Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our Three Period Montessori Christmas Lesson

  Given that Q-ball (nearly 21 months) is clearly starting to pick up new vocabulary words and has the ability to now focus on a task that interests her for several minutes, I seized this holiday season as a time to do our first more formal lesson. I used the Montessori three period lesson format to teach Q-ball new Christmas words.  And, we even finished with a craft!  She learned incredibly quickly, and we had a great time! I was shocked to see I was able to entertain a young toddler with this activity for almost 30 minutes!

  • Christmas book with clear pictures of the vocabulary words you want to present (I used 10 Trim-the-Tree'ers as it had very clear pictures throughout.)
  • Large piece of paper
  • Cookie cutters (some need to match the vocabulary words you've chosen)
  • Washable paint
The Lesson:
Of course, everything ends up in her mouth...
  • Step 1: Using the book, I pointed out new vocabulary words to Q-ball.  For example, I pointed to the snowman saying, "This is a snowman."  (We used stocking, snowman, Christmas tree, candy cane, bell, and star.) 
  • Step 2: After reviewing each word several times, I asked Q-ball to find the words in the book.  She was able to do this quickly.  (If you child is not able to do this with 100% accuracy, go back to step 1.  The goal is for your child to succeed, so you do not want to move forward until you have 100% success. Doing this over several days is more than acceptable!)
  • Step 3:  I then asked Q-ball to transfer her knowledge to other similar objects. We walked around our house, and I asked her to find the "Christmas tree," "stockings," and "star."  Finally, I placed all of the cookie cutters on the table.  I repeated each vocabulary word, and Q-ball picked out the appropriate cutter.
  • Step 4:  And now the fun part!  Using paint, we created stamps with the the cookie cutters.

Montessori Mom. (2009). The three period lesson. Retrieved from
Montessori Print Shop Blog. (2012). How to give a Montessori 3 period lesson. Retrieved from

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