Montessori 3-Part Cards and its Use in the Classroom

The 3-part card is also called a Nomenclature card. It is often used in Montessori classrooms and homeschool education. The 3-part cards are an excellent tool in helping a child widen his/her vocabulary. They are a perfect way of introducing a new set of vocabulary, like the planets or the seven wonders. The children manipulate these cards in order to internalize the information therein.

Like the name implies, it comprises of three parts and they are usually laminated. They are :

  • Picture only card
  • Label only card
  • Control card ( picture and label altogether)

The cards are designed for guided teaching, led by a teacher, tutor or parent to introduce the new vocabulary or objects.

Let’s talk about the the parts of the card and how to use them effectively in the teaching-learning process.

Control Card (Picture and Label altogether):

Separate the control cards from the other two cards. Lay them out on a flat surface one at a time making sure to introduce each cards using language like:

‘Can you say ……?”

“This is ………”

This lets the children know you are introducing a new object. The cards can be laid either horizontally or vertically.

Lay the first group of cards on the flat, smooth surface and start with the comprehension check by saying:

“Show me the …”

to check their understanding and memory.

If they get one wrong, remark it until the end of the group and repeat your “this is …” as many times as it takes till they get it right themselves. This is very important for positive reinforcement.

Object cards

After introducing the first group of control cards, have the children take out the corresponding object cards from the basket and match them. Be sure to let them say the name of the picture, only help if you see they are having difficulty remembering.

Label cards

Once the object cards have been matched, take the label cards out of the basket. If they can read, great. The children should read the card saying:

“This is …”

and match it to the corresponding cards.

If they can’t read, they can either match similar words or you can read it for them and see if they remember the names of the pictures they just matched.

This should be repeated with the whole set as a sort of retention test.

 These 3-part cards are the best for introducing complex systems and vocabulary.

When children learn complex systems as a young learner, their chances of understanding and performing well academically are increased by many folds for years to come.

When using the 3-part cards, never forget to reinforce your lessons and to move it up a notch, go through the whole cycle of:

‘This is …’, ‘Show me …’, and ‘What is this?’

Montessori is absolutely fantastic.

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