How Do Children Learn with the Three-Period Lesson?

The iconic three-period lesson is a simple, effective tool for concretely presenting vocabulary and concepts to the child through the use of materials. The teacher names the objects or qualities in the first period using the key words “this is”: “This is South America.” The child repeats the term. In the second period, the key words are “show me”: “Show me South America. Point to North America. Move the piece for Africa to the top of the table.” The child actively and repeatedly demonstrates his learning in this phase, so this is the longest part of the lesson. In third period, the child shows his mastery by recalling the name of the object when the teacher asks, “What is this?” Used from everything from objects in the child’s environment, to sensorial materials, to math concepts, the three-period lesson helps the child make connections between language and the real world.

 Learn more about the Three-Period Lesson and other Montessori principles and lessons in NAMC’s Montessori Early Childhood Curriculum or by enrolling in our Montessori Early Childhood Diploma Program!

— NAMC Staff

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