside the Phonogram Alphabet. This gives children all of the key sounds of English. They are then able to phonetically create every sound in our language, and any word they are inspired to write. Use the red and black alphabets for phonogram and word study. The child's ability to spell will refine naturally as reading experience grows.
For more information, download our Movable Alphabet Lesson Plans:
- Traditional Movable Alphabet Lesson Plan
- Phonogram Alphabet Lesson Plan
- Black/Phonogram Alphabet Lesson Plan
- Black/Red Alphabet Lesson Plan
Remember, for children to succeed with movable alphabet work, they first need to have success with all four levels of the Sound Game AND know all of the pink, blue, and green sandpaper letters. And they also need experience turning their thoughts into verbal expressions (aka, conversations at a picture, natural conversations, telling true stories, question periods, etc.—see our blog posts on spoken language and independence with the movable alphabet for details). Meet these prerequisites first and you will see language explode throughout the classroom.
Egg Cartons: Traditional alphabets can be stored and displayed in egg cartons. We recommend placing two plastic cartons (one 18-egg carton and one 12-egg carton) side-by-side and hot gluing the bottoms to a piece of foam board or chipboard. Use the lids to help keep the dust off when the alphabets are not in use.
Craft Box: We like the 40-compartment box available from the Container Store because it has a transparent lid that helps keep the dust out without hiding the letters. Another alternative is a velvet 30 compartment jewelry box (like this one we found on Amazon). We tested it in a public school Montessori classroom and it held up well,... the children loved to touch its soft sides.