develop child's vocabulary

Three Steps to Better Develop Your Child’s Vocabulary

Did you know that children in Montessori schools have far better vocabulary than in other schools? There is a very good reason for it and here is the secret…

Maria Montessori devised a powerful teaching technique that she used to provide formal vocabulary lessons for children. It is called the ‘Three Period Lesson’.

This technique may be easily applied:

  • In a non-Montessori setting
  • With a special needs child
  • Or with your child at home.

You can use this technique to teach the names of anything (even complex nouns) very easily. Just make sure you have the objects with you.

Watch Aarthi in this video introducing three objects of different sizes and teach the vocabulary ‘small’, ‘medium’ and ‘large’ to a student teacher.

After watching the video, did you notice that there are three periods supporting three learning stages?



1st Period: Introducing the names of the objects.

Use : ‘This is…’

In this first stage, Aarthi isolates one object and introduces it to the student. ‘This is ‘large’. Can you say ‘large’?

She then continues to do the same with the ‘medium’ and ‘small’.


2nd Period: Associating names to object…practice period

Use : ‘Show me…’

Here Aarthi says, ‘Can you show me…?’.

This period allows the child to practice associating the object to the name.

This may be followed by other prompts. You can make it as interesting as possible…it’s like a game and children love games. For example, say…

  • Can you point small?
  • Can you give me large?
  • Where is medium?

Note: Once you feel that the child is able to associate the names to the objects easily, then move on to the third period. Otherwise, stop there and repeat the lesson all over again the next day.


3rd Period: Confirming that the child has learned the names.

Use : ‘What is this?’

In this last stage, Aarthi asks the student, ‘What is this?’ and the student names the object one by one. This may be done in any order.

That was easy…wasn’t it? It does need a bit of practice to get it right though.

Sony Vasandani, BCom; M.Ed


Interested in learning more ways to educate and cultivate kids based on Montessori? We have excellent online programs to cater to the needs of our readers!

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