Montessori Phonics – Introduction To Single Letter Sounds – Lesson 1

There are 3 periods to the tried and tested 3-Period
Lesson in Montessori presentations. The first period
is where we introduce everything in isolation. ie. one
material at a time. Montessori presentations are done
either on a work table or on the floor… and we use work mats to define our work area/space.

Here’s the presentation order. 

Period 1:

  • This letter makes the sound /c/.
    Show child the sandpaper letter card.
    Click here to hear the /c/ sound. 
  • This is how I write/trace /c/. Would you like to try?

    Invite child to trace the sandpaper letter.

    Tracing sandpaper letters provides a sensorial experience for children. It also helps them to practice the lightness of touch since the sandpaper letter is a little rough. Lightness of touch helps children not to press their pencil too hard (in future) when they are ready for writing. 

  • Trace the letter again and say to the
    child… /c/ is for cat

    Would you like to touch the cat?
    Pass the cat to the child. During this time, you may engage the child with discussions on cats.

    For example, 
    Do you like cats?
    What do cats eat?
    How does a cat’s fur feel like?
    What sound does a cat make?
    Can you move like a cat?

    This discussion stage helps the child remember the lesson better.

    1.Child touched the model cat.
    (Materials preferably should not be cartoonish, as realistic to the real thing as possible…)

    2.Child talked about cats.

    3.Child pretended to be a cat.
    (Role play experience)

    All these are learning experiences. The more the child is engaged, the better the retention of information shared.

    However, do bear in mind that the discussion though encouraged, shud
    not stray… distract… or prolong beyond a few minutes… This depending on the number of children involved in da lesson.

    Carry on… 

  • Trace the letter again and say to the
    child… /c/ is for cap. 

    Similarly here, engage the child in mini discussion.

    For example, do you have a cap?
    Does it look like this one that i have here?
    What design would you like on your cap?
    When would you put on your cap?
    Would you like to try this cap on?

    Again, carry on with next object… For 18mths to 3yrs old, since they have a
    shorter attention span… try to give at least three different objects beginning with the letter sound taught for the day.

    Why 3?

    Cos, if you only have 2 objects… During the next lesson, your child can just point anyhow between 2 objects… it’s like one or the other.

    For older children, or children with longer attention span… please, include more objects for more vocabulary and also more sensorial experiences. Not too many till it strays from your lesson, but enough to engage & interest your child(ren) to see through the entire lesson happily. Wink

  • Trace the letter again and say to the
    child… /c/ is for crayon.

    Again, engage the child in small talk.. Simple stuff like what colour, what can
    they draw with crayon, (etc)

    Now, that is the end of Period 1. For Period 2 in the 3-Period Lesson, show
    all the three objects you’ve introduced all at the same time. In this period, you are
    to observe how much of Period 1 has been retained in your child’s mind.. Wink 

Period 2: 

  • Can you show me the cap? Stress on the /c/
    sound as you ask/prompt.

    Can you show me where’s the cat?

    Can you show me where is the crayon?

    That is the end of Period 2..    

    If child points to the correct object, good. If not, it’s ok. It just shows your child may not be at full attention during the first period & that the presentation should be repeated.. but not on the same day/time… Preferably, allow some time to do other stuff or play and get back to doing the same presentation again..

    You are the observer. Observe and make a mental note of where and which part the child got it wrong. It is not unusual in a Montessori lesson that we do not correct a child immediately when a mistake has been made during lesson, with the exception of – if the child is going to hurt him or herself.. or in the process of disrupting a fellow friend’s concentration away from his/her work.

    We come back to the lesson again, thus providing the child the opportunity to get it right the next round.

    Try not to say, "WRONG!" immediately when you observe the child pointing to a wrong object…

    Follow through to finish that period and end it with a simple, "We can do this another day…" Wink


Period 3:

In this period, the child is now tasked to show that he/she can verbalize the words introduced and also the letter sound that begins with the objects shown.

Show each object in isolation in Period 3.

1. Can you tell me what this is…? 
Child : Crayon.
You : Good.

2. Can you tell me what this is…? 
Child : Cat.
You : Good.

3. Can you tell me what this is…? 
Child : Cap.
You : Good.

Today, we have learnt…
(Simultaneously showing the child the sandpaper letter)

… /c/ as in cat…. /c/ as in cap… and /c/ as in crayon.

Tomorrow/On another day, we’ll learn more sounds.
I will place this material on this shelf, so you may
work with it when you feel like it. (Show child the plc)
Now, can you help me put the things away and put it
on that shelf… and next, can you help me roll the mat?
Thank you, i appreciate it.

Don’t be surprised if you see your child picking up the
mat and the material and working with it on their own..
This is when we know that the child is learning through

If your child did not get any of the steps right at any
point of the 3-Period lesson, please do not despair…
Always come back to it again another time.. 


Let’s recap on the 3-Period Lesson…

1st Period : Introduce letter sound & show objects in
isolation. ie. one at a time.

2nd Period : Display all the objects all at once and ask
child to show you, one at a time..

3rd Period : Ask the child to tell you the names of the
objects that you in isolation.. Then recap all the names
and the letter sound taught for the day. 

This activity is suitable for  18MTHS – 3YRS OLD

"What goes through the hand, goes to the mind…"
[Dr Maria Montessori]

Just my thoughts...

Heyya ngngpopo.. (Wow, your nick is a mouthful!)  


You are most welcome! There are many books

available in the market in relevance to the Montessori

Method of Education. Many parents in the US are using

the books to homeschool their children before they officially

commence proper schooling. As for details though, most

of the books will not have absolute details.. I suppose you

can get those details only from moi.. here in KiasuParents.



Okay seriously… there is the Montessori Read & Write

book which is like a guide to literacy but then again it is not in

great detail if you like to see things done step-by-step… Just

my sharings.





thank you

thanks for the efforts

may i ask anyone here where can i learn more about teaching the montessori way using their or any materials??

is there a book on details of how to teach using those materials? anyone can recommend??

im new here, i tried to give kudos i hope it works… as im not very sure… first timer 😛



thanks for ur efforts!!

also im new here, may i ask anyone here where can i get more info on how to teach my toddler the montessori way?? such as wat u have just posted…

or which book do u recommend to read for all the detail about teaching the montessori way?? i have a book about montessori but its not the detail about how to teach using their materials…


im new here i tried to give kudos, i think it works… i hope it does… 😀



Thks for this article.

Thks for this article. Kudos to you for spending your time to post this article.  Not only your children benefit, we also benefit too. Thanks!

Great work there!

Thanks for teaching us parents on how you teach children!

Didn’t realise it can be done this way.

Loads of effort & time required there and your children are really lucky.

very detail documented.

very detail documented. thanks for the tips!

Very detail Wish I know

Very detail Wish I know these when DS is younger. Looking forwar to the next lesson (^_^)

Don't be..

Hey, i’m a teacher too ya know.

It’s okay to outsource, especially

if the teacher has done a great job

nurturing your children.


So… hope you dispense with that

guilt thought, aye? 



WOW! I suddenly feel guilty

WOW! I suddenly feel guilty "outsourcing" to teachers …

Yes, sir...

A dedicated parent who care to write down all these info in detail to share with others.


Yes, sir! Dedicated i definitely am..

Hands-on too, if i may add.. Hehee..


I’m passionate about spreading fun

learning experiences to all.


KiasuParents has provided me with

the avenue to stimulate my stay-home

brain and let me win some prizes along

the way too! So, with KSP… it is fingers

on for me! To type….. out all the details.

Hope this provides a headstart for our

KiasuParents here to begin fun introduction

in teaching their children to early reading






A dedicated parent who

A dedicated parent who care to write down all these info in detail to share with others. Kudos!

Hope you like it!

Wow! Its like reading pedagogy materials, buds. U sure we don’t need to pay fees to you huh??   Thx for sharing the method in details!

Heck yeah girl! Hope you like it!

Pedagogy at your fingertips??


More to come. Join me @ the

forum thread and share your

feedback, aye! C-ya, GreenQ! 


Gam-sia... Gam-sia...

Wah you deserve kudos for bothering to write the detail lesson plan….  *salute*

No wonder you are so RICH in ks points!!!! 🙂



Gam-sia.. Gam-sia..


Many parents, regardless the mother or father

are becoming stay home parents these days,

or cared for by grandparents or maids and for

some others even relatives/aunties. With this

aid to guide with lesson presentations… it is in

this hope that children can learn something

from whoever the caregiver is going to be in

the home. I used to give adult workshops for

parents, grandparents and even maids/nannies..

These practical lessons have helped them to

keep the children occupied by learning through

play… which many find it is very easy however

it still does need planning, effort and also the

discipline to see it through.


The KPs are a bonus for me to play tikam for

what i fancy. Hehee.. May not win oso. Darn

this connection of mine.. But so far, with RAM

upgrade and the swap to Firefox, it has proved

to be quite speedy of late. *hint hint*  


The KS points are also everyone’s support for

my sharings here, hence i try to give back to

the community when i can. Thanks to all.


Wow! Its like

Wow! Its like reading pedagogy materials, buds. U sure we don’t need to pay fees to you huh??   Thx for sharing the method in details!


Wah you deserve kudos for bothering to write the detail lesson plan….  *salute*

No wonder you are so RICH in ks points!!!! 🙂

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