Learning new vocabulary can be daunting for any reader but Montessori methodology has a fabulous way of introducing new words in an accessible way. By attaching the new word to an image, the child’s brain is able to make a literal connection between the word and the object it represents thus facilitating learning and remembering, which is where Three Part Cards come in to the Montessori teaching process.
Three Part Cards consist of three parts:
- a card with a picture of the object and the object’s name – sometimes referred to as the ‘control card’
- just a picture card
- just a name card
The Classification cards are usually organised thematically (transport, birds, furniture etc.) and will be found in more than one area of the Montessori classroom. When presenting a Three Part Card lesson for the first time, it’s best to start with three or four cards in the chosen theme, and then add more cards once the child is proficient in naming and understanding the first few cards.
Once the cards have been selected, show the child the control card first – allowing him/her to see the object with its name. Once all of the selected cards have been shown, give the child the opportunity to match the object cards with their name cards, using the control card as a ‘checking device’ to see whether the labels are correct. Have a look at the below tutorial by Montessori Works:
As children develop their language and reading skills, they will be challenged with more complex Three Part Card exercises – including different features of the object in question, so as to reinforce a child’s understanding of the abstract relationship between word and object.