Montessori 3 period lesson

This language video lesson is designed for 3-6-year-old children. It helps them learn about alphabets a, s, and p with the help of a three-period lesson in the Montessori curriculum.

What is Montessori Three Period Lesson?

Three-period lesson is the hallmark of Montessori education that helps children to learn vocabulary and concepts. It is simply a lesson divided into 3 parts to help children to move from the introductory level of understanding to mastery of the concept.

The three periods in a three-period lesson include:

  • 1. The first period is called naming (Introduction). For example, “This is a ball.”
  • 2. The second period is called recognizing (Identification). For example, “Show me the ball.”
  • 3. The third period is called remembering (Cognition). “What is this?” 

French physician Edouard Seguin developed the three-period lesson during the late 19th century for special needs children in France and the United States. In addition to developing children’s self-reliance and independence, he discovered ways to increase their cognitive abilities. Several of Montessori’s practical life lessons are inspired by his writings.

Importance of Montessori 3-Period Lesson 

A three-period lesson in Montessori education helps a child by providing them with a slower, easy absorption process for understanding a concept. It offers isolated concepts and reinforcement of each part of the lesson as needed.

How a 3-Period Lesson with English Alphabet is Presented to the Child?

The Montessori 3-period lesson is presented to the child using 2-3 contrasting concepts at a time. In this video, a child is introduced to the English alphabet letters a, s, and p, written on sandpaper.

  • The First Period – Naming or Introduction: 

As the name suggests, in this period a child is introduced to the letters a, s, and p one after the other, by making their phonic sound. It also allows the child to trace the letters simultaneously. 

Invite the child to try tracing letters after introducing them. Pronouncing letter sounds several times while introducing them helps the child grasp the sound a letter makes more easily. 

  • The Second Period – Association or Recognition or Identification “show me”:

In this phase, a child is asked to show the letter that sounds /a/. (Please note: always ask to show using their phonic sound instead of letter name).

For example, show me the letter /s/

The child will point to the sandpaper letter s card. Allow them to say the letter sound and trace it. Repeat the activity for letters a and p.

This period is the most important phase, as it helps an educator understand how a child absorbs the concept. Therefore, it should last the longest. If a child has a difficulty in understanding, the educator returns to the first period. 

Tip: You can use a variation of show me phrases such as hand me, point to, pick the, give me, and so on. 

  • The Third Period – Recall or Remembering or Cognitive: What is this?: 

In this period, an educator points to the letter. Let’s say p, and ask the child “what is this?”

If the child answers the letter correctly, the educator moves to the next letter, else they move to the second first period, followed by the second period.

The three-period lesson helps the child strengthen their finger muscles and develop fine motor skills. It also helps the child to develop and practice language order, concentration, and hand-eye coordination.

This video lesson enables the child to improve their reading and writing ability and learn the phonetic sounds of the alphabet. Repeat this activity by asking the child to trace and pronounce the alphabet, as shown in the video.

Related Videos:

For more language resources, click here.

Video Created by: Bronia Birkbeck (Building Futures Education)

Toddler | Language | Alphabet Three Period Lesson (English)

This video has been added and used with the author’s permission. It is also available on the author’s YouTube, here.



  • English
  • Language
  • Montessori education
  • primary level